Seeing a Better World™

DigitalGlobe Hosts U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pritzker for a Discussion on Commerce in Colorado

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

On Tuesday, June 24, DigitalGlobe hosted U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and representatives of prominent Colorado companies for a roundtable discussion in Denver. The group discussed various topics, including the strength of the aerospace workforce in Colorado and the recent decision by the Department of Commerce to relax restrictions on commercial satellite imagery. Secretary Pritzker also addressed the Clinton Global Initiative’s CGI America event, where she spoke about educating and employing America’s future leaders.

Before the roundtable event, Secretary Pritzker was briefed by DigitalGlobe CEO Jeffrey R. Tarr and Ball Aerospace CEO Robert D. Strain on the global challenges that the WorldView-3 satellite, planned for launch in mid-August, is uniquely positioned to address. WorldView-3 will be capable of capturing images at a resolution of 0.31 m, which is a level of detail only available to U.S. government customers before the regulation was modified following an inter-agency review process coordinated by Secretary Pritzker. The satellite was built for DigitalGlobe by Ball Aerospace Corp., with contributions from Exelis, Inc., United Launch Alliance, and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services.

“Hosting Secretary Pritzker in our home state was a proud moment for DigitalGlobe, and we truly appreciate her leadership of the U.S. Department of Commerce,” Tarr said. “By approving our license to sell the best quality imagery from our industry-leading satellite constellation, the administration has ensured that the United States will continue to play a leading role in the dynamic and growing global market for geospatial products and analysis.”

“The change in imagery restrictions is timely with the approaching launch this summer of WorldView-3, which Ball built for DigitalGlobe,” Strain said. “The improved resolution imagery it will provide to DigitalGlobe customers around the world, as the first multi-payload, super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite, will greatly enhance our views of the earth.”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Priztker met with DigitalGlobe CEO Jeff Tarr and Ball Aerospace CEO Rob Strain. Also pictured: a model of the WorldView-3 satellite that is undergoing final preparations for a planned mid-August launch.

The Faces of DigitalGlobe: Pierre Izard

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

The Faces of DigitalGlobe is a series of blog posts highlighting individuals and teams within DigitalGlobe.

This month, we are highlighting Pierre Izard, Director, Global Strategic Alliances. Pierre  joined DigitalGlobe in 2000 and is currently developing the company’s Global Strategic Alliances program.  Pierre has contributed in a broad range of leadership roles at DigitalGlobe in Operations, Product, and Labs.  Prior to joining DigitalGlobe, Pierre served as a civilian geospatial intelligence analyst at the National Imagery and Mapping Agency and as an Open Source Analyst at SAIC’s Foreign Systems Research Center. Pierre holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College and a Master of Arts from the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies where he focused his studies on Economics and Technology.

1. What might you find yourself doing around 10 a.m. on a regular work day?

I am most likely involved in a conversation with a close partner, working with my counterparts to understand pain points and priorities, and collaborating to help them unlock scale, efficiency, adoption, or any other metric that’s critical to their plan.  Our greatest challenge right now is focus, we must better prioritize the many opportunities and make sure we focus our talent and resources on efforts that will maximize outcomes for our partners and shareholders.

2. What’s the most interesting use case or problem that you’ve seen DigitalGlobe solve?

We, together with our partners, help our customers understand our world, make sense of their geographies, and we help save human lives.  This will get anyone out of bed in the morning.

3. How does your current role support DigitalGlobe’s Purpose Vision and Values (PVV)?

We take great care to make sure our Alliance partners understand the Purpose, Vision, and Values that guide our decisions and behaviors.  If our partners don’t have the same focus and emphasis, the relationship will not go very far.  We do not want partners that wouldn’t feel comfortable signing the PVV banner that hangs in our headquarters.

4. If you could add any technology/capability to DigitalGlobe’s assets, what would it be?

I would advocate for a simple, performant, documented, stable image catalog discovery interface that can address the needs of prospects, programmers, and partners.  I have simple needs.

5. What is your favorite restaurant in the Longmont area?

Any place that can serve a decent cassoulet like my Aunt Monique’s.  Have not found one yet.  A close substitute would be Georgia Boys in downtown Longmont.

Bringing DigitalGlobe’s Insight Solutions to Life

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

Todd M. Bacastow
Director, Insight Product Management

Today’s users of geospatial information expect more than a map. They expect insight that allows them to better understand a place and a situation on the ground to enable informed decisions. As the use of geo-data applications expands, web-based mapping technologies offer a means for a larger audience of users to easily access and understand geospatial intelligence.

DigitalGlobe’s Insight team has a proven track record of delivering innovative geospatial solutions that help our customers serve their mission critical needs. We are now utilizing web mapping platforms, such as MapBox, to enhance our ability to deliver these solutions by creating customized sites – making our analytics products more accessible, interactive and informative.

To build an interactive web map, we start with our own imagery and analytics. We utilize open source tools like TileMill to stylize this content and JavaScript libraries based on Leaflet that allow us to create a rasterized tile stack enabling fast, compelling web maps. This map is delivered from the MapBox tile server to a web page to drive additional interactive map elements, such as navigation buttons, which are created using the jQuery JavaScript library.

Without requiring knowledge of traditional GIS software, users can easily interact with data, toggle imagery and visualize various data layers. DigitalGlobe’s Human Landscape data sets, which are map layers consisting of points, lines, and polygons that characterize the human geography of a place, are well-suited as interactive layers displayed over our imagery for added context.

We recently developed a site depicting DigitalGlobe’s analysis in response to Typhoon Haiyan. The site starts with an introductory series of photographs to set the stage, followed by an interactive web map that brings users from the country level into the city of Tacloban. Tacloban is one of the Philippine cities that experienced some of the most severe devastation from Typhoon Haiyan. This site tells the story of Typhoon Haiyan through DigitalGlobe imagery, crowdsourcing, and human geography layers. Such analysis helps explain the situation on the ground and for similar disasters, could be used to help inform relief planning and disaster mitigation efforts. In this example, the value of DigitalGlobe information layers is demonstrated in identifying suitable roads for routing relief supplies in a disaster zone.


As users zoom into Tacloban, high-resolution imagery delivered as part of our FirstLook service is displayed to contrast the city before & after the storm. Users can toggle on/off layers such as Human Landscape points of interest including hospital locations, roads, and the airport. Additionally, a road layer damage assessment is available that outlines locations of damaged bridges that were tagged by users of DigitalGlobe’s Tomnod crowdsourcing platform and show damaged infrastructure to identity suitable routes to deliver supplies.

We’re excited about the potential that web mapping technologies such as MapBox offer to enable the visualization of our analytic solutions and unique information layers. DigitalGlobe plans to develop more examples in the coming weeks and we look forward to sharing them with you via our blog.