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.
In an interview with Richard Zambuni, Bentley’s Global Marketing Director, Geospatial & Utilities, Benoit Fredericque, Product Manager II (Responsible for Bentley MicroStation/Descartes Point Cloud Product Management and 3D City GIS), and Faraz Ravi, Director of Product Management (Responsible for Pointools), Bentley Descartes 8i new functionality was discussed.
According to Rayonier New Zealand’s Philip Elworthy, the new Cable Harvesting Planning Solution (CHPS) will help foresters in New Zealand and possibly around the world, to harvest logs from very steep plantations more efficiently. This announcement was made to delegates at a forestry geographic information systems conference organised by Scion in Rotorua.
Some steep terrain harvesting was already taking place in New Zealand, but most of this planting occurred in the early 1990s and would be ready for harvest in the next five to 10 years, creating “huge challenges” for harvest planners, said Elworthy.
On this type of land, this is generally done by cable harvesting, where felled trees are lifted on cables to a central hauler that can be cost effectively reached by trucks. CHPS combines planning software with Esri ArcGIS software to allow planners to model a plantation and configure the most effective locations in which to position the hauler and cables for least environmental impact.
CHPS has been developed by Rayonier, Geographic Business Solutions (GBS) and Atlas Technology, with input from various industry group, including Rotorua’s Scion crown research institute. It will be presented in the United States next month at a conference organised by Esri.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s new PETMAN robot expresses none of the fatigue of a human soldier, and whether he can leap buildings with a single bound is yet to be discovered. This innovation fof DARPA’s has sparked the new contest that aims to develop technology that advances robotics to the next level. The level at which robots can do what we do, go where we can’t, and change shape as necessary.
ForWarn is a satellite-based forest disturbance monitoring system for the conterminous United States. It delivers new forest change products every eight days and provides tools for attributing abnormalities to insects, disease, wildfire, storms, human development or unusual weather. Archived data provide disturbance tracking across all lands since 2000. Interactive maps are accessible via the Forest Change Assessment Viewer.
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.
One of the most audacious projects ever to come out of Google was the plan to photograph and map the inhabited world, one block at a time. But a report over the weekend from federal regulators has rekindled questions over exactly what the company was doing — questions the search giant has spent years trying not to answer.
While Autodesk does not talk about GIS much these days, embedded in their Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2013 is a Utilities Workflow that offers intelligent model based software for meeting the complex needs of the SmartGrid, with GIS products built in. The emphasis appears to be on helping transform planning, design and management processes by capturing conditions at the start of the design process, useful for both designers and GIS professionals.
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: