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Quickbird imagery of the Vatican

I ran across this image taken on April 5th of the Vatican during Pope John Paul II’s funeral services and the crowds filling the streets for blocks making this perhaps histories largest funeral. This of course is exactly the type of story that has become a significant part of DigitalGlobe’s bottom line. The ability of news organizations to order up satellite imagery of current events like the recent tsunamis or of nuclear plants in Iran and North Korea help make the news more relevant to the average person by showing them the event or place in near real time with a perspective unparalleled by anyone on the ground. Of course the impressive thing about this is that it is a private corporation rather than a government that has launched this satellite and with their Quickbird satellite they are the only commercial source for sub-meter resolution imagery from space combined with multispectral imagery! Until recently, this type of resource has only been available to organizations like the CIA, NRO and NIMA nee NGA (whose current resolution for visible wavelength is about 10-cm optimal). Of course Quickbird does not allow for real time imagery possible with the current government run Keyhole or HK-12 series, but it is impressive nonetheless.

The original image of the Vatican can be found here in full resolution.

Categories: Events.

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