Spot Imagery Options

SPATIAL MAPPING LTD., ResMap's parent company, is a distributor of SPOT Imagery Products. SPOT 5 Earth observation satellite was successfully placed into orbit on the 4th of May 2002. It is scheduled to begin collecting commercial imagery in the 3rd quarter of 2002.

Balancing Spatial Resolution and Swath Width

SPOT 5 is the first of the high resolution satellites to truly balance large scene sizes with highly detailed imagery, with coverage of vast territories: scenes of 60 x 60 or 60 x 120 km.

SPOT 5 data are the first source of satellite imagery compatible with regular mapping standards and are an indispensable tool for:

Geology, Mineral and Oil Exploration

Oil companies, mining companies, national research organizations and environmental protection agencies all commonly use satellite imagery in their fossil energy management and exploration.

Spot allows geologists to collect key geologic and structural terrain information before setting foot on the landscape, reducing the time, money and risk associated with lengthy field exploration. In poorly mapped areas, Spot data lets you plan fieldwork with confidence and minimize logistical costs. In well-mapped regions, our up- to-date imagery is an ideal base map for integration with other map information and specialized databases.

For users with expertise in image processing software, SPOT Scenes are minimally processed for your custom manipulation. If you prefer your data GIS-ready, check out SPOTView - geocoded and orthocorrected imagery. Our Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) give you the advantage of elevation information and 3-D visualization. And we offer a wide range of radar imagery products, which complement Spot's optical data with information on geological features.

(Image shown above - Detection of a leak on a pipeline - 2.5m)

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The social, economic and environmental impacts of farming are of strategic importance for the vast majority of the world's nations today. As a result, crop mapping and monitoring are finding applications in such areas as inventorying annual broad acre crops and perennial fruit crops, forecasting crop yields for more effective stock management and food security, managing cultural practices within individual field parcels using precision agriculture techniques, and checking and monitoring farming subsidies within a regulatory framework.

Mapping and monitoring pastures:

In the Zorn valley and along the publicly owned stretch of the Ill river in Alsace, north-east France, SPOT 5 data have been evaluated to determine their usefulness in applying and monitoring agro-environmental measures designed to sustain and encourage a return to livestock farming on natural pastures.

Example of cadastral map draped over 2.5-metre colour data to generate field survey documents at 1:5 000. Field survey documents must provide information such as parcel registration numbers and cadastral boundaries for administrative identification purposes.

SPOT 5 as an alternative or complement to aerial photography for field survey documents
Colour data at resolutions of 2.5 metres or 5 metres enable production of field survey documents at 1:5 000 and 1:2 500 with comparable results to aerial photography. And besides their excellent geometric quality, SPOT 5 data do not call for complex mosaicing and brightness matching.

Identifying and monitoring pastures

SPOT 5 data enable better identification of pastures and can discriminate different types of grassland. SPOT 5 2.5-metre black-and-white imagery also highlights trees and hedgerows bordering fields and water courses, and makes it easier to pick out small parcels under crop within pasture areas.

Automatic classification of 2.5-metre colour data of pasture areas.
Data at scales up to 1:5 000 make it easier to map these sensitive areas, even where the landscape is made up of scattered farmland parcels.

Counting Olive Trees

Managing and protecting oilseed crops:
The advantages of 2.5-metre black-and-white data were tested on a project called Olisig initiated by ONIOL, France's national agency for growers of oilseed, high-protein and textile crops. This project aimed to manage olive growers' subsidy claims.

Olive trees are currently counted automatically from one-metre-resolution aerial photographs, then counts are validated by photo-interpreters.

Result of current counting method using aerial photographs. Zooming 2.5-metre black-and-white data to 1.25 metres and enhancing them by deconvolution and high-pass filtering yielded very good results with the same counting method (less than two per cent error with respect to reference values).

SPOT 5 imagery enables the same kind of automatic counting as with photo-interpretation and accuracy is excellent.

Highly Precise Crop Identification

Checking agricultural subsidy claims:
This operational activity involves comparing farmers' claim forms against crop acreage and land usage data derived from satellite images. The method is based on merging information provided by farmers with satellite data and draping it over a cadastral base map. Analysts then determine whether to send out field inspectors from ONIC, the French Ministry of Agriculture's national cereals agency.

Comparison of SPOT 4 20-metre XS scene and SPOT 5 10-metre colour and 2.5-metre black-and-white scenes.

SPOT 5 improves crop identification
Colour images with a spatial resolution of 10 metres enable very accurate crop identification.
SPOT 5 improves boundary detection
Lanes, paths, hedgerows, trees, houses and other non-farmland features are easy to identify and digitize on 2.5-metre black-and-white images.

