On January 31, 2013 DigitalGlobe, Inc.and GeoEye, Inc. announced the completion of their merger, creating one global leader in earth imagery and geospatial analysis, under the name DigitalGlobe. According to the press release, the combined company will trade on the NYSE stock exchange as DigitalGlobe under the symbol DGI. Based on the closing price of DigitalGlobe stock on January 30, 2013, the combined company has a market capitalization of $2.1 billion.
This story I wrote in July 2012 recounts the background of the two companies up to that time.
Geodesign is a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). “Geodesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts.” – Wikipedia
In a webcast presented by Carahsoft, Intermap representatives talked about the fact that they have “the world’s largest 3D terrain database with the one meter LE 90 accuracy and consistency.” LE 90 is a linear air of 90 percent, and is commonly used for quoting and validating DEMs. LE 90 value represents the linear vertical distance of 90 percent of control points, and the respective twin matching counterparts acquired in an independent geodetic survey should be found from each other. For the U.S., which most on this call is interested in, Intermap has mapped the entire lower 48 plus some of Alaska.
On Friday, May 4, GeoEye held an investor webcast announcing that it proposes to acquire DigitalGlobe, Inc., seen by DigitalGlobe as a “public hostile offer.” The combination of these two satellite imaging companies would form the world’s largest fleet of high resolution commercial imagery satellites, according to GeoEye.
Matt O’Connell CEO and President of GeoEye, said that the two companies combined would result in “greater capabilities to meet national security needs, be more cost effective to the U.S. government during a fiscally restrained period, improve value to decision makers, warfighters and shareholders.”
A quick overview of the proposed acquisition: DigitalGlobe shareholders will receive $17.00 per share in total consideration, payable $8.50 per share in cash and $8.50 in GeoEye stock, or 0.3537 shares of GeoEye stock for each share of DigitalGlobe stock. This price represents a 26% premium to DigitalGlobe’s closing share price on May 3, 2012. According to O’Connell, the proposal is structured to provide DigitalGlobe shareholders with the opportunity to participate in the dynamic future growth of the combined company.
High resolution imagery of sub-meter – less than 40 inches – is only available from GeoEye, DigitalGlobe, Astrium Geo, and ImageSat. It is what the stuff of Google is made of. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represent approximately 75% of this market, and 2/3 of their revenue is tied to the U.S. government. There are lots of free, government sources of satellite imagery like Landsat, and weather satellites from NASA and NOAA, but these are not high-resolution satellites that can zoom in on your house, or support 3D modeling for engineering and virtual reality-type applications.
Read about why U.S. commercial satellite imagery is important:
The Change Matters viewer from Esri can show how your area has changed over a given time period, say for instance, from 1988 to 1990. Las Vegas is known for its phenomenal sprawl over the past four decades. Time-lapseimages from the Landsat earth monitoring satellites reveal in false-color, multispectral imagery how urban sprawl has stretched out from Nevada’s “Sin City” over the past four decades.
This latest video was posted by NASA in honor of the 28th anniversary of Landsat 5’s launch on March 1, but the pictures actually go back to 1972, when the Landsat program began.
RapidEye announced that its imagery is being used by the MALAREO project help with malaria control programs in countries in southern Africa. Basically, the satellite is mapping the habitats of mosquitoes, which are generally considered malaria risk area. Funded by the European Commission under FP7, the MALAREO project is a mixed European-African consortium that embodies many years of malaria control expertise with the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) EO Capacity.
The MALAREO study area in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique is approximately 25,000 square kilometers that RapidEye data provided via the EC/ESA GMES Space Component Data Access (GSC-DA). Over five different days between July 18 and November 10, 2011, the data was gathered with total cloud cover of less than one percent. RSS – Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH, partner in the project consortium, is responsible for data processing and the development of Earth Observation (EO) products.
It is a little frightening to be able to identify by satellite imagery a hidden nuclear facility in Iran. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the facility was for “uranium enrichment” and was 18 months away from being operational. Satellite imagery company GeoEye has released a photo of what it says is this controversial and underground Iranian uranium enrichment site that was identified a week ago.
The overall view of the Iranian site. The mountain under which the site is built is to the lower right of the image. (Credit: GeoEye satellite image/IHS Jane's analysis)