To provide these 3D products, Vexcel has developed new software that allows its proprietary 3D modeling tools to support imagery collected by the DigitalGlobe QuickBird satellite. The result is the efficient, rapid production of urban models for any area captured by QuickBird, at resolutions significantly better than what has previously been available.
"Until now, it has been difficult or impossible to obtain 3D models of cities in many regions of the world that lack commercial aerial photography," said Wolfgang Walcher, director of Vexcel's Mapping and GIS division. "Vexcel's ability to create 3D mapping from satellite imagery provides fast, unrestricted access to previously unavailable international data at a lower cost than for products developed from existing aerial photography. This is a significant milestone for urban applications such as telecommunications and security, among others."
The QuickBird satellite - launched by DigitalGlobe on October 18, 2001 - is well suited for this application, given its 60-centimeter resolution imagery and its extremely high accuracy.
"The availability of accurate, current 3D models helps GIS professionals and the general public alike gain a realistic perspective of remote locations," said Herb Satterlee, CEO and chairman of DigitalGlobe. "For countries that are poorly mapped or where maps don't exist at all, these products will help local governments and their citizens advance their understanding of their own geography."
"QuickBird images are sharper and richer in detail than other satellite and even - in many cases - aerial images," added Walcher. "With proper ground control, we can set accuracies for models of one- to two-meters. Without, we still achieve an equivalent map scale of 1:25,000. Given our years of experience in the production of mapping and GIS products, Vexcel is able to offer the same standard products for all cities worldwide."
DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite has the industry-leading capability to provide basic imagery at 61-centimeter panchromatic and 2.44-meter multispectral resolutions. Standard imagery and orthoproduct resolutions are offered at 60-centimeter panchromatic and 2.4-meter multispectral.