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Archive for the ‘Google Earth’ Category

DigitalGlobe Request US government to Lift Restrictions on Commercial Satellite Imagery

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Satellite imagery provider DigitalGlobe has made a request for the US government to lift restrictions on the pixel resolution of available commercial satellite imagery to better compete against non-US-based companies.

DigitalGlobe argues that the quality of commercial aerial photography — like images available on Google and Bing map websites — is in more than 90 countries at 5-centimeters resolution. These images are taken from an aircraft, not a satellite.

The petition was made to the Commerce Department and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to lift restrictions that limit the quality of commercially available satellite images to 0.5 meter resolution.

Without the waiver, US government agencies and strategic partners will be the only customers allowed access to the highest resolution images.

The request was made on May 14, 2013 but has yet to receive a ruling. Astrium has also requested a lift to the French government. Astrium’s Pleiades 1A/1B satellite, offers satellite imagery at 0.5 meter resolution.

Other satellite sensors at 0.5m resolution includes DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2, WorldView-1, GeoEye-1 and the new and upcoming launch during 2014 of WorldView-3 will provide a resolution of 0.31 meters.

By allowing higher resolution satellite imagery to commercial customers will help the US maintain a technological edge over foreign companies.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company that provides high resolution satellite imagery and image processing services for analysis and to support Geographic Information System (GIS) and other mapping and research applications.

The company specializes in satellite imaging collections, producing seamless orthorectified imaging mosaics, DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications utilizing high, medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information, please contact us.


Satellite Imaging Corporation using GeoEye-1 Satellite Sensor to acquire Stereo Imagery at 0.5m Resolution for Production of 2m Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

Monday, March 9th, 2009

With the successful launch of GeoEye-1 satellite sensor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on September 6, 2008 at 11:50:57 Hrs (PST), successful completion of testing and calibration GeoEye released the satellite for commercial orders on February 5, 2009.

Since February 5, 2009, Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC) received orders from various customers to acquire new GeoEye-1 mono and stereo satellite imagery with image resolution of 0.5 meter supporting county tax mapping, engineering/ construction, mining, land development and natural resources management.

Satellite imagery is used for many GIS and CAD applications requiring detailed up-to-date image data for planning purposes and change detection. For three-dimensional (3D) applications, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), and contours can be delivered through high cost aircraft based LiDAR surveys. But with constricted budgets, elevation data is sometimes obtained from old and unreliable data sources with 10 meter or 30 meter postings. For international project planning, many exploration and engineering companies are limited to 30m ASTER DEM data sets or Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) 90 meter DEM data to have access to digital terrain models. When local topographic maps are available at a suitable scale, elevation contours are sometimes extracted from the topographic maps.


3 Meter IKONOS DSM – Pipeline Corridor

The GeoEye-1 and IKONOS satellite sensors provide the best solution for organizations and companies requiring cost-effective high-resolution image data and Digital Terrain Models (DTMs).

“With the increased geo-location position accuracy of the GeoEye-1 satellite sensor the number of required GPS derived Ground Control Points (GCP’s) can be drastically reduced, thereby reducing operational cost and security risks in foreign countries, making the GeoEye-1 satellite sensor a platform of choice to acquire 0.5 meter high-resolution imagery and DEM products.” said Leopold Romeijn, President of Satellite Imaging Corporation.

Covering large areas a horizontal position accuracy of <1 meter can be obtained with just one or two GCP’s, and without any GCP’s, geo-location accuracies of <5 meter can be achieved depending on terrain conditions and collection geometry during the time of image data collection.

GIS and CAD professionals are now able to work with satellite imagery at 0.5 meter resolution, 2 meter digital raster DEMs, 1 meter elevation contours and TIN models, thereby facilitating a 3D computer work environments, supporting the planning and construction of roads, facilities, pipelines and many other project applications.

Somali Pirates Hijacked Tanker, M/V Sirius Star, Located by GeoEye IKONOS High-Resolution Satellite Sensor

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

GeoEye IKONOS Satellite collects high-resolution (<1m) image on November 20th, 2008 of the hijacked supertanker Sirius Star owned by ARAMCO of Saudi Arabia. The vessel is located 5 miles off the Somalia coast at WGS-84 ECEF Latitude 4.595? North and Longitude 48.085? East. The IKONOS Satellite Image was acquired from 423 miles in space while the IKONOS satellite was moving from north to south over the East coast of Africa at 17,000 mph. (4 miles per second).

The IKONOS satellite IKONOS Satellite sensor acquired a high-resolution satellite image of the supertanker M/V Sirius Star hijacked by Somali pirates on Saturday November 15 2008.

IKONOS Satellite Image of Sirius Star Supertanker

The brand new M/V Sirius Star supertanker, with a 25-member crew and owned by Saudi oil company Aramco, is 330 meters (1,083 feet) long, about the length of an aircraft carrier, making it one of the largest ships to sail the seas. The area lies far south of the zone where warships have increased their patrols this year in the Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest channels in the world, leading to and from the Suez Canal, and the scene of most past attacks.

It was the largest vessel seized yet in a surge of pirate attacks, and the farthest out to sea that the well-armed fighters, bolstered by millions in past ransoms, have successfully struck. Maritime experts warned that the broad daylight attack, reported by the U.S. Navy on Monday November 17, 2008 , was an alarming sign of the difficulty of patrolling a vast stretch of ocean key for oil and other cargo traffic and confirmed the vessel, carrying around 2million barrels of oil, has anchored off the coast of Somalia near the city of Harardera.

Remote sensing technology provides an additional security tool to monitor business assets on a global level. With the successful launch of the GeoEye-1 Satellite on September 6th, 2008 providing image resolutions of 0.5m, more information can be analyzed and Rush security tasking collections become faster than ever.

For GeoEye-1 Satellite Sensor specifications Click Here.

For more information about IKONOS or GeoEye-1 satellite imaging products and satellite tasking services for security and other applications, please contact us.

Virunga National Park Gorilla Murders – Caught in the Line of Fire – Satellite Imaging Update

Friday, July 4th, 2008

On July 2007, four rare mountain gorillas from the Rugendo Family were senselessly shot execution style in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Virunga National Parks. An estimated 700 of these primates remain in the wild, and this is one of the worst massacres of mountain gorillas since scientist Dian Fossey began battling poachers 40 years ago in the very same region. The question remains who killed these magnificent creatures and most of all why?

Kuryama the Mountain Gorilla

Orphan – “Nedeze”

Orphan – “Ndakasi”

Photo Credit: Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Virunga National Park established in 1925 is Africa’s First National Park, bordered by Uganda and Rwanda contains 790,000 hectares of the greatest diversity of habitats that range from glaciers at 16,000 ft to lowland forest at 1,800 ft, and include savannas, wetlands, bamboo, montane forest, and active volcanoes. It harbors more bird (706) and mammal (196) species than any other Park in Africa, and contains 109 reptiles, 78 amphibians, at least 2,077 plant species. From steppes, savannas and lava plains, swamps, lowland and forests to volcanoes, thousands of hippopotamuses and elephants live in the park’s rivers and its mountains are a critical area for the survival of the endangered mountain and lowland gorillas.

Landsat 5 Satellite Image IKONOS Satellite Image of Visoke

Virunga National Parks Volcano 3D Terrain Model

Virunga National Parks and its endangered mountain gorillas have been caught in a deadly crossfire for years between militia groups and the Congolese Army. It is a bloody conflict complicated by the pressures of a surging refugee population and an illegal $30 million charcoal trade decimating the park and threatening the gorillas’ lives.

On Tuesday, July 1st and 5th, 2008, National Geographic Channel’s “Explorer: Gorilla Murders” reports from eastern DRC, with the full untold story behind the massacre. National Geographic journalists will be the first Westerners to gain access to the gorilla sector of the park since the killings occurred. National Geographic presents exclusive testimonials from eyewitnesses, who discuss the hunt to bring the perpetrators to justice and the desperate efforts to protect the remaining gorillas, including a lucky little infant who was found still clinging to its mother.

For more information on this special episode visit National Geographic.

“Explorer: Gorilla Murders” is produced by National Geographic Television and Film. Executive producer is Jonathan Halperin, senior producer is Robert Zakin and producer/director is Michael Davie. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Kathleen Cromley; senior vice president of production is Juliet Blake; and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.

To view our story on “How Conservationist and Scientists Use Satellite Image Technology to Monitor the Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Parks go here.

More on the massacred Rugendo Gorilla Family.

To read Dian Fossey’s Articles in National Geographic

Wildlife Direct – read the latest up to minute news about the mountain gorillas, cheetahs, rhinos, bonobos, and other large African wildlife.

About Us

Satellite Imaging Corporation provides satellite imagery and GIS mapping in support of conservation for groups such as Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and provides imagery with valuable information on land cover and use changes for wildlife protected areas utilizing satellite sensors such as QuickBird, IKONOS, SPOT-5, LANDSAT, ASTER, ALOS and Aerial Photography for assessment and monitoring of our forests.

