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DigitalGlobe’s Wood votes for easy availability of satellite imagery

Rotterdam: The world is constantly changing due to a plethora of reasons such as military conflicts, natural disasters, infrastructure and climate change, and geopolitical instability and the geospatial industry’s job is to accurately capture all these changes, said Stephen Wood, Vice President, Analytics Centre, DigitalGlobe, USA.

Wood, who was talking on the ‘trends in commercial satellite imagery’ at the opening plenary of the Geospatial World Forum 2013, said from being seen as a spy satellite company, DigitalGlobe (and other commercial satellite companies across the world) have come a long way where they are constantly monitoring the changes on the earth’s surface – be it human rights violations for Amnesty International or conflicts in Sudan for the Sat Sentinel project. “We are watching refugee camps for the UN and NGOs, monitoring climate changes, growing infrastructure, studying crime zones, and such… it is not only our company that is changing. That is a trend across the world and increasing capabilities and demand for location information which is driving this change,” he said.

DigitalGlobe has five commercial satellites in space today which enables it five times better coverage of the earth at 60% faster speed. It has four billion square km of satellite imagery and Wood said that the company claims equal amount of time and money to get that data to earth and process it and make it ready for use. Wood, however, added the process has to be simpler and available on lighter tablets and iPads so that more and more people can exploit the information contained in this huge amount of data. “We do not have enough satellite experts and we are always apprehensive what if out of this four billion sq km imagery, some pivotal information is going missing. We need the world to extract information from these images and that is the direction we would like to see the technology moving towards,” he said.

Source: Our Correspondent

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