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Archive for July, 2007

Satellite Images and GIS Supports Conservation Efforts in Virunga National Park, Africa

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC) in cooperation with GeoEye Foundation (formerly Space Imaging) produced a 1m Natural Color IKONOS Satellite Image mosaic for an area covering the Virunga National Park in Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda. This image data was produced to support GIS mapping projects for the assessment, management and monitoring of the Mountain Gorilla Habitat and the Land Changes in around the National Parks.

Threatened by habitat loss, poaching, deforestation and other factors, wildlife in Africa is declining in an alarming rate. Researchers and Conservationist’s have been monitoring wildlife populations for decades, traditional capture and tag methods have been a primary tool, but they are not the most efficient when dealing with large animals and animals in remote locations. This may revolutionize the way endangered wildlife in remote areas of the world are counted and monitored. To understand why and where species are being lost, satellite imagery offers certain advantages such as watching vast areas of the Earth all at once on a regular basis and by making comparisons over time possible to analyze and monitor what is happening on the ground. High resolution satellites images and GIS can directly observe species habitats and their environment over time which allows researchers to predict the best remaining areas to protect and manage.

Virunga National Park


IKONOS – Visoke Volcano, DRC and Rwanda, Africa
Mountain Gorilla Habitat


3D Terrain Model

Copyright © 2007 GeoEye. All Rights Reserved.


Gorilla Family Group 13 Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Photo Credit: Professor Richard S. Muller


Recent Gorilla Executions in the Virungas

Video Credit: National Geographic Society

Wildlife Conservation Mapping

Classification of Ecosystems is easily recognizable on satellite images. Vegetation, complemented with ecological data (such as elevation, humidity, drainage, salinity of water and characteristics of water bodies) are each determining modifiers that separate partially distinct sets of species. This is true not only for plant species, but also for species of animals, fungi and bacteria. The degree of ecosystem distinction is subject to the physiognomic modifiers that can be identified on an image and/or in the field.

High resolution satellites images can directly observe species and their habitat on the ground and in their environment used in tandem with GIS Mapping which allows researchers to predict the best remaining areas to protect and manage. Satellite data facilitates the production of global land use and land cover maps, and geographic information systems (GIS) allows researchers to integrate satellite and population data efficiently. Increased human population often leads to greater influence on the environment and sharper declines in species and ecosystems. Land transformation probably poses the single greatest threat to biodiversity, resulting in habitat loss and/or fragmentation for wild species. Beyond its effects on the nearby area, it can have global consequences, such as worldwide changes.

3D Flythrough Movie – Visoke Volcano


Broadband connection and QuickTime player required. Size: 18 MB

<1m Stereo IKONOS Satellite Image Data and 5m DTM

© 2007 GeoEye/Satellite Imaging Corporation. All rights reserved.

To View the News Article on PRWeb Click the link;

August 22, 2007

Congo Gorilla Killings Fueled by Illegal Charcoal Trade – (Click Here for Full Story by National GeographicSociety)

Emergency Gorilla Protection Force Deployed in Congo - (Click Here for Full Story by National GeographicSociety)

Satellite Image Technology for Virunga National Park – More Information ( Click Here)

Conservation Alone ‘ is not enough’ (Click Here for Full Story by BBC)

Gorillas Head Race to Extinction (Click Here for Full Story by BBC)

To view interactive image of Virunga National Park in Google

Satellite Image Animation of Palm Jumeirah Island, UAE Project Development

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

Satellite Images of the Palm islands construction project helped engineering companies organize, plan and monitor Dubai number one tourist destination. The three large man-made resort islands (Jumeirah, Jebel Ali and Deira) are built on the shorelines of Dubai, UAE which added 520 km of beaches to the city. Two of the islands are designed in the shape of a date palm tree and the most current project, island Deira will be shaped in a corniche.

Animation of The Palm Jumeirah Island, UAE
Construction and Development
(To view Animation Click Image)
IKONOS Satellite Images
December 2001 – October 2003

To View Detailed IKONOS Satellite Image Click here and zoom in

The islands are artificial peninsulas constructed of sand dredged from the bottom of the Arabian Gulf which is sprayed by dredging onto the required area in a process known as rainbowing due to the way the sand arcs when sprayed. The outer edge of each Palm encircling crescent is a large rock to breakwater. The island supports luxury hotels, freehold residential villas, unique water homes, shoreline apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, health spas, cinemas and various diving sites.


