Satellite Data

Satellite data GISAT

Satellite data have become one of the most used sources of geographic information about many fields of human activities in the past decade. Due to the rapid technological development in the area of Earth Observation we have encountered a shift from research and military application to commercial use. Presently, there are almost no restrictions in terms of satellite data availability and use. Number of satellites acquiring image data for commercial purposes goes to tens and a suit of new satellite systems will be launched in the near future. Every single user thus has a chance to choose data that fit his needs.

The most striking development has occurred in spatial resolution. The newest satellites can get images with spatial resolution better than 1m that are suitable for mapping in the scale of 1:5,000 to 1:10,000. Even at this level of spatial detail the satellite data keep their rich spectral content; in the multispectral mode the scenes are always acquired also in the infrared part of the optical spectrum. At the same time, there are also specific satellite systems getting radar and hyperspectral data.

Still more frequent use of satellite data is due to their easier accessibility. In the past, the user must have relied on archives with data acquired without taking into account climatic conditions or customer’s needs. Nowadays the commercially based satellite systems enable getting images that fit the customer needs. He can define the area of interest, suitable time period and other parameters of the data.

All acquired data has always been archived. Due to that, the number of applications based on analyses and assessments of many environmental changes, has been increasing. Large archives plus an easy access to the current images of virtually any area on the Earth dignify satellite data to an invaluable information source and make them mapping tool accessible to everybody. Prices of satellite data have complied with a competitive environment on the geographic data market and therefore they have been becoming an effective alternative to the conventional methods as aerial photographing or ground mapping.