Satellite images provide extremely useful information to Conservationists, Scientists and Researchers in viewing out-of-the-way remote places. Conservationists, for example, must monitor far-flung areas in need of protection. Wars, poverty, remoteness, lack of government involvement, and uncertainty over the best places and ways to focus limited resources can all hinder conservation efforts. Now, satellite imagery is giving scientists and conservationists some of the tools they need to get valuable information on land cover and land use changes in wild areas that are in need of protection.

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 Views of Ancient Observatories

Friday, December 15th, 2006

Satellite Imaging is happy to release views of ten ancient observatories from its collection of IKONOS Satellite images. The locations shown are ancient temples, observatories, and gathering places of civilizations long gone, taken from the IKONOS satellite sensor.

Following are brief descriptions and thumbnail photographs of each observatory site. Click the thumbnails or the More information links to read additional information and see a full size, high-resolution photograph of each site.

Angkor Wat – Cambodia

Angkor Wat

Created as a constant reminder of a greater cosmic order, Angkor Wat shows several apparent solar alignments with a nearby mountaintop shrine. More on Angkor Wat

Casa Rinconada – New Mexico, United States

Casa Rinconada

Casa Rinconada, built between 1070 and 1110 AD, sits on an isolated hill about one-half mile across the canyon from Pueblo Bonito. One of the six great community kivas in the area, the structure is about 20 meters across and four to five meters deep. A 1970s survey of the area found this site to have precise solstice and equinox alignments. The main axis of the kiva is aligned through doorways on both the north and south sides. Modeled on a perfect circle, niches in the interior form an east-west line. Scientists who measured the alignments of these features found the accuracy of the north-south alignment to be within 45 arc-seconds or three-quarter of a degree while the error in the east-west alignment is only eight arc-seconds. Solar alignments occur on the winter and summer solstices when sunlight entering the kiva falls upon one of six irregular niches. From a given niche, the sun framed in the narrow window could be seen. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Casa Rinconada in Chaco Canyon on September 7, 2004. Photo credit: GeoEye

Chankillo — Peru

Satellite Image - Chankillo, Peru

About 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Lima, Peru, lies an enigmatic, 2,300-year-old observatory named Chankillo on January 13, 2002, the central complex appears in the upper left with its concentric rings of fortified walls. The Thirteen Towers (Southeast of the central complex) were the key to the scientist’s conclusion that the site was a solar observatory. These regularly spaced towers line up along a hill, separated by about 5 meters (16 feet). The towers are easily seen from Chankillo’s central complex, but the views of these towers from the eastern and western observing points are especially illuminating. Although the dark shapes in the northeast seem like rock outcrops, they are actually trees. These viewpoints are situated so that, on the winter and summer solstices, the sunrises and sunsets line up with the towers at either end of the line. Other solar events, such as the rising and setting of the Sun at the mid-points between the solstices, were aligned with different towers. Photo credit: GeoEye

Chichen Itza — Mexico

Satellite Photo - Chichen Itza, Mexico

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. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Chichen Itza on March 5, 2001. Photo credit: GeoEye

Dzibilchaltun — Mexico

Satellite Picture - Dzibilchaltun, Mexico

The highlight of Dzibilchaltun, or “Place of Stone Writing,” is watching the equinox sunrise through a door of the Temple of Seven Dolls. The Mayan city, first built in 300 BC, was occupied when Spaniards discovered the city. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Dzibilchaltun on February 17, 2001. Photo credit: GeoEye

Easter Island — Chile

Satellite Image - Easter Island, Chile

Called the Navel of the World, Easter Island is home to over a half-dozen volcanoes and more than 880 statues called moai (pronounced mo-eye). Ranging from just a few feet to more than 30 feet tall, the enigmatic statues weigh up to 150 tons. They were hewn from volcanic material from quarries on the slopes of the Rano Raraku volcano sometime after 300 AD. While nearly all of the moai face toward the interior of the island, seven moai at Aku Akivi, not shown in the image, face towards the ocean and a point on the horizon where the sun sets during the equinox. Explorer, Captain James Cook gave the island its modern name in 1774. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of eastern Easter Island on December 6, 2003. Photo credit: GeoEye

Machu Picchu — Peru

Satellite Images - Machu Picchu, Peru

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. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Machu Picchu on September 8, 2003. Photo credit: GeoEye

Mayapan — Mexico

Aerial Photography - Mayapan, Mexico

Mayapan, reaching its zenith around 1200 AD, represents one of the largest assemblages of Mayan ruins in the Yucatan and is one of the few walled Mayan cities. The largest pyramid is the Castle of Kukulkan, made as a smaller replica of the Castle of Chichen Itza. Mayapan also is home to many circular buildings, or observatories. The Mayas astronomical knowledge helped them predict the exact time of solar and planetary events and aided in the creation of precise calendars.

GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Mayapan on September 19, 2001. Photo credit: GeoEye

Stonehenge — United Kingdom

Satellite Image - Stonehenge, England

Possibly the world’s most recognized ancient observatory, Stonehenge’s ring of stones was built more than 5000 years ago on a wind-swept hill near Salisbury, United Kingdom. Recent theories support construction in about 2000 BC by a late Neolithic people known as the Beakers. Their addition to the project included adding a double ring of stones inside the original earthen henge. More than 80 “bluestones,” some weighing up to four tons, were transported several hundred miles from quarries in Wales. Controversy surrounds some of the possible stellar alignments at Stonehenge, but on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, the rising sun does appear behind the “Heel Stone.” As the sun rises, the shadow cast by the Heel Stone creeps up the length of rock and into the heart of the five interior “sarsen” pillar stones. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Stonehenge on March 27, 2002. Photo credit: GeoEye

Teotihuacan — Mexico

Satellite Map - Teotihuacan, Mexico

Rising 20 stories above the central Mexican highlands, the pyramids of Teotihuacan (pronounced tay-oh-tee-wah-con) were central to Toltec learning and culture. The city, about the size of ancient Athens and Rome, was abandoned about 1500 years ago. Using an advanced understanding of mathematics, geometry and astronomy, the Toltecs built the largest pyramid, “The Pyramid of the Sun,” with an alignment to coincide with the two days (May 19th and July 25th) when the sun would be directly over the top of the pyramid at noon. This would also create an alignment to the east toward the rising sun and to the west for the setting sun. This pyramid has a base only 10 feet shorter on each side than the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Teotihuacan on October 12, 2001. Photo credit: GeoEye

Uxmal — Mexico

Satellite Image - Uxmal, Mexico

Founded in about 500 AD, Uxmal (pronounced “oosh-mahl”) was the most powerful site in western Yucatan. Many of the buildings rely simply on well-cut stones with no mortar. Astronomical alignments at Uxmal surround the planet Venus. The orientation of the long Palace of the Governor acts as a sighting with other buildings at Uxmal pointing to the southernmost rise location of Venus, which occurs once every eight years. GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite took this image of Uxmal on August 8, 2002. Photo credit: GeoEye

Using Google Earth to Create an ‘Area of Interest’ for Custom Satellite Images

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

We’re excited about a new section of content we’ve built at the main SIC site. A new page, entitled “Google Earth: Identifying High-Resolution Satellite Target Locations,” is now stored in our Satellite Image Resources section.

Google Earth has done much to popularize satellite imaging at an informal level. While the imagery offered by programs such as Google Earth falls short of custom, high-resolution satellite imagery, we’re happy that this sort of technology is becoming widespread, and we’re eager to show its audience how such technology can represent the very first step in procuring exquisitely detailed, high-resolution images for engineering and other commercial projects.

With that in mind, we built a special page that explains how to use Google Earth to find your “Area of Interest” when beginning to research your satellite image needs. The following image shows a screen shot of Google Earth (this particular shot shows the Apple Computer campus in Cupertino, CA, as viewed through the program).

A larger version of this image of the Apple Computer campus is used on SIC's Google Earth page to describe how Google Earth displays image coordinates

Following are just some of the things discussed in the larger article: A brief history of Google Earth. Explains different pricing options and features.

Image quality of Google Earth vs. custom imagery. Compares QuickBird and Google Earth versions of imagery of Hurghada, Egypt.

Google Earth features. Using Google Earth’s “Fly to” feature and learning how to find and document the “opposite corner” coordinates of your target location.

Using Google Earth to preview your custom satellite photo. Get a look at what your custom image will look like.

Satellite Image of Face in Alberta, Canada Hills

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

As first seen at Search Engine Watch, we wanted to point out a “face” in the Canadian hills, as found by a Google Earth user. Following is an image of the face, located at 50.010611, -110.113422 in southeast Alberta (snapped in Google Earth):

This westward-looking face was spotted via a Google Earth user.

Among the many humorous comments at Digg is this simple gem:

“The road makes it look like he is wearing an iPod.”

Yes, we think we see the resemblance:


(Image snapped at the official Apple iPod Ads page.)