DigitalGlobe Satellite Imagery: Worldview, GeoEye and IKONOS

DigitalGlobe satellite imagery

DigitalGlobe Satellite Imagery

If you want the sharpest satellite imagery in the world, then you should harness the power of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery.

To give you a ballpark figure:

Each pixel in a Worldview-3 image is about the size of home plate on a baseball diamond. That’s about 31 cm.

So instead of being far-sighted, you can see a better and clearer world with some of DigitalGlobe’s products.

Worldview-1, 2, 3 and 4 Imagery

Worldview satellite

DigitalGlobe’s cutting-edge high resolution satellite carves out ridiculously crisp imagery at 31 cm. In 8 spectral bands, the world all of a sudden becomes clearer. For example, you can really get surgical for distinguishing Earth’s land cover using image classification techniques in remote sensing.

DigitalGlobe provides countless case studies how users are applying satellite technology to tackle real world problems. And if the world wants more high resolution imagery, why not give then more. This is why DigitalGlobe launched Worldview-4.

Although Worldview imagery has a cost, there are options to download Worldview-3 imagery. You’ll have to scroll down a bit lower to find out how.

Worldview-2 Bands

Worldview-2 consists of 9 spectral bands. The coastal aerosol, blue, green, yellow, red, red edge and NIR bands have a ground resolution of 1.85 meters. The panchromatic band has a ground resolution of 0.450 meters.

Worldview-2 Bands

Worldview-3 Bands

The spectral bands for Worldview-3 are panchromatic, coastal aerosol, blue, green, yellow, red, red edge, near infrared and short-wave infrared. For all bands, the ground sampling distance improved for Worldview-3 for all spectral bands. The panchromatic is sharper at 31 cm. While VNIR bands are 1.2 meters, SWIR band have a GSD of 3.7 meters.

Worldview-3 Bands

Worldview-4 Bands

Worldview-4 is scaled down from previous versions with simply a panchromatic, blue, green, red and near-infrared band. It’s ground sampling distance remains the same as Worldview-3 with 0.31 meters for panchromatic and 1.2 meters for all other bands.

Worldview-4 Bands

IKONOS, Quickbird and Geoeye Imagery

A satellite marvel in 1999, IKONOS was the first satellite granted a commercial license in America. However, IKONOS-1 never made it to space. IKONOS-2 did and was renamed simply “IKONOS”. IKONOS delivers 4-meter multispectral (RGB, NIR) and 1-meter panchromatic imagery.


The versatile and cost effective QuickBird satellite acquires high-resolution optical imagery seamlessly of the world. Even though it was decommissioned in 2015, you can dig into its archive images at a cost. While panchromatic images are 61 cm resolution, it’s multispectral bands (RGB, NIR) are 2.4 meter

Finally, DigitalGlobe acquired GeoEye which is so sharp that ecologists have used it to track animal population. Google had its logo on the side of the rocket and has exclusive access, so there’s no coincidence is a basemap imagery in Google Maps. GeoEye imagery is 41 cm for panchromatic and 1.65 meters for multispectral (RGB, NIR).

READ MORE: The Big Satellite List. 50 Satellites. 30 Words or Less.

Geoeye Bands

Geoeye consists of 5 spectral bands (panchromatic, blue, green, red and near infrared). While the panchromatic band has 0.41 meters resolution, the blue, green, red and NIR bands are 1.65 meters.

Geoeye Bands

Tap Into DigitalGlobe Open Data

So how good is DigitalGlobe imagery?

There’s a couple of ways to find out:

DigitalGlobe’s Open Data Program supports disaster recovery for any sudden major crisis or event. For example, DigitalGlobe has assisted in fighting forest fires, assessing earthquake damage and in hurricane relief. As part of DigitalGlobe’s Open Data Program, they release imagery into the public domain under a Creative Commons 4.0 license which may include crowdsourced damage assessment.

Further to this, DigitalGlobe has product samples available for different parts of the Earth. For example, sample imagery products are more available for Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Stockholm (Sweden) and Washington DC (USA).

If you are just looking to purchase Worldview imagery scenes, the Worldview Viewer application gives you the option to preview and find images in archive.

DigitalGlobe also provides basemaps, analytical services, precision aerial, maps API and various other products and services.

MDA Acquires DigitalGlobe

With the recent purchase of DigitalGlobe from MDA, this turns a new leaf in the era of space imaging.

As you may not know MDA, MDA owns and operates Radarsat-2.

And this will include 3 additional satellites from the Canadian Radarsat Constellation Mission.

Now, technical users can access another untapped resource like synthetic aperture radar for even more rigorous analysis.


  1. Hello, the product samples for Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Stockholm (Sweden) and Washington DC (USA) are available at DigitalGlobe website. But, I could not identify the satellite name that provided these images.

  2. Hi, appreciations to your good work. How can I download Worldview-3 imagery? I could not find it through your article.

  3. Hi, from which satellite and how can I get images for archaeological research and buried cities under the soil?

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