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Posted on January 6th, 2015

Is the Basemap Refresh Program Right for You?

I may be jumping the gun on this article by discussing our partner DigitalGlobe’s Basemap Refresh program for the US since we are still working diligently on adding a subscription services page to our website; but this is an important topic to think about now as we start the New Year. Most people I speak to haven’t heard about the US Basemap Refresh program so here is a high level overview.

A field next to a new development in Longmont, CO imaged on November 17, 2013 by the 50-cm color satellite, WorldView-2. (Image Courtesy: DigitalGlobe)
The same field with new construction next to a new development in Longmont, CO imaged on November 6, 2014 by the 30-cm color satellite, WorldView-3. Image resolution online is currently 40cm with WorldView-3 by US government regulation. (Image Courtesy: DigitalGlobe)

Our valued partner, DigitalGlobe, has focused on and will continue to focus on collecting high-resolution imagery over all 50 states plus the US territories. The primary sensors being used to collect the imagery have 40-cm and 50-cm resolutions respectively with secondary sensors up to 80-cm. The main goal of these collections is to establish an ongoing basemap with no pixel older than 12 months. One way to think about this type of basemap is a heat-map where imagery at the 12 month vintage will have a higher priority to collect and refresh versus much newer datasets.

What this means for counties such as the one I live in here in Colorado – where new construction is a constant – is they’ll be able to stay on top of their tax revenue without having to wait for a new aerial collect every 2 to 4 years. In addition, their Emergency Management department will be able to update their 911 basemaps as new imagery is collected, processed and ingested onto the service.

The multi-temporal content and the service in general is easily accessible via a password-protected web portal, a Web Mapping Service (WMS & WMTS) or via a plug-in for any OGC-compliant software. In my example above of the new development, the imagery was accessed via the Basemap Refresh service where I was able to see all of the metadata for every dataset available over my area of interest.

The Basemap Refresh service is not meant to replace a state, city or county’s aerial flights but rather to provide updated imagery for the ‘in-between years’ at a fraction of the cost.

To find out which subscription option is best for you and to schedule a demo of the service, please feel free to reach out to me directly. We can always check to see what the coverage looks like over your state, county or city during the demo of the Basemap Refresh service.

Robert O’Munneke
Chief of Sales
(703) 304-6425

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