The project took four years of planning to ensure that the project would not disrupt the environment during the development. The development of each island included construction of the land foundations with sand transfer and rock placement, followed by building the infrastructure, supplying utility services, bridges linking the islands to the mainland and construction of homes and resorts.

The third island Palm Deira at 1.14 billion cubic meters of sand and will be the worlds largest man-made island and will reside homes to about one million people and should be expected to be completed by 2015.

Satellite Images of Seven Wonders of the World

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Satellite Images and Photos of the new Seven Wonders of the World based on over 100 million votes from 200 countries was selected on July 7th, 2007. These images are made possible by cutting edge satellite technology.

Seven Wonders – Satellite Views

Petra – Jordan

Petra Petra Treasury
IKONOSPetra, Jordan Petra

Petra, Jordan meaning in Greek is an archaeological site in Jordan, lying in a basin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. It is famous for having many stone structures carved into the rock. The long-hidden site was revealed to the Western world by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812. The city was the principal city of ancient Nabataea and was famous above all for two things: its trade and its hydraulic engineering systems. It was locally autonomous until the reign of Trajan, but it flourished under Roman rule. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2007 Goeye. All Rights Reserved.

Machu, Picchu – Peru

Machu Picchu Machu Picchu
IKONOS - Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu

One of the most famous Incan cities in the world, sun alignments are found throughout Machu Picchu. Many features, including the Sacred Plaza, The Temple of Three Windows and The Intihuatana platform, align with the summer solstice azimuth of 65-245 degrees. Scientists believe these alignments were primary considerations in the construction of the shrines. A shaft of light, shining through an east-facing window, reportedly illuminates The Torreon, or Temple of the Sun, during the summer solstice. The city was built between 1460 and 1470 AD at an altitude of 8,000 feet. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2007 Goeye. All Rights Reserved.

Christ the Redeemer – Brazil

Christ the Redeemer Christ the Redeemer
QuickBird – Christ the Redeemer, Brazil Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer, a statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue stands 38 m (105 feet) tall, weighs 700 tons and is located at the peak of the 700-m (2296-foot) Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park at WGS84 Latitude: 22° 57 5S and Longitude: 43° 12 39W, overlooking the city. As well as being a potent symbol of the Roman Catholic Church, the statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2007 DigitalGlobe. All Rights Reserved.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China Great Wall of China
ASTER Great Wall of China Great Wall

The Great Wall started as earth works thrown up for protection by different States. The individual sections weren’t connected until the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). It was during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) that the Wall took on its present form. The brick and granite work was enlarged and sophisticated designs were added. The Ming Emperors, having overthrown the Hun dominance and expelled their Mongol rulers of the North devoted large portions of available material and manpower to making sure that they didn’t return. The Great Wall is the world’s longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km from Shanhai Pass in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass. Satellite Image: NASA/Japanese Space Team

Chichen Itza – Mexico

Chichen Itza Chichen Itza
IKONOS – Chichen Itza, Mexico Chichen Itza

In a spectacular show of shadow and light, a shadow representing the Feathered Serpent god Kukulkan slides down the northern stairway of Chichen Itza during sunset of the equinoxes and then vanishes. The square, stepped pyramid, built by Mayans in about 1000 to 1200 AD also has axes that orient with the rising point of the sun at the summer solstice and setting point during the winter solstice. Many think the pyramid also serves as a calendar. Each of the four faces of the pyramid has a stairway with 91 steps. With the addition of a shared step forming a platform at the top, this totals 365, the number of days in a year. The stairways also divide the nine terraces on each side into 18 segments, representing the 18 months of the Mayan calendar. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2007 Geoeye. All Rights Reserved.

Taj Mahal – India

Taj Mahal Taj Mahal
IKONOS  Taj Mahal, India Taj Mahal

Located at the city of Agra in the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of architecture in the world a style that combines elements of Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar part of the monument, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2007 Goeye. All Rights Reserved.

Colosseum, Rome – Italy

Colosseum Colosseum
IKONOS – Colosseum, Italy Colosseum

The Colosseum/Coliseum, Rome, Italy was built from 72-80 A.D., the large, elliptical arena seats 50,000 spectators and represents one of the ancient Rome’s greatest architectural achievements. Completed in 81 AD, it is called the Coloseum after a colossal statue of Nero that once stood nearby. It was used for staged battles, sometimes between lions and Christians and other heretics, among other spectacles, and is one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world. The structure covers about 6 acres (188m by 156m or 615 ft by 510 ft) and stands 48.5 m (158 ft) tall or about 15 stories and took ten years to build. Two of the remaining entrances were used by Emperor Titus and two for the gladiators. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2007 Geoeye. All Rights Reserved.

