April 09, 2007
GeoEye Acquires M. J. Harden
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GISWeekly: What is GeoEye 1 going to be bring to the table?
Mark Brender - We plan to launch our next generation imaging system, GeoEye 1, later this year. It will have a ground resolution of 41 centimeters or about 16 inches in the panchromatic mode, and 1.65 meter resolution in the multi-spectral mode. The imagery will be able to be pan sharpened so we’ll be able to generate 41 centimeter color imagery. I might add, however, under our current licensing restrictions, we are able to provide commercial customers with imagery at half meter resolution. The most important thing about GeoEye-1 is its collection capability. It will be able to collect in the panchromatic mode 700,00 square kilometers a day, roughly the size of Texas. In the
multispectral mode it will be able to collect 350,000 square kilometers every day. Just as important as collection capability, GeoEye-1 will have a map accuracy of less than 3 meters, so we’ll be able to locate an object on the surface of the earth within a few meters of its true location. GeoEye-1 will be a mapping machine in orbit that one government official told us would be revolutionary’.
GISWeekly: Recently satellite imagery and other technology companies have offered imagery for searches for missing persons. Is this going to be something that GeoEye continues to do on a regular basis?
Mark Brender: In the case of search of missing persons that is not part of our business plan but sometimes it is just the right thing to do. We have gotten so many requests for imagery to support humanitarian causes, that on March 28th we announced the establishment of the GeoEye Foundation. This foundation will provide IKONOS and eventually GeoEye-1 satellite imagery to select universities at no cost, to help foster the growth of a next generation of geospatial technology professionals. A university would submit a request for a grant of imagery, we will have an internal group of employees, the Foundation Employee Advisory Committee, that will evaluate such requests and make an
award. We would then provide the imagery over precise areas of the earth at no cost to the requesting faculty, students or university.
GISWeekly: What about in disaster situations where you must act very quickly?
Mark Brender: We will make a determination on a case by case basis whether we will task the satellite for a manmade or a natural disaster (as in the cases of Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami) and then make that imagery available to non-governmental organizations and relief agencies. We will announce soon that we plan to work with the United Nations International Charter for disaster relief. It’s important that our imagery be used to help in this regard. I know that our CEO, Matt O’Connell, is a big supporter of this sort of effort.
Doug Leibbrandt: M.J. Harden also mobilized for Katrina. Basically 24 hours after it hit land, we had aircraft and people down there capturing imagery and providing that to the federal government.
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-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.