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High Resolution Satellite Imagery. DigitalGlobe QuickBird. Phil Poole & Matt Egan SKM. WALIS, 2005. Agenda. Welcome Overview - SKM DigitalGlobe QuickBird What's Next? Tomorrow is here today. Sinclair Knight Merz. Spatial Services Business valued at $A20m Local office in Perth

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High resolution satellite imagery l.jpg

High Resolution Satellite Imagery

DigitalGlobe QuickBird

Phil Poole & Matt Egan


WALIS, 2005

Agenda l.jpg

  • Welcome

  • Overview - SKM DigitalGlobe

  • QuickBird

  • What's Next?

  • Tomorrow is here today

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Sinclair Knight Merz

  • Spatial Services Business valued at $A20m

  • Local office in Perth

  • DG Team (Melbourne) - DigitalGlobe Distributor for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. E-Cognition Reseller

  • Representatives in Perth, Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin and New Zealand

  • Find out More:


    www.digitalglobe.com.au(coming soon)

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  • DigitalGlobe – formerly EarthWatch

  • DigitalGlobe is an Imaging and Information Company

    • Delivering information products worldwide

    • Providing solutions for your information needs

  • Business Strategy

    • Serve the worldwide GIS data market

    • Sub-meter resolution QuickBird satellites

    • www.digitalglobe.com web-enabled database

    • Global partnerships for sales and marketing

  • QuickBird Satellite Imagery

    • World’s highest resolution commercial imaging satellite.

      Find out more:


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The Beginning

  • QuickBird launched on Oct. 18, 2001

    • Placed in 98 degree inclination, polar, sun synchronous, low earth orbit at 450 km altitude

    • Based on a new 0.5 meter US Government operating license received December 2000

    • Satellite is in optimal health and has commenced imaging upon completion of a verification and calibration period as of 1 February 2002.

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QuickBird Spacecraft Specifications

  • 61-centimetre panchromatic Resolution

  • 2.44-metre Multispectral Resolution

  • 11 bit dynamic range

  • 10.7 Meter RMSE Relative Accuracy

  • 57 scenes per orbit

  • 0 – 25 off-nadir

  • 4 seconds to per Scene

  • 16.5 km swath

  • Push broom sensor

  • 98 sun-sync orbit

  • 1 - 6 day revisit

  • 14 orbits/day

  • 57 Scenes Per Orbit

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Panchromatic - Black and White

Multispectral – Used for Analysis


Natural color (R,G,B) - Similar to Aerial Photography

Color infrared (NIR,R,G) – False Colour

Multispectral 4 Band - Higher Resolution MS

Standard Popular Products

Riverside, California

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150 km

1 km

30 m

10 m

5 m

1 m

High Resolution Satellites Superiority

Better Resolution and Faster Delivery




Digital Globe

OrbView-3 / 4

Space Imaging







SPOT Image

Collection Time











0.5 m


Source: C.E. Unterberg, Towbin 1999


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Widest Scene

More targets per scene

Builds archive faster

Easier Mosaicking

Fewer GCPs

Faster large area collections

Aerial Photography

QuickBird – 16.5km

Ikonos – 11km

Quickbird Imagery ~ LargestFootprint

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Latest News

  • 2 New Satellites in Build – Launch dates in 2006 – 46cm Resolution

  • CitySphere to be Launched – Perth Included

  • EPP – Launch of Energy Partner Program – BHP, Apache & Marathon on board

  • Worldview Ground systems in place and stabilized –

  • Archive growing

  • Google vs Microsoft – Geo Search engine war

  • Orthorectifed imagery now available as an official product

  • SKM sign Reseller Agreement with Definiens as eCognition Reseller – July 1st 2005

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Tromso, Norway

Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Expanding DigitalGlobe Infrastructure

Three remote ground terminals (Alaska, Norway,Pa)

North Pole, Alaska

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Imagery for Parcel Mapping & Code Enforcement

“One of the most important uses for QuickBird imagery is for property tax revenue (parcel mapping) and building code enforcement purposes”. Nale Report, 2002

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Storm Water Runoff

Individual parcels taxed according to amount of impervious surfaces

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Vegetation Index


17th Ave.

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Update GIS Databases

Automatic Land Cover feature extraction based on multispectral imagery

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eCognition – Automated Feature Extraction


Raster to Vector Conversion

and Semi-Automated Clean Up

Raster Roads

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QuickBird Imagery is Cost Effective

  • Many municipalities update 0.25-0.5m imagery every 3-4 years

    • Municipalities cannot afford to acquire 0.25 imagery annually

    • For many purposes, higher resolution aerial photography is not necessary

    • Satellite imagery is a cost-effective solution for current land base updates in interim years

      • Find the change with satellite orthoimagery on an annual basis, focus on the change with higher resolution aerial orthophotos

  • Satellite imagery provides current and accurate data needed for planning and management decisions

    • Important for an enterprise GIS to link timely image information with other current city-wide databases, especially for fast growing areas

  • A whole State Coverage Approach will bring cost savings to every organisation involved as well as reducing the overall spend on imagery from Government each year.

  • Once used additional benefits will be found for the imagery such as those demostrated today

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Websites of interest

www.skmconsulting.com/digitalglobewww.digitalglobe.comhttp://www.definiens-imaging.comwww.gim.act.gov.auwww.earthetc.comhttp://earth.google.comhttp://maps.google.comwww.digitalglobe.com.au(Coming soon) www.thelist.gov.tas.au