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Posted on December 6th, 2022

30-cm Color WorldView-3/4 Image of the Month – Lake Pehoé, Chile

Happy holidays from New York City! Each year, the holiday season is welcomed in with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Parade is present by Macy’s, a U.S. based department store chain. The Parade first took place in 1924, tying it with the America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit for the second oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States. The three-hour parade is held in Manhattan on Thanksgiving Day. In 1928, the quintessential balloons were introduced to replace the live zoo animals that had previously been used. That year the balloons were released instead of captured, and attendees were encouraged to find the balloons after they deflated in the atmosphere and returned to earth. Anyone who found the deflated balloons could return them for a reward of $100 (equivalent to more than $1,600 with inflation as of 2021). Each year, new balloons are added to the lineup. Kids and adults alike look forward to seeing some of their favorites – Bugs Bunny, Superman, Snoopy, Minnie Mouse, Hello Kitty and the Pillsbury Dough Boy – drifting through the Parade. These WorldView-3 images of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, showing some of the famous balloons, were collected on November 25, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT. This 30-cm WorldView-3 imagery has been processed by Apollo Mapping for improved perspective, clarity, and colors. And, finally, a quick note about the quality of these images, as well they are not the best! This degraded image quality is the result of two factors: first, the Sun’s elevation is low in the Fall so satellite images will tend to look dark when collected at this time of the year; and second, since Manhattan is home to some of America’s tallest buildings, they cast deep shadows on the streets below making it even harder to see into these areas, particularly when the Sun is low in the sky. (Satellite Imagery © 2022 Maxar Technologies)

Every time we look at WorldView-3 and WorldView-4 (WV3/4) imagery, we are blown away. And we hope you are equally impressed with the data! In November, we looked at Lake Pehoé, Chile, and for this edition of the 30-cm Color WorldView-3/4 Image of the Month we’re headed back to the States with a look at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, New York.

WorldView-3 launched in late 2014 and WorldView-4 launched in late 2016; taken together they are the most advanced satellite constellation the commercial marketplace has ever had access to. Here are a few of the features that really set these satellites apart from the competition:

  • Improved Resolution
    • Higher resolution means you can see more detail in WV3/4 imagery.
    • Data collected at nadir will have 31-centimeter (cm) panchromatic, 1.24-meter (m) visible and near infrared, 3.7-m SWIR (WV3 only) and 30-m CAVIS (WV3 only) bands.
    • At 20 degrees off-nadir, the resolution is 34-cm panchromatic, 1.38-m visible and near infrared and 4.1-m shortwave infrared.
  • Additional Spectral Bands
    • If spectral analysis is part of your project, then no other satellite can match WV3 with its: 8 bands of visible and near-infrared data; and 8 shortwave infrared bands which are crucial for geological studies
  • Better Positional Accuracy
    • With accuracies of 3.5-m CE90% or better (without ground control even!), WV3/4 has no rivals for its enhanced positional accuracy.
  • Daily Revisits
    • At 40 degrees latitude, WV3 is able to image every location daily with 1-meter or better resolution and then every 4.5 days at 34-cm resolution or better.
    • WV4 is no longer collecting new imagery.
  • Increased Collection Capacity
    • WV3/4 feature 13.1-km swath widths (at nadir) with the ability to collect up to 680,000 square kilometer (sq km) of high-resolution data per day per satellite (though WV4 is dead now).
    • Improved control movement gyros translate into larger maximum contiguous collection areas per pass, with up to ~7,500 sq km of mono imagery and ~3,000 sq km of stereo possible.

If you are interested in WorldView-3 and/or WorldView-4 imagery for your next project, please let us know by phone, 303-993-3863, or by email,

You can also find more WV3 samples and technical information on our website here and then WV4 samples and information can be found here.

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