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Posted on September 1st, 2020

The Pléiades 1 – SPOT 6/7 Stadium of the Month – Edmund Pettus Bridge

In August we were in the Midwest at the site of an early-to-return basketball tournament, and for this month’s edition of the Pléiades 1SPOT 6/7 Stadium of the Month we continue with our broader theme of honoring the late, great Civil Rights giant, John Robert Lewis, with a look at Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama which was the site of Bloody Sunday in 1965.


A 50-cm color image of Emund Pettus Bridge that connects Selma to Selmont, Alabama, USA collected on January 19, 2020 by Pléiades 1B; and then a 1.5-m SPOT 6 image of the same historic bridge collected on November 9, 2019. These images have custom processing and color balancing applied by Apollo Mapping. PLEIADES © CNES 2020, Distribution Airbus DS. SPOT © Airbus DS 2020.

About the Bridge: The construction of Edmund Pettus Bridge was part of a push started in the 1920s to expand the nation’s roads as the automobile took over our transportation needs. The bridge which connects Selma on the northwest bank of the Alabama River to Selmont and beyond was actually designed by a Selma native, Henson K. Stephenson, who worked for the Alabama State Highway Department. The current namesake of the bridge, Edmund Winston Pettus, was both a Confederate soldier and leader in the Ku Klux Klan, setting up a charged debate that has only increased in volume with the passing of John Lewis and his role in Bloody Sunday.

Fun Factoids: (1) It is not the point of this article to retell the story of Bloody Sunday which was been told in much more detail many places on the web, for example here. Rather, it is our intention to honor John Lewis who touched all of our lives here in the United States as he was a giant among us mortals and will be missed. His legacy of ‘Good Trouble’ will not be forgotten. (2) On July 26th, John Lewis made his last voyage across Edmund Pettus Bridge some 55 years after his monumental crossing. Bloody Sunday was televised to the nation and is often credited for pushing President Lyndon Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (3) We here at Apollo Mapping think there is no better tribute to the great John Lewis than petitioning your members of Congress to support HR 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019 (which is very likely to be renamed in honor of the fallen hero by the time this article goes to print). If you would like to find the contact information for your House Representative, you can do so here; and here is the same to find your US Senators.

The Pléiades 1 High-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The Pléiades 1 constellation (or at least part of it!) has been in orbit since December 2011 and if you have not had a chance to check out any sample imagery, take a few moments and have a look at the gallery on our website. If you work with high-resolution imagery, you should consider Pléiades 1 for your next geospatial project.

A variety of Pléiades 1 products are available from both a growing archive and as a new collection, including 50-centimeter (cm) pansharpened imagery and 50-cm panchromatic – 2-meter (m) 4-band multispectral bundles. We are happy to discuss the technical specifications, pricing and tasking options available with this satellite constellation.

The SPOT Medium-Resolution Satellite Constellation

The SPOT medium-resolution constellation consist of seven satellites launched from 1986 to 2014 with the most recent additions, SPOT 6 and SPOT 7, launching in 2012 and 2014 respectively. SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 are twin satellites offering 1.5-m panchromatic and 6-m 4-band multispectral data with a massive footprint at 60-kilometers (km) wide. For projects requiring recent archive coverage or rapid new collections of medium-resolution data, SPOT 6/7 should be one of your top imagery sources!

More sample images and technical information about Pléiades 1A and 1B can be found on our website here; while the same can be found here for the SPOT constellation and specifically about SPOT 6/7.

The Apollo Mapping sales team can answer any questions you might have about Pléiades 1 and/or any of the SPOT satellites. We can be reached at (303) 993-3863 or sales@apollomapping.com.

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