Thursday, February 2, 2012

Free high resolution imagery

It does not happen very often that something of great value is made available free of charge, and in large quantities. Courtesy of US Government and GeoEye, you can now access some 180,000 scenes, one meter resolution (black and white) and four meter resolution (multi-spectral), captured by OrbView-3 satellite around the world between 2003 and 2007.  The initial data format available is GeoEye's Basic Enhanced (L1B) product.

The OrbView-3 dataset is amongst 170 collections of aerial photography and remotely sensed data catalogued in the National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive and made available for download (mostly at no cost) via USGS EarthExplorer

Searching of what’s available in locations of interest is very easy with EarthExplorer. For example, just select “Search Criteria” tab on the left of the screen and type in desired location, then select Orbview-3 option in “Data Sets” tab and click on “Results” tab to see a list of available images. Very handy feature of EarthExplorer is the ability to show on the map footprints of available imagery and/or low resolution “browse images” to preview what exactly you will be getting (unfortunately, just as rectangles and not warped images to fit footprints). EarthExplorer is built with Google Maps API so, has very familiar to all user interface.

As spotted on

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