Posted on August 9th, 2022

30-cm Color WorldView-3/4 Image of the Month – Miami, Florida

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! Last month we found ourselves in sunny Florida in an urban hub, and for the August edition of the 30-cm Color WorldView-3/4 Image of the Month we head to a unique location off the coast of Norman’s Cay in the Bahama’s, that being the site of the infamous Pablo Escobar’s watery drug-plane crash.



As the story linked in our article attests to, on a fateful night in the 1970s, several drug runners for Pablo Escobar came up short on fuel and crashed their plane into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of Norman’s Cay. As the Bahama’s are characterized by calm, clear waters, you can easily make out the plane wreck in this 30-cm WorldView-3 image, even if the colors are a bit odd. The accompanying image is of a tiny house right on the Bahamian coast about a half mile (1 kilometer) to the east of this wreckage. This 30-cm WorldView-3 imagery was collected on June 26, 2021 and has been processed by Apollo Mapping for improved perspective, clarity and colors. (Satellite Imagery © 2022 Maxar Technologies)

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, [email protected].

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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