Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Fate of U.S. Commercial Satellite Imagery - Why You Should Care - GeoEye Feature in Article

Satellite imagery was something that the general public did not have access to before 2005. People caught glimpses of the stories satellite imagery could tell only from documentaries produced from the likes of Nova and National Geographic. Google Earth changed all that June 2005 and made satellite imagery accessible to anyone with a computer, for free. Google Earth has inspired the world to think differently about the earth because it has made these images accessible.

But what’s the source of all this satellite imagery (or what is termed Earth observation)? There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications. High-resolution imagery (sub-meter—that's less than 40 inches) for commercial use is currently only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S. government...

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