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Posted on July 1st, 2014

DigitalGlobe Announces Satellite Imagery Resolution Restriction Lifted & Change of WV1’s Orbit

During the month of June, DigitalGlobe made two announcements that will impact all of our high resolution satellite imagery clients.

First, the resolution restriction on satellite imagery has been lifted by the US government. This has multiple implications for users of DigitalGlobe imagery products:

  1. Both GeoEye-1 and WorldView-2 can collect satellite imagery with resolution that is lower than 50-centimeter (cm) panchromatic and 2-meter (m) multispectral. These images can now be sold at their native resolution when it is lower than 50-cm/2-m. In general, data that was collected with an off-nadir angle lower than 25 degrees for GeoEye-1 and then 15 degrees for WorldView-2 can have native resolution better than 50-cm/2-m. Please note this is a general rule of thumb as the topography of the landscape can impact the native resolution of satellite imagery, not only the off-nadir angle of collection.
  2. Six months after its launch, which is expected in late 2014, WorldView-3 data will be delivered at a resolution down to 25-cm.
  3. When ordering imagery at its native resolution, keep in mind that this will impact the RPC files required for orthorectification in many software packages. Merging multiple datasets at varying resolutions will make orthorectification with RPC files much more challenging. In these cases, we suggest ordering imagery at a standard resolution across all of the datasets.
  4. These rule changes do not impact Pléiades 1 data as it is collected at a native resolution of 70-cm panchromatic and 2.8-m multispectral (at nadir) and then downsampled to 50-cm/2-m when delivered to clients.

The second announcement from DigitalGlobe addressed the orbit of the 50-cm panchromatic only satellite, WorldView-1 (WV1). Starting in June 2014, the orbit of this satellite will be slowly changed over the next two years so that it will eventually collect high resolution imagery at  approximately 1:30PM local time. Once the slow migration is complete, DigitalGlobe will offer collections both during the morning and afternoon hours with its satellite constellation. Further, afternoon collections in Tropical regions and in the Southern Hemisphere will often have less cloud cover.

If you have any questions about the resolution restriction changes and/or the orbit of WorldView-1, please email the Apollo Mapping sales team at

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