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The Uses of Commercial Satellite Imagery - The Basics to Know

Commercial Satellite Imagery
Commercial Satellite Imagery 
Quality of commercial satellite images and the usage of it is taking a big leap forward later. Since the time satellites were used to take earth photographs from space, the human perspective have changed in many areas ranging from construction to defense. These images have inspired a lot of excitement and introspection as well as often times, fear. Like any other inputs, satellite imagery is also neutral. But, we can find these images very powerful in terms of the information it share by revealing the surprisingly minute details and comprehensive.

Initially, the reach of satellite imagery was limited, but lately the number of users accessing satellite photos is exploding. As time passes by, many new commercial satellites are also coming into picture with increasing capabilities as spy satellites for the military and geo-spatial surveying etc. From the commercial satellite operators taking satellite photos, you can buy these images of various purposes.

Usages of satellite images

Satellite images make it possible for a wide range of things as distinguishing between the trucks or tanks, pin-point the movement of large troops or refugee groups, or to identify the location of some natural elements. The good or bad impact of these images may largely depend on who buys it and how they use it.

In fact, there is no such specific guaranteed use of satellite images whereas the governments, big corporate, to small groups or individuals now use commercial imagery as a part of their intelligence gathering, do industrial espionage, mount the military operations or even to plan terrorist attacks at the worse. Even when it is used for good intention, it is too difficult to derive a very accurate and instantly usable information from the available images and data. On the other hand, misinterpreting the satellite images could be misidentifying the objects.

Those who purchase commercial satellite images and photos make use of it for a variety of purposes. The governments and organizations may use it to track any sudden refugee movements, document any large-scale atrocity, monitor any environmental degradation, or to monitor any disputes between countries before it escalates into any full-fledged riot or war.

For example, the UN (United Nations) uses satellite images to track any drug trafficking for more than 10 years now. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does surveillance to ensure compliance with international arms control agreement through satellite imagery

All-seeing hawk’s eye

It is now possible to offer satellite imagery to support the legal claims for issues like illegal plant clearing or even insurance fraud. For example, an evidence recently evaluated of the satellite imagery taken during Syrian civil back in 2013 had shown evidences of visible damage to about 640 buildings.

Lawn care right from space

An enterprising lawn care company leveraged the advantage of using the Google Earth application to assess the yard work needs of potential clients. This could be done at a larger scale using commercial satellite imagery. Instead of an expert going physical to the location and spending many hours to measure the total land area, this could easily be estimated using geospatial technology. Such a development will help landscapers to control their lean logistical procedures, save a lot of time, and optimize the resources.

Considering the future of satellite imagery, we can see that space is already well integrated into our lives and with the advancement in the internet of things and smart grids and, it will largely get intervened to human activities. More applications like Google Maps which can combine aerial, space, and ground-based imagery will ensure a seamless and immense any-purpose imagery.

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