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2011 Aerial & Satellite Imaging News
The minimum order area for archive imagery has been reduced from 50 km2 to 25 km2. To qualify for archive pricing, imagery is now only required to be 30 days old instead of 90 days. For new tasking collections new priority and no-snow options have been added (uplift charges apply).
DigitalGlobe (QuickBird, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2)
"Ortho Ready" Stereo option reduces minimum order size for stereo imagery to 100 km2 and lowers the price on the Bundle
(50cm PAN + 2m 4-band MS) product option (commonly used with high-res optical stereo satellite). 8-band is also now formally available as a stereo product option. In addition, DigitalGlobe has announced that after extensive testing they are able to improve the absolute accuracy specifications for WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 imagery to 5m for both horizontal (CE90) and vertical (LE90) -- these specifications are exclusive of terrain displacement and apply to imagery with an off-nadir angle of less than 30 degrees. For demanding applications, these already high native accuracies can be further improved with the use of photo-identifiable ground control.
DigitalGlobe Precision Aerial (UltraCamG)
Via a partnership between DigitalGlobe and Microsoft, a "Wall-to-Wall" 30 cm or better complete coverage aerial ortho mosaic is being acquired of the conterminous US and Western Europe (the program was previously referred to as "Clear 30" however Germany and select urban areas are being acquired at 15cm resolution). Most areas are already available for purchase -- contact LAND INFO for a status graphic to see if your area of interest (AOI) is available. By employing a common sensor (UltraCamG) for all imagery collection, high quality is consistently maintained. Accuracy is an outstanding 4m CE 90 for standard tiles and 2.7m CE90 for high-value areas. All imagery is eye-pleasing, tonally balanced and cloud-free. In addition to the 30cm or better true/natural color imagery, 60 cm color infrared (CIR) is also available. As an off-the-shelf product, pricing is significantly less than custom aerial flights and refresh plans will maintain the currency of this premium quality imagery. Additional information and specifications available via the DigitalGlobe Precision Aerial downloadable .pdf. For pricing details and sample imagery, please contact LAND INFO.
NAIP (National Agriculture Imagery Program, 1m aerials, US only)
NAIP aerial photography is acquired by USDA contractors during agricultural growing seasons and is an effective option to cover large areas with relatively recent imagery (in 2010 thirty states were flown). The imagery is traditionally 3-band true/natural color however,
in 2010 all thirty states were flown as 4-band. NAIP imagery is available as 3-band CCMs (Compressed County Mosaics), tonally balanced (not entirely seamlessly) and mosaicked by county or 3.75 minute GeoTiff QQs (Quarter Quads -- 3-band or 4-band depending on the source imagery). Except for some older 2m datasets, NAIP imagery is 1m resolution. 2010 and 2011 NAIP offers 6m CE 90 accuracy, older NAIP imagery accuracy specs called for the imagery to achieve a +/- 5m match (+/- 10m in the case of the 2m imagery) to reference USGS DOQQs which had a 10m CE90 accuracy. Except for a small missing section of Southern Nevada, NAIP offers full coverage of the conterminous USA -- LAND INFO offers a "best of the NAIP" compilation available for immediate delivery on external hard drive.
RapidEye’s constellation of five 5m resolution satellites continues to prove itself as a cost-effective option for large-area coverage with up-to-date imagery. The constellation has the capability to collect 4 million km2 daily and, in just two years of commercial operations, has amassed over 2 billion km2 in its archive (to put that into perspective the landmass of the entire Earth is approximately 150 million km2.) The imagery’s 5 12-bit bands aid classification projects and allows for eye-pleasing true color mosaics. Please contact LAND INFO for format recommendations.
ALOS (Advanced Land Observing Satellite)
Launched by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in January, 2006, ALOS suffered a power generation anomaly on April 22, 2011 that led to official deactivation on May 12, 2011. While new collects are no longer being made, the satellite acquired approximately 6,500,000 scenes over its five year operation which are available at comparatively low cost. The satellite carried three sensors: PRISM (2.5m pan with triplet stereo capability), AVNIR-2 (10m 4-band 8-bit multi-spectral) and PALSAR (10m-100m L-band SAR).
SPOT Image (Astrium GEO-Information Services)
Pléiades 1 (50cm pan, 2m 4-band multi-spectral) is scheduled to launch from the Soyuz launch pad in Guyana during the fourth quarter of 2011.
SPOTMaps 2.5m color ortho mosaic coverage continues to expand, now available for over 100 countries (numerous countries updated).
SPOT DEM (30m) coverage from the off-shelf Reference3D tiles has also continued to expand and can be custom created as needed from the large archive of SPOT 5 HRS. Additionally, via the new Elevation30 product offering, radar imagery can be used for 30m DEMs in areas where weather conditions are not favorable to optical imagery.
TanDEM-X (Astrium GEO-Informaton Services)
Early in 2011, the TanDEM-X satellite was successfully synced with the TerraSAR-X satellite for a multi-year interferometric radar collection, to ultimately allow for global 10m DEM creation (10m LE90 absolute vertical accuracy, 2m relative vertical accuracy.) In the meantime, up to 10m DSMs are available by applying radargrammetric processing techniques to TerraSAR-X StripMap Stereo Pairs
(3m ground resolution.) Radar-derived DSMs can be ideal for high cloud-cover tropical areas.
Intermap Technologies, Inc.
The minimum order for NEXTMap 3D terrain has been reduced to 12 km2. NEXTMap offers off-shelf 5m resolution (up to 1m LE90 vertical accuracy) DEM coverage of the conterminous US and Western Europe – select additional coverage includes Puerto Rico,
Jamaica and parts of Alaska, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
LDCM (Landsat Data Continuity Mission)
Pre-ship testing on the Landsat 8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) satellite has completed and is currently scheduled to launch in December 2012. Consistent with Landsat 7, Landsat 8 will offer 15m pan and 30m MS (the same six bands but with a narrower range.) To allow scenes to precisely align with its three immediate predecessors, orbital characteristics are identical to Landsat 4, 5 and 7 – 705km altitude with a mid-morning equatorial crossing, 185km wide imaging swath and 16 day re-visit. The satellite is not, however, without changes -- the thermal bands have been dropped but the dynamic range has improved to 12-bit and two new bands have been added. The Coastal Aerosol band is designed to improve imaging of sediment in shallow coastal waters, while the Cirrus Cloud band will facilitate automated cloud-cover assessment. In addition, the Landsat 8 satellite will carry a larger onboard recorder that will enable it to regularly collect up to 400 scenes worldwide per day (150 more scenes per day than L7) and the accuracy has improved to 65m CE90 (exclusive of terrain displacement.)
USGS (United States Geological Survey) will operate the satellite and process all Landsat 8 products. The US launched seven Landsat satellites between 1972 and 1999 – all, except Landsat 6 (which failed at launch), met or exceeded their design lives
(with the caveat that Landsat 7 has been operating with the SLC-off anomaly since May 2003.) The nearly 40 year continuous
and consistent collection of moderate resolution multispectral imagery represents the longest uninterrupted record of the Earth’s surface conditions. Over two million scenes are held in US archives, with additional imagery held by International Cooperator receiving stations.
On behalf of LAND INFO, we look forward to meeting your imagery needs.
LAND INFO Worldwide Mapping, LLC
LAND INFO is a leading provider of worldwide digital topographic map data (DRGs, DEMs & vector layers), high-res satellite imagery (WorldView-2, WorldView-1, QuickBird, GeoEye-1, & IKONOS), medium-res satellite imagery (SPOT Image, ALOS & RapidEye) and processing services such as DEM generation from stereo pairs, vector feature extraction, ortho-rectification, tonal balancing, mosaic output, wavelet compression and accuracy assessment. The company is a DigitalGlobe Distribution Partner, GeoEye Authorized Distributor, Astrium GEO-Innformation Services SPOT Image Partner, RapidEye Direct Distributor, Authorized Intermap Data Distributor, USGS Business Partner and ESRI Business Partner.