Seeing a Better World™

DigitalGlobe Unveils 30 cm Imagery from WorldView-3

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

A New Era of Information and Insight About out Changing Planet

DigitalGlobe’s latest WorldView-3 satellite provides imagery with unprecedented quality that allows our customers to see the Earth clearly and in new ways resulting in valuable information to save lives, resources and time.

In recent weeks, we’ve shared with you how WorldView-3 can see through smoke, and how the oil and gas industry can benefit from our superior resolution. Today we will share with you the first-ever-released 30 cm images from a commercial satellite, and interactive examples of the valuable information that can be extracted.

Before now, the only way to capture remotely sensed images at 30 cm resolution was from a camera mounted to the bottom of an airplane. But decision makers who rely on aerial imagery are dependent on costly, limited, geographic coverage and sporadic frequency, especially over large or remote regions. DigitalGlobe’s WorldView3 satellite, allows our customers to see the world with great fidelity, not just in one place at one time, but covering large areas on a frequent basis, at virtually any point on the globe.

WorldView-3’s super-spectral 30 cm imagery allows for fast and precise mapping of various features anywhere in the world – Madrid, Spain being the area of interest for this blog. To illustrate how much more visual information is contained in 30 cm image, examine the slider below.

On the left is the 30 cm image captured by WorldView-3 and on the right is a 70 cm resolution imagery, which represents the highest quality available from our nearest competitor. Notice the lettering on the taxiways/aprons that can be clearly identified at 30 cm resolution while the details are missing at 70 cm resolution. Finer details such as details on building rooftops, condition of taxiways, lampposts, and other details are only distinguishable at 30 cm WorldView-3 imagery.

Click here for a larger view.

Explore more WorldView-3 sample imagery via our slideshare presentation below:

In our next example, the visual information extracted from WorldView-3 can be a game changer for Urban Planners and GIS professionals.

On the left is the satellite image, and on the right is a map of all the information features [or layers] that have been extracted based on the available visual information. Urban planners can have an accurate and up-to-date map identifying; digitized building footprints, trees along the road indicating potential encroachment on power lines, sidewalks for easement and right of way, location of man holes for sewer access, road centerlines and widths, and swimming pools with and without permits. A WorldView-3 image is accurate both in resolution and in its alignment with the true surface of the Earth, therefore the extracted features are also in the right place and more certain, than a less accurate image.

The quality of information extracted from WorldView-3 is not possible with 70 cm imagery from any source. Urban planners can make smart decisions about the allocation of scarce resources with confidence, faster, and more cost effectively with WorldView-3.

Click here for a larger view.

WorldView-3 quality delivers value across a range of industries. A transportation department official can accurately identify and map road conditions on a frequent basis and over large areas. Compared to traditional ground and aerial surveying, 30 cm satellite data and information is more cost-effective, saving resources and time, as well as minimizing the carbon footprint on the environment.

Using the finer details of 30 cm imagery, transportation officials can accurately measure progress over time on major road projects, or decide which road issues need immediate attention, like fixing hazardous potholes.

Also in this example, you can see how an insurance company can identify the roof conditions on individual houses. This information is valuable to facilitate fast and equitable insurance settlements and minimizes false insurance claims on roof maintenance, in case of hail damage or other extreme weather.

In this slider, the 30 cm satellite image is on the right and the 70 cm image is on the left.

Click here for a larger view.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where we’ll explore the unique spectral diversity that WorldView-3 offers. Capturing more than pixels with visual information, we are pioneering the ability to automatically extract valuable information in the invisible part of sunlight which carries additional spectral information.

In this interconnected global economy, understanding of micro, regional, and global trends is of paramount importance for decision makers. Being able to identify patterns and make decisions with confidence, based on the highest quality and most current visual information is important for today.  Having access to a broader spectrum of high quality data to peer into the unseen world will support our customer’s decisions for tomorrow.

For 30 cm imagery product samples go to

For more information on how DigitalGlobe is uniquely positioned to unlock the power of geospatial information to create information products and solutions for the changing planet, please visit:

DigitalGlobe would like to thank NOAA for permission to release the 30 cm examples shown and downloadable here. As per our operating license, 40 cm products are now available to all customers for purchase. Full commercial availability for 30 cm products begins in February 2015.


From a bird, from a plane, from a … satellite?

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

Mount Fuji has been the subject of untold millions of photographs, but this view captured by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite is truly unique.

