DigitalGlobe, provider of high resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, announced it has been awarded a contract to update the orthoimagery base program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The award was issued by the USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 2004 Alaska Orthoimagery Project - and represents the first time satellite imagery has been used in the USDA's program.

Under the contract, DigitalGlobe will provide 2-foot resolution, orthorectified, 1:12,000 Digital Ortho Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs) from QuickBird imagery. The imagery will be collected over two sites in Alaska - the Northstar Borough/Southeast Fairbanks and Valdez-Cordova areas - covering about 2,167 square miles. These products will be used to create and update the USDA's orthoimagery database.

The USDA has historically relied on film-based aerial photography, which can be time-consuming, costly and oftentimes dangerous to collect given the area's changing weather patterns. The remote, hard-to-reach areas of Alaska make aerial data collection even more difficult and dangerous due to changing weather patterns and rough terrain. The digital QuickBird satellite imagery will offer many benefits over aerial photography including cost savings, quicker turn-around and data delivery, and the availability of both true-color and false-color imagery.

Source: DigitalGlobe, Aug. 30, 2004