Today DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colorado, announced the successful launch of WorldView-3, the company’s sixth and highly advanced high-resolution, super-spectral commercial satellite. From Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the satellite launched on a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket at 11:10 PDT.
Posts Tagged ‘DigitalGlobe’
The Exhibit Floor reveals industry trends, as vendors respond to requests of their customers with timely products and services. The emphasis at Esri UC 2014 was on data and apps, reflecting the trends discussed in Monday’s Plenary session. Global data, the mining of crowdsourcing data, spatial analytics to business users, the launch of WorldView-3 that will open up worlds of data previously unable to be explored – are just a few of the exciting areas covered in the exhibits and special vendor presentations.
This year marked the 22nd Esri conference for veteran company TomTom, which derived originally from the company GDT and later TeleAtlas. According to John Cassidy, vice president of sales and James Pardue, licensing, TomTom’s focus has evolved from the original interest in making Census data better back in the GDT days, to spatial navigation in the present day. Hardware, analytical, navigation and spatial are the primary areas of their business.
“Everyone wants global data,” said Cassidy. “TomTom is heavily invested in the crowdsourcing model.”
Cassidy said that in 2013, 6 billion pieces of information per day were processed by TomTom. In 2014, already 9 billion pieces of information per day have been processed. Their focus has become quality accuracy and quality control.
“Real world users are more valuable,” said Cassidy. “A lot information is gathered using smartphones.”
According to an article in The Telegraph, an unprecendented crowd-sourcing effort was launched to scour the internet looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Big data and services to manage big data were among the hot topics of Esri UC 2013. Companies that provided these opportunities were in large part Esri partners.
As a result of the cloud and mobile/location intelligence, we can now ingest data that previously required an enormous amount of effort to be made usable. The question still remains as to who is qualified to access the data, but data now breaks out of its previous stagnancy with the growth of technology potential.
Who can use GIS now? Just about everyone.
Although the federal government was not well represented at the conference because of steep cutbacks, the products and services showcased catered to the federal, state and local governments, with disaster response, emergency preparedness, intelligence and other related fields. There is not a geospatial company out there that doesn’t tailor their application/server platform to that market.
Some of the companies visited that fall within these categories include:
In a move that the geospatial industry had been expecting, on Monday, GeoEye announced plans to combine with competitor DigitalGlobe in a deal worth $900 million. This move is in response to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency informing both companies that it plans to curtail funding for its $7.3 billion EnhancedView contract, pieces of which were awarded to both firms in 2010.
The two former competitors provide photos and satellite imagery from satellites that are contracted by the NGA, the products of which are generally sold to federal agencies, the military and other government institutions.
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.
Jeff Culwell vice president of operations, DigitalGlobe talked about what led up to their anticipated WorldView-3 satellite and the details about it. The satellite is slated for launch in mid-2014. The announcement was made at the 28th Annual National Space Symposium.
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 Denver area has become a center of satellite imagery providers in recent years. Proposed steep cuts in the U.S. Department of Defense budget could affect satellite-imagery providers DigitalGlobe, headquartered in Longmont, and GeoEye,based in Virginia with a processing and operations center in Thornton. Combined, the companies have about 1,200 employees.
Patrick Meier, PhD, director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi and previously co-directed Harvard’s Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning, has a blog, where he outlines a project of the “Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF)” new team recently launched called the Satellite Imagery Team. This team is in Somalia due to a partnership with UNHCR, DigitalGlobe, Tomnod, SBTF and Ushahidi.