When the image was taken, WorldView-3 was in orbit 617 km above earth’s surface and 2,500 km southeast of the iconic Japanese mountain. The satellite’s telescope was pointed at the mountain almost at the earth’s limb — in fact, from the mountain, the satellite would have appeared to be only 1 degree above the horizon — and yet it was still able to capture an image with roughly 1.2 m resolution. The Hida Mountains that can be clearly seen in the background are more than 150 km northwest of Mount Fuji.

This image illustrates once again the power of WorldView-3’s high resolution sensor, namely the ability to collect high-resolution oblique imagery, in addition to producing the sharpest and most information-rich commercial imagery when looking down from overhead. It also demonstrates the DigitalGlobe constellation’s industry-leading revisit frequency — more on this in a future blog post.

Insight from Satellite Imagery Helps Oil and Gas Companies

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

New Images from Recently Launched WorldView-3
Satellite imagery, and the information derived from it, is playing a greater role in the management of exploration and production operations as oil and gas companies increase activities in remote regions of the world.

After the August launch of our WorldView-3 satellite, we imaged several examples of interest for the oil and gas industry to demonstrate the increased uses cases  for satellite imagery as compared to traditional aerial methods. In this blog we will highlight several benefits our imagery and information provides to the oil and gas industry.

For additional annotated examples, useful to this market, download our Rotterdam Oil Facility report on Slideshare.

Rotterdam Oil Refinery WorldView-3 40 cm Report from DigitalGlobe

Note: On August 21, 2014 DigitalGlobe formally notified the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of WorldView-3’s Initial Operating Capability, which means that beginning on February 21, 2015, we will able to deliver 30 cm imagery to all of our customers. In the meantime, we are only able to show 40cm images from the satellite, which are not representative of our full resolution capability.

Satellite vs. Aerial
WorldView-3 satellite imagery, is highly competitive with aerial — in cost, availability and quick accessibility for the customer. In the two examples below we show the Rotterdam, Netherlands port facility and the associated oil storage facilities. The first is a 40 cm resolution satellite image and the second is a 30 cm aerial image over the same area. When you compare the two images, the 40 cm satellite image shows similar level of visual information and detail as the aerial image. However, professionals in the oil and gas industry understand that acquiring new aerial imagery is costly, especially in remote regions. Moreover, with aerial imagery, you have the additional permitting, import procedures, logistics considerations, and delays to consider, which add expense and time to your project.

WorldView-3 40 cm Satellite Image

30 cm Aerial Image

Additional advantages of this “Engineering Grade” WorldView-3 imagery are very apparent where details of the small diameter pipes on the tanker are clearly visible. You can also clearly identify ship types and uses, as well as level and type of activity at the terminal. Imagine how this industry leading resolution will help in planning, executing, and monitoring exploration and production throughout the oil/gas field cycle.

Forecasts and Trend Spotting
Decision makers who have access to accurate and frequently refreshed business intelligence data used to drive forecasts and trends, have a leg up over their competition. Specific to the oil and gas industry, as more and more oil is being moved by rail there is increased interest in finding out things like:
• What type of material is being moved through rail yards?
• How congested are they?
• Is the volume of cars this week, higher or lower than last week?

The type and the number of rail cars that are at a plant provide important capacity and capability indicators which are valuable to future markets as well as other economic impacts. The high resolution imagery from WorldView-3 allows for this type of identification.

Seeing through Smoke
Fires can occur anywhere, but in the oil & gas industry, they can be especially crippling. SWIR (Short Wave Infrared) is an advantage of WorldView-3 satellite imagery because it can see beyond what human vision can detect. Below is an example from the devastating Happy Camp forest fires that took place in California last month. Move the slider back and forth to see how we use SWIR to see through smoke – highly important for disaster relief efforts, no matter what the cause. Imagine the value of having a clear picture of what is happening on the ground during an oil refinery fire.

Full Coverage and Quick Access

WorldView-3 imagery is available over any location in the world, as shown in this next detailed example on an oil facility island in the Caspian Sea. In fact, WorldView-3 and the five other high resolution satellites that DigitalGlobe owns and operates each orbit the Earth 15 times per day. WorldView-3, specifically, has an average revisit time of less than one day and is capable of collecting up to 680,000 km2 per day, further enhancing the DigitalGlobe capacity for more rapid and reliable imaging over an area of interest.

With WorldView-3 40cm imagery available today and 30cm imagery available in February 2015, decision makers in the oil and gas industries have new options to consider for their critical monitoring needs. And as humans expand the areas for new sources of energy, to include those in remote regions, having the ability to image sites from space can help DigitalGlobe customers save lives, resources and time.

To learn more about our DigitalGlobe Energy Suite offering contact Julie Parker|