3_5 Earth Imaging Broadcast (DigitalGlobe, LiDAR and More)

Hello, and welcome to GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Esri’s Geodesign Summit.

Today’s Top Story is DigitalGlobe. I don’t normally lead with a commercial company as my Top Story, but when you make major headlines for two separate and important events, Top Story it is …

For starters, DigitalGlobe announced the full availability of 30-centimeter-resolution satellite imagery products for sale to the general public. Aerial imagery now has serious competition at these fine resolutions, combined with satellites’ traditional advantages in coverage rates and cost. This could truly change the Earth Imaging industry.

At almost the same time, DigitalGlobe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to combine expertise in Earth-observation technologies for economic, social and scientific development as well as improved decision making, particularly in developing countries.

According to Jeffrey R. Tarr, DigitalGlobe president and CEO, “The arrangement provides an ideal platform to explore how high-resolution satellite imagery and geospatial analytics can be more efficiently and effectively shared across the entire United Nations System, thus propelling us toward our purpose of ‘seeing a better world.’”

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this interview clip from Esri’s Geodesign Summit. The full interview, and many more, is available on GeoSpatial Stream.

The National Ecological Observation Network released new sample data from its Airborne Observation Platform. The full-waveform LiDAR data allow researchers to measure object heights and get a clear understanding of plant density and species type.

The Space Foundation is presenting the Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award to the NASA/Industry EFT-1 Team, which spearheaded the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which recently traveled farther from Earth than any other human-rated spacecraft since Apollo 17 in 1972. The Orion program hopes to again lead humans beyond a low-Earth orbit and travel toward the moon, Mars and beyond.

Previous Morrow Award winners included Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tom Hanks and the recently departed Leonard Nimoy. That seems like fitting company for a mission truly pushing toward the Final Frontier.

In industry headlines, ExactEarth released a free e-book, Arctic Shipping, Defining the Future, which covers how track-pattern analysis can be used for safer routing measures and how density maps can be used for environmental models and impact studies.

A print book, Abstract Machine: Humanities GIS, was published by Esri Press. It describes how GIS maps can be used to explore and interpret events in literature, history and culture.

Google added “via zipline” to its latest Street View images, capturing details of the upper canopy of an Amazon rainforest in partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation.

And MARPLOT 5.0, free mapping software jointly developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for responding to hazardous chemical spills, was released, featuring new mapping options, better data searching and expanded utility for disaster response.

For today’s Final Thought, I wanted to thank my friends at SPAR Point Group for inviting me to another successful International LiDAR Mapping Forum, which was recently held in Denver, Colorado. I’ve been to this event many times, as it seems to have found a home in my state, and I always find it educational, motivational and well, fun.

I love events like this where it’s a tight-knit group and you see a lot of familiar faces, sometimes with new companies, and the atmosphere is what I call “collaboratively competitive.” Everyone wants to succeed, but I believe those in attendance would like everyone else to succeed as well, and it doesn’t often feel that way at trade shows.

That’s it for this broadcast, but if you’d like to receive alerts when new GeoSpatial Stream videos are released, or sign up for additional V1 Media newsletters, please visit this Web site and register:


I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.