Thursday, October 08, 2009

Eyes in the Sky

With the launch of WorldView-2, the newest high resolution sensor, today Oct 8, 2009, GIS practitioners now have several choices for commercial half-metre imagery. WorldView-2 will acquire 46cm (panchromatic) and 1.84m (multispectral) imagery. The GeoEye-1 sensor, launched on Sep 6, 2008, provides 41cm (panchromatic) and 1.65m (multispectral). And WorldView-1 launched on Sep 18, 2007 provides 50cm imagery. One can actually see/ interpret people on these half-metre images (not faces yet, that's just in Enemy of the State). There's also the "lower" resolution, and more affordable, 1-metre resolution QuickBird and IKONOS imagery suitable for a variety of tasks. Even though the newer sensors can technically provide 41/46cm resolution images, non-US Government orders are limited to 50cm resolution. For customers in the West Indies, the official agents for the satellite companies, GeoEye and DigitalGlobe, are located in Trinidad and Barbados, respectively.