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Enhanced View Budget Cut Opposition Heats Up

by Matt Ball on April 20, 2012

There’s a feature in today’s New York Times that outlines the battle that is brewing in Congress to defend the use of commercial satellite imagery for intelligence gathering. The president’s budget as submitted reduces the Enhanced View program spending by more than half from $540 million to $250 million. The director of the National Reconnaissance […]


Vancouver-based UrtheCast aims to commercialize high-resolution video from space by installing HD cameras aboard the International Space Station. The cameras are in production now, with plans to install by the end of 2012. The company has recently signed a $4.2 million contract with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to build some of the hardware and data […]


Let the Drone Mapping Race Begin

by Matt Ball on April 6, 2012

News today that Trimble has acquired Belgium-based unmanned aerial vehicle maker Gatewing marks an important milestone in the commercialization of drone-based map data collection. There’s a growing interest in these low-cost mapping platforms, particularly given the FAA’s relaxation of laws that have prohibited their expansion in the United States. This continued industry consolidation by Trimble […]


ESA’s NightPod Automates Space Station Imaging

by Matt Ball on April 5, 2012

The European Space Agency designed and developed, along with  with Dutch company Cosine, a motorized tripod  called NightPod to take nighttime images of the Earth. Prior to this device, the speed of the space station made picture taking difficult due to the speed of the Space Station and the low shutter speeds required to capture light […]


Google Promotes Terrapixels for Everyone

by Matt Ball on March 21, 2012

David Thau, senior developer advocate for Google Earth Engine, gave the keynote speech at this morning’s ASPRS Annual Meeting. The talk began with a discussion of Stewart Brand’s campaign to see a picture of the whole earth from space, which has been said to have kicked off earth day, the ecology movement, global politics, and […]


Is there a mapping drone in your future?

by Matt Ball on March 16, 2012

Wasn’t it just yesterday that the idea of unmanned aerial platforms seemed like science fiction? With the successful deployment of drones for recent military operations, the technology has come a long way in a short period of time. While the image of the bubble-headed armed aircraft-sized drone platform is etched in our minds, these sensing […]


Earth observation company Aerodata International Surveys has just launched Aero+, with packaged solutions for sensing and analyzing  smarter planet applications. The new firm offers solutions that address heat loss from buildings, light pollution, renewable energy siting, and the potential for solar energy. The mission of this new company is to create a greener environment for […]


The Earth Observation and Environmental Remote Sensing (EO-ERS) laboratory of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) has developed an animated video that shows the urban expansion of Abu Dhabi from 1986 through 2010. The animation makes use of satellite data from NASA and the USGS. With MIST’s focus on advanced energy and sustainable […]


You’ve surely heard of the Lytro camera that let’s users focus the camera after taking the picture. While this new light field camera has the potential to radically change the way we take pictures, news today that the on-board sensor array also includes wireless and bluetooth capabilities means that it could also alter how we […]


Landsat Thermal Sensor Will Aid Water Management

by Matt Ball on February 7, 2012

The Landsat Data Continuity Mission‘s (LDCM) thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) has been completed and shipped to Orbital Sciences for integration into the rest of the satellite. This TIRS sensor will measure and monitor water evaporation and transpiration over Earth’s land surface by measuring radiation emitted in two thermal bands. The sensor resolution is 100 meters, […]