First Public High Res Satellite Struts Its Stuff, Releases Sample Images of Madrid


Cue privacy overreaction in three… two… one…

Remember DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3, the first high-res public imaging satellite we told you about earlier this month? Well, it’s up in orbit, and the company wants to show off just how capable the WorldView-3 really is.

Less than a week after Lockheed Martin got the thing into orbit, the folks on the ground opened up the door on the main telescope and began prepping it to snap picture of Madrid, Spain. Pictures DigitalGlobe just released to show you just how well this thing can count the number of shingles on the roof of your house.

Here’s a look at a few of the images DigitalGlobe is sharing with the world (click here to download the full-res, uncompressed TIF files). The image at the top is the full photograph; the photos below are cropped sections of that image:










Interestingly enough, as clear as these images are, this isn’t even an accurate representation of what the satellite can do. As Digital Globe points out on their website, “because of the regulatory restrictions, we can’t yet display the 30 cm native resolution data, so we’re sharing imagery resampled to 40 cm.”

That will all change in February though, when the true full-res files will be available to clients who want to do anything from monitoring roadways, to keeping track of natural resources, to… well… counting the shingles on your roof… if they’re into that sort of thing.

Head over to the DigitalGlobe website to find out more and see these images in all their full-res, uncompressed glory.

(via Engadget)

  • BT

    What’s this hype about? Google Earth has images from 2011 from these places that easily outresolve these new images (I compared the uncompressed ones). Why would this impress anybody?

  • OtterMatt

    They did say that they can’t release the highest-res images, and people have known for decades that the government always has access to better than what the public has.


    so what if the government has some better resolution images its not like they can much with it anyways its not some fantasy where they can track you with it.

  • OtterMatt

    Of course. It’s not anything new or demonstrably better, it’s just another excuse for thick people to throw a fit over nonexistent privacy issues. Unless it can see through your roof, then why bother?


    they probably use the hires stuff for tracking military of other country and key target areas for example covert nuclear sites. Yup people have no need to worry about imagining satellite they cant do much to spy on you while other communications spy satellites could be more of a problem.

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    I get that these are slightly sharper, but I can currently see all of this detail in Bing Maps, Google Maps, etc… Not only can I see all of that, but if I switch to “Birds Eye View” in Bing maps, I can see even more detail from each perspective cardinal directions.

  • Scott M.

    The difference is google and bing don’t offer the same location as a new photo daily or hourly. these guys do.

  • Latente3

    Google hi-res are made with elicopter and planes.

  • Latente3

    Google and Bing hires are done with helicoptesrs not satellite.

  • Jampy Joe

    good god, learn to read.
    you know … the article you’re commenting about?

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