What you need to know!
Satellites provide us with a unique overview of our planet. About 5000 satellites are orbiting above us and about 700 of these specifically record earth observation data. As satellites continuously orbit the earth, they enable us to track physical trends, changes, and developments over long periods of time – and in great details. Satellites enable us to derive digital twins or our planet, and document all the change and dynamics on the surface – and this can be used for a wide range of applications.
We use the term spatial resolution to describe the level of detail seen in the images. Generally speaking, a higher spatial resolution enables us to see finer details on the surface. Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite images have a spatial resolution below 2 meters, and the best VHR sensors capture our planet in a 30 centimeter spatial resolution.
Temporal resolution is used to describe how often we are able to acquire a new image from the satellite over the same area. Some satellites will capture images of specific locations each day, some once a week – and some can be tasked specifically to take an image over a given area on a specific time on a specific day. The footprint of a satellite indicates the area of the earth covered by a single image. For some satellites, the footprint is several hundreds of square kilometers, and for some it is only a few square kilometers.
What can we see and detect with VHR imagery?
The image below is taken from Maxar/DigitalGlobe’s Worldview-3, a very high resolution satellite. The spatial resolution is 30 cm, meaning each pixel in the image corresponds to a real world area of 30 cm x 30 cm.
These type of images can be used to identify archaeological markings or make use of the multi spectral bands in combination with artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify the species of trees and provide information about their overall health or estimate the potential yield of an entire orchard. High resolution images are available from commercial providers such as Maxar/DigitalGlobe, Airbus and Planet.
We can see:
We can not see:
Satellites were once restricted to intelligence agencies and selected researchers.
Today, the developments within the space industry are driving the prices down, enabling the use of satellite images for almost everybody.
All places around the globe are equally accessible. Whether you need images of a suburb in Sydney or a forest in Siberia, these can be easily acquired by an imaging satellite.
The wide variety of satellites means you can get the perfect images for your location, time frame and budget.
Most providers will let you choose the areas and dates that you need online.
The images come in well-known formats such as GeoTiff or NetCDF, and can be loaded into your favourite GIS program.
Is VHR imagery available anywhere in the world?
Yes, imagery can be provided for any location on earth.
Through our distribution agreements with almost all commercial satellite operators we make sure the latest news and details are available to our customers.
Want to know more about VHR satellite data? Need a quote for imagery? Want to see what’s available for your area?
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