Satellite Remote Sensing to Assess Natural Disasters in Pakistan

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Heavy rain hammered Sindh and Balochistan, Pakistan since last week, leaving between 236 to 241 people dead as a result of floods throughout the country. The country being hit often by floods and other natural disasters have been captured on satellite images by various satellite remote sensors such as QuickBird, IKONOS, Modis, Landsat and other sensors to help government and emergency management agencies to assess and monitor damage from the floods. Satellite Images below captured disasters that hit Pakistan in 2005.


MODIS Satellite Sensor -

Pakistan Floods (February 2005)

Image Credit: NASA


QuickBird Satellite – Balakot, Pakistan

EarthQuake 7.6 Magnitude (October 8, 2005 )

The floods having affected 2400km of land affecting up to 2 million people and 250,000 displaced from their homes. President Gen. Pervez directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to carry out damage assessment of the total areas affected by the floods and to supply relief and rescue efforts to those in need.

Damage and Recovery Assessments for Floods

Remote Sensing gives state and government agencies the ability to view the damage from multiple vantage points. The spatial resolution of an image determines the ability to view individual features such as buildings and bridges. It also affects the ability to monitor and assess damage conditions, and depends on the nature of the hazard itself.

Government and local communities can better prepare for the next natural disaster by learning from past experiences. Satellite Imagery and GIS, can enable emergency management and community planners to better prepare for natural disaster impacts on their region. Estimates of the particular land cover classes that may be inundated by flooding can enable planners to better assess their region’s risk and vulnerability. With this type of information, planners are better able to prioritize and target mitigation and preparedness activities for their area.

Satellite Images for Improvement of Agriculture Production

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

With increasing population pressure throughout the world and the need for increased agricultural production there is a definite need for improved management of the world’s agricultural resources. To make this happen it is first necessary to obtain reliable data on not only the types, but also the quality, quantity and location of these resources. Satellite Images or Aerial Photography (Remote Sensing (RS) technology) has been and always will continue to be a very important factor in the improvement of the present systems of acquiring and generating agricultural and resources data.

Agriculture surveys are presently conducted throughout the world in order to gather information and statistics on crops, rangeland, livestock and other related agricultural resources. This information of data is most important for the implementation of effective management decisions. Agricultural survey is needed for planning and allocation of the limited resources to different sectors of the economy.

Managed Canopy Assessment

(QuickBird  Copyright © 2007 DigitalGlobe)

Please click on the image to enlarge.


Satellite Imaging Corporation provides high resolution satellite imagery to produce green vegetation maps to aid in identifying specific problem areas to help farmers and growers to make better long-term farming decisions. These maps show the integrated result of inputs and environmental, physical and cultural factors affecting crops. Calibrated data can assist in routinely and quantitatively assessment of vegetation amount, status and variation across land, from bare soil to a dense canopy, to better manage of crops this season and to work backward in time to identify yield-limiting factors.

Capturing overviews of large production areas with resolution down to 30-foot detail, AgroWatch Green Vegetation maps also show trends across multiple farms. To enhance in-season decisions the imagery program collects data at predefined times and delivers that data to you online in near real-time. Green Vegetation maps are a significant revenue-enhancing tool that shows you where to scout and sample, the extent and severity of problem areas and where to apply inputs, crop protection products, growth regulators or defoliants.

More information on AGROWATCH;

Green Vegetation Index

Soil Zone Index


Satellite imagery data at different spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions can be used for agriculture and crop assessment, crop health, change detection, environmental analysis, irrigated landscape mapping, yield determination and soils analysis. Images can show variations in organic matter and drainage patterns. Soils higher in organic matter can be differentiated from lighter sandier soil that has a lower organic matter content. This Geospatial information is valuable when used in conjunction with ancillary data to define management zones for a field. Once data has been collected it can be implemented into a mapping environment such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for management and control of agricultural resources.

AgroWatch is a registered trademark of DigitalGlobe.

Copyright © 2007 EarthMap Solutions and Satellite Imaging Corp. All rights reserved.