The rich thematic content and very high resolution of SPOT 5 imagery facilitate data processing and allow faster and more reliable analysis.

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Urban Planning

Mapping the urban landscape - Monitoring change

Urban development is one of the key issues facing land-use planning departments today. Monitoring the spread of urbanization concerns regions, groups of urban communities or even entire countries, and may sometimes span international borders. Regional and local development programs need geographic information to give decision-makers a broad picture that reaches across all sectors. Such programmers have to ensure that land-use provisions are spatially coherent and take environmental issues fully into account.

Collecting uniform and current geographic data for planning purposes is not always an easy task. Tools for tracking built-up areas, especially in peri-urban zones, require map coverage of vast areas that is both accurate-to locate buildings-and uniform.

A Closer Insight into Urban Features and Dynamics

Land-use planning departments rely on geographic data updated on a yearly basis covering urban conurbations at a scale of 1:10 000. SPOT 5's improved resolution and wide-area coverage lets urban planners:

Shape and distribution criteria can be applied to built-up areas and vegetation to classify urban areas as:

Updating Environmental Urban Databases

To promote sustainable urban development and enhance quality of life, urban planning departments are focusing their attention on vegetation in urban and peri-urban zones-parks and green spaces, hedgerows and wooded areas bordering lakes, rivers and canals-in order to zone and protect greenbelt areas.
SPOT 5's improved resolution and spectral sensing capability make it possible to:

SPOT 5 2.5-metre colour imagery enables automatic calculation of indicators showing the area covered by vegetation inside each census parcel of the urban database (at a scale of 1:10 000).

Studying Peri-Urban Zones

Cities grow by spreading outwards or through a process of densification. Spatial distribution of housing and unoccupied land is the kind of information SPOT 5 imagery can highlight for urban land-use planning.

The advantages of SPOT 5 for urban mapping at 1:10 000

HRG instrument (High Resolution Geometric) Multi-resolution, wide-swath imaging

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Forest Management

Evaluating Forest Storm Damage - Mapping storm damage

The storms that left a trail of destruction through France in December 1999 took a devastating human and economic toll. Following initial emergency response, maps and statistical data had to be produced rapidly to assess the extent of the damage. To this end, large volumes of Earth observation data including SPOT imagery and aerial photographs were combined with field surveys. Simulated SPOT 5 imagery was also analysed to gauge its ability to aid damage mapping.

Complementing Conventional Survey Methods
Local-scale damage mapping of small parcels of forest currently relies on analysis of aerial photographs at 1:30 000 and on field surveys by ONF, the French national forestry service, or by private contractors. Remote sensing data speeds up assessment, which can be very time-consuming where storm damage is spread over a vast area. SPOT 5's capacity to acquire timely, accurate and reliable geographic information covering large tracts of forest is therefore a precious aid.

SPOT 5 - A clearer view of forests

HRG instrument (High Resolution Geometric) Multi-resolution, wide-swath imaging.

A new range of spatial resolutions for forest management:

Wide-area imaging:

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Disaster Management

The advantages of SPOT 5 for natural disaster management

HRG instrument (High Resolution Geometric) - Finer resolution for improved hazard mapping

HRS instrument (High Resolution Stereoscopic) - Digital elevation models for hazard modeling

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Flight Simulations

SPOT Imagery provides realistic visual content to the defense and civilian simulation/visualization programs that comprise a $12 Billion annual modeling and simulation industry. By combining satellite imagery and terrain elevation databases, SPOT creates stunning true-color 3D terrain visualizations for any location on Earth for flight training, battlefield management, mission rehearsal, research, gaming and other activities.

"The accurate, up-to-date portrayal of surface features is critical to simulating civilian and military air flight and ground operations for safety, training and mission rehearsal," explains Gene Colabatistto, president of SPOT Image Corporation. "In the past, simulation graphics were often less than realistic estimations of land cover, or poorly constructed image mosaics, with no dynamic relation to current ground features, and no practical updating capability. That has all changed now."

SPOT Image products have been used extensively for terrain simulation projects such as these: 

Nationwide true color 3D database of South Korea produced to support military pilot training exercises

Extensive use of 3D terrain databases to support U.S. Army troop deployments in Kosovo, Iraq and elsewhere

Simulation databases for Arizona training ranges produced for Multigen-Paradigm, for use in U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona

Simulation databases of the Eglin Air Force Base Weapons Training Range, Florida La Palma Island visualization to support ongoing environmental and natural studies programs

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Defense & Intelligence

Detailed knowledge of the terrain is a key factor for successful military operations. Satellite imagery is a source of reliable, regularly updated information which gives a realistic and objective view of the terrain indispensable for mission planning. The Spot satellites provide geographic information on a global scale and a quick response in times of crisis.

