30 January 2002
Space Imaging Introduces IKONOS Satellite Stereo Imagery Products to the Global Commercial Marketplace
Customers Now Have a New
to Visualize the Earth in 3-D
DENVER, Jan. 23, 2002 - Space Imaging, the world's leading provider of Earth imagery and related services to commercial and government markets, announced today that it is now offering one-meter resolution, stereo imagery from its IKONOS satellite to the commercial marketplace. These products were previously offered only to government customers.
Stereo products consist of two IKONOS satellite images of the same location on Earth, taken from two different perspectives during one orbital pass. The pair of images is collected in-track, or on the same ground path just moments apart, to maintain the tonal consistency between each image, enabling better interpretability. One of the two images is taken at a high elevation angle of greater than 72 degrees, which can be used to make a highly accurate orthorectified image.
The primary advantage of stereo imagery is the ability to extract cultural and geographic features in three dimensions such as buildings, roads and elevation contours. Stereo imagery is especially important for global markets where accurate elevation data is not readily available. Many commercial markets will benefit from stereo imagery including mapping, telecommunications, exploration and mining, transportation, environmental, urban planning and forestry. For example, airport officials can use stereo imagery for navigation and simulation; the telecommunications industry can develop 3-D line-of-sight models to identify potential locations for wireless towers; the exploration and mining industries can visualize and measure the geographical features of a site; urban planners can extract GIS vector layers to update and map geographic information; and forestry managers can determine marketable timber and even calculate the amount of timber lost due to fire, natural disasters or illegal harvesting.
Space Imaging’s stereo imagery product also includes an Image Geometry Model (IGM) file, a mathematical way to express the complex sensor model of IKONOS. By incorporating the IGM and stereo pair images into commonly used commercial imagery software suites, users will now be able to create their own digital elevation models (DEMs) and orthorectify the high-angle image with superior accuracy. Software packages supporting IKONOS stereo imagery include: BAE SYSTEMS' SOCET SET, ERDAS' Stereo Analyst and OrthoBASE, PCI's OrthoEngine, Z/I Imaging's ImageStation and SSK. All software packages are registered trademarks of their respective companies.
"Feature extraction of the built and natural environment is significantly enhanced using stereo pairs viewed in 3-D," said Jeff Young, vice president of Global Solutions Sales and Marketing. "With the appropriate tools that are available today the geospatial user can now extract elevation values of any location on Earth. This allows for the efficient extraction and analysis of features, modeling of terrain and urban landscapes, and the ability to detect changes in geographic position and elevation."
"This is a fantastic enabling technology for our broadband, wireless telecom customers," said Russell Cowart, president of I-cubed and a value-added reseller of IKONOS imagery. "Accurate 3-D building models and high-resolution canopy DEMs are critical components to establish the infrastructure for the next generation of telecommunications. The global availability of IKONOS stereo products will ensure a consistent platform for our customers to rely upon."
Stereo products can be purchased as 11-bit or 8-bit data and are offered in the same accuracy levels as other IKONOS products: