DigitalGlobe Wins Contract to Update USDA Orthoimagery

Marks First Time Satellite Imagery Used in Program

Longmont, Colo., August 30, 2004 – DigitalGlobe®, provider of the world’s highest resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products, announced it has been awarded a contract to update the orthoimagery base program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The award was issued by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) 2004 Alaska Orthoimagery Project — and represents the first time satellite imagery has been used in the USDA’s program.

Under the contract, DigitalGlobe will provide 2-foot resolution, orthorectified, 1:12,000 Digital Ortho Quarter Quadrangles (DOQQs) from QuickBird imagery. The imagery will be collected over two sites in Alaska – the Northstar Borough/Southeast Fairbanks and Valdez-Cordova areas – covering about 2,167 square miles. These products will be used to create and update the USDA’s orthoimagery database.

The USDA has historically relied on film-based aerial photography, which can be time-consuming, costly and oftentimes dangerous to collect given the area’s changing weather patterns.  The remote, hard-to-reach areas of Alaska make aerial data collection even more difficult and dangerous due to changing weather patterns and rough terrain.  The digital QuickBird satellite imagery will offer many benefits over aerial photography including cost savings, quicker turn-around and data delivery, and the availability of both true-color and false-color imagery. 

“DigitalGlobe is privileged to be part of this contract, because it marks the first time satellite imagery has ever been used as part of the program,” said Brett Thomassie, director of civil government programs for DigitalGlobe. “This contract signals the acceptance of QuickBird as an information tool that can meet and exceed the USDA’s requirements for program decision making.”

The FSA-APFO is responsible for acquisition of aerial photography and digital imagery to support multiple USDA agency programs covering natural resource inventories to farm commodities programs. According to Geoff Gabbott, contracting officer with FSA, “The agencies within USDA, including NRCS, rely heavily on current high-quality imagery to provide information used in program management. Digital orthophotos provided by DigitalGlobe should allow the NRCS to more effectively and efficiently manage their natural resource programs in Alaska.”

The Natural Resources Conservation Service provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment. For more information on NRCS, visit:

About DigitalGlobe
DigitalGlobe is the clear leader in the global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information market. The company’s technical superiority and innovation, unparalleled commitment to customer service, extensive business partner network and open systems philosophy make DigitalGlobe the preferred supplier of satellite and aerial imagery and value-added products. In 2001, DigitalGlobe launched what remains the world’s highest resolution commercial satellite today, QuickBird. The company will launch its next-generation WorldView system no later than 2006, while the competition has no plans to launch a satellite comparable to either QuickBird or WorldView before 2008. QuickBird has collected and stored in its ImageLibrary hundreds of thousands of Earth image scenes covering over a hundred million square kilometers, and collects an additional one million square kilometers each week. These new and historical images are essential for customers who map and plan for change in our world. DigitalGlobe is based in Longmont, Colo., USA. For more information visit