Satellite imagery is used for intelligence purposes at three levels : strategic, tactical and operational. Spot imagery's high resolution and 60 x 60 km swath make it the ideal decision tool:

What’s new with Spot 5?

Simultaneous stereopair acquisition

The HRS instrument (High Resolution Stereoscopic) is one of the key innovations on Spot 5 : it is able to acquire stereopair images simultaneously for production of DEMs (Digital Elevation Models) and orthorectification of HRG (High Resolution Geometric) images.

The exceptional acquisition capacity of Spot 5, combined with an industrial production process, means that a worldwide digital elevation model database covering over 30 million square kilometres can be built up over a period of 5 years.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) call for aerial or satellite imagery, which must register accurately with other data (from statistical, documentary, administrative, socioeconomic or geographic sources). DEMs generated by the HRS instrument can be used to correct for relief displacement effects, an important factor for accurate registration.

Combined with DEMs, Spot 5 orthoimages give a precise picture of relief. When used in low-altitude flight simulators, they provide vital information for aerial mission planners and command information systems.

These new products are also a key asset for modern weapon systems, or those being developed, which rely more and more on geographic data.

Location accuracy without ground control points
Spot 5’s capabilities:

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Whether sizing new networks or densifying existing ones, telecommunications network planners need up-to-date coverages to build radio propagation models. These digital maps provide essential geographic information about terrain, building heights, land use and linear features. The recent growth of wireless telephone networks is driving demand in the telecoms market, which today is one of the biggest consumers of this kind of geographic information. Customers are looking to obtain more regularly updated information at increasingly precise scales.

Developing Dedicated Geographic Databases

Sizing and deployment of wireless telephone networks demand various kinds of information. Network planners mostly use satellite imagemaps, which depict land use and land cover features in urban areas (clutter maps), and digital terrain models (DTMs) or digital elevation models (DEMs) overlaid with communications infrastructures. In recent years, Earth observation data have started catering for these requirements. Thanks to their stereoviewing capacity and their ability to acquire coverages of most of the world’s cities in a single image, the SPOT satellites have built up a large archive of urban imagery that is used to develop standardized products. These products offer a resolution of 10 or 20 metres, making it possible to distinguish more than 10 urban land-use classes.

A Clearer Picture of Urban Areas

What mobile phone network planners most need today is a more detailed picture of land use, particularly in dense urban areas. To meet this demand, SPOT 5 will offer products with improved resolution and information content closely tailored to the requirements of operators and equipment manufacturers.

Determining building heights

By digitizing building outlines on two SPOT 5 2.5-metre black-and-white scenes acquired from different viewing angles, and by analysing the differences between the two, we can determine the height of objects on the ground using photogrammetry techniques. This information, combined with a DTM showing terrain elevation above sea level, reveals extra detail for determining building heights. Such products offer a z-accuracy of around 2.5 metres.

Enhancing land-use information

To obtain better land-use information for telecommunications network planning, we have to define building height and building density classes and extract mean height and density values for each class. A possible method of achieving this would be to add an extra step to the standard process for producing satellite imagemaps, DEMs and land-use maps. This step would use automatic or semi-automatic classification of the DEM containing the elevation of each point to classify groups of buildings according to their height and density, and thus obtain a more detailed nomenclature.

Combined advantages of SPOT 5 HRG and HRS data

HRG instrument (High Resolution Geometric) Capable of covering an entire city and its suburbs in a single scene.

HRS instrument (High Resolution Stereoscopic) Designed specially to acquire wide-area DEMs.

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Water Resources

Spot imagery is an indispensable tool in understanding and managing water resources. It provides a detailed, highly localized perspective as well as a larger regional view of the interaction of water and land surfaces. Applications range from managing disasters such as flooding to harnessing this natural resource for irrigation, recreation and other human development projects.

Need the most up-to-date imagery available? Request data from yesterday's orbit. If you need historical data, the Spot archives contain close to six million images, acquired since 1986. Or we can program our satellites to acquire imagery to meet your special requirements.

Spot's revisit capability means our satellites can acquire repeat coverage every few days. In fast-breaking situations such as floods, this "repeat imagery" allows you to monitor change and plan your actions accordingly. Worldwide coverage means you receive the accurate, up-to-date data you need, no matter how remote the location.

However, Spot delivers more than imagery to hydrologists. Our extensive line of image-derived products includes land use and landcover maps and three-dimensional Digital Elevation Models (DEMs). Radar products complement Spot data by providing information about our hydrosphere which optical sensing could not otherwise acquire.

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