The WorldView-3 satellite is a commercial satellite that launched on August 13, 2014. It captures images at a resolution of 30 centimeters, i.e., each pixel of the camera captures one square foot of land. How good is that? The images, from 383 miles above the Earth’s surface, are stunning, gorgeous and creepily clear. WorldView 3 is currently the most powerful commercial Earth imaging satellite in orbit.
[C]ustomers can more easily determine the type of vehicle (cars, trucks, sedans, mini vans) and its speed and direction, which is valuable for a range of industry vertical customers. With 30 cm super-spectral imagery, quantitative assessments of the state of highway networks — including surface wear — can provide valuable maintenance planning information to national, state, and local governments.
WorldView-3’s maker, DigitalGlobe, has been granted tentative permission (in six months’ time, so the images shown here have been resampled to a resolution of 40 cms) to sell its high resolution images. Up to now, companies could only sell images at a resolution no finer than 50 cms.
While, at 30 cms resolution, you may still not be able to see what your neighbors are doing in their backyard, and will still be greeted by fuzzy pixels if you try to get any closer than that, just so you know, military satellites have a resolution of 15 to 20 cms, so they probably can see what you are doing.
Visit our Featured Site to see a gallery of images taken from WorldView 3: DigitalGlobe
Launch of WorldView-3: