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Posted on May 7th, 2013

Update on DigitalGlobe’s Precision Aerial Imagery Program – USA & Europe

As approved resellers of DigitalGlobe, Apollo Mapping is proud to offer imagery products from the first-ever 30-centimeter (cm) natural color orthoimagery layer covering the lower 48 states of the United States of America as well as significant portions of Europe. Scheduled to be completed by mid-2013, this impressive dataset will cover more than 10 million square kilometers (sq km). Microsoft and DigitalGlobe have partnered on this long-term project, utilizing an exclusive aerial sensor – the UltraCamG – to collect the most accurate and visually appealing imagery available on the market.

The data included in the Precision Aerial imagery program can be grouped into three categories according to its collection and production specifications:

Full resolution previews of natural color 30-cm DigitalGlobe aerial imagery obtained over Iowa city, Iowa during April 2011. (Image Courtesy: DigitalGlobe)
  • High Value Areas (HVAs)
    • These are dense urban centers and tourist destinations
    • No clouds, cloud shadows, haze, smoke or pollution
    • A horizontal accuracy of 2.7-meters (m) Circular Error 90% (CE90%)
    • Leaf-off is required
    • Free from standing water with only permanent snow and ice
    • Data is processed and color balanced across the entire market
  • Standard Blocks
    • These are often suburban areas and smaller cities
    • No clouds, smoke or pollution; and less than 2% cloud shadows and haze
    • A horizontal accuracy of 4.0-m CE90%
    • Leaf-off is desired
    • Free from standing water with snow and ice only above the timber line
    • Data is processed and color balanced by one-degree cells (~10,000 sq km)
  • Remote Blocks
    • These are rural areas
    • Minimal amounts of clouds, cloud shadows, haze, smoke, pollution, standing water, snow and ice
    • A horizontal accuracy of 5.3- m CE90%
    • Leaf-off is not available
    • Data is processed and color balanced by one-degree cells (~10,000 sq km)

The following specifications are universal across the Precision Aerial imagery dataset:

  • Both 30-cm natural color and 60-cm color infrared (CIR) products are available
  • Color balanced, seamless orthomosaics
  • A projection/datum of UTM WGS84

In this regular monthly piece, we will provide our readers with an update on the progress of DigitalGlobe’s Precision Aerial imagery program, current coverage maps and full resolution previews of the data. If you would like more details on the coverage available in your area and/or on the pricing of the various delivery options, an Apollo Mapping representative would be happy to assist and can be reached by phone at (303) 993-3863 or email at

April 2013 – Coverage Statistics & Maps

  • Collections over the USA have been completed (minus the several restricted air spaces shown in purple on the map below); and are near completion in Europe.
  • 11,100,000+ sq km of 30-cm natural color and 60-cm CIR data acquired
  • 11,000,000 sq km – loaded on DigitalGlobe’s cloud and streaming web services
  • Key Areas Completed Acquisition
    • Given that it is winter in Europe, no new acquisitions were made in April. The final data collections for this project should start in May or June.

In the coverage maps below of DigitalGlobe’s Precision Aerial imagery over the United States and Europe, we have indicated the outlines of the HVAs and blocks that are a part of this program. Each of these outlines is color coded to indicate its current acquisition and/or delivery status.

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