Company sole U.S. provider of unique digital imaging capabilities.

EarthData Holdings announced the purchase of ISTAR Americas, Incorporated, a move that cements EarthData’s commitment to provide its clients with the most advanced digital imaging capabilities in the industry.

The U.S. subsidiary of ISTAR SA of France, ISTAR Americas, developed in the U.S. the unique mapping process that rapidly generates from airborne digital imagery a robust digital surface model (DSM), and orthorectified images of the ground and features (“true ortho images”). The high resolution and metric accuracy of these digital orthophotos makes them an ideal geographic information system (GIS) base map for counties and cities, especially in highly urbanized areas where the ISTAR process eliminates building lean and allows for precise 2D and 3D feature extraction, line of site analysis, counter terrorism planning, and emergency response.

“With this acquisition, EarthData exclusively offers its U.S. clients advanced digital imaging capabilities to produce surface models and orthorectified imagery more rapidly and efficiently than previously possible,” said Bryan Logan, chairman and CEO of EarthData Holdings. “This revolutionary technology, coupled with the Leica ADS40 large format aerial digital camera and EarthData’s integrated automated process flow, not only is efficient and economic, it also creates the equivalent of color, black-and-white, and infrared true orthophotos in various resolutions from a single flight. In other words, the system gives clients more information choices to support their geospatial requirements.”

The acquisition of ISTAR Americas is another brick in the foundation of EarthData’s move to offer clients exclusive new services in 2003. ISTAR Mapping Services, together with the group’s newly commercialized radar service, GeoSAR Mapping Services, broadens EarthData’s ability to provide clients with the most advanced solutions for their geospatial needs. Complementing these two new service lines are two newly acquired Leica ADS40 advanced digital imaging systems, two Leica ALS40 lidar systems, and a suite of other aerial sensors and processing systems. With its move to a state-of-the-art production operation in Frederick, Maryland in June 2003, EarthData will house under one roof this full suite of data processing and product development operations.

Most of ISTAR America’s employees accepted posts with EarthData and will be working in business development, processing, and program management, which will ensure a smooth transition of the technology. “This is the ideal situation,” said Laurent Renouard, ISTAR America’s president. “EarthData will promote and build on ISTAR’s market in the United States, which will complement ISTAR SA’s worldwide efforts.”

EarthData already has utilized the ISTAR processing system with its new Leica ADS40 digital camera and the results were remarkable. “The state of Tennessee – historically an early adopter of new technology – agreed to allow EarthData to use ISTAR for an existing mapping project of White County. Early results prove that this product is far superior to anything the industry has seen to date,” Logan said.