Spot Image Corp. Announces North American Data Purchase by U.S. Government

Chantilly, VA, 07 June 2010 – Spot Image Corp. today announced a major data purchase agreement with the U.S. government that gives the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) nearly unlimited access to imagery collected by the SPOT 4 and 5 satellites over the Continental United States. In partnership with NASA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USGS may distribute the North American image data to U.S. civilian federal, state and local government agencies at no additional cost.

“This agreement with USGS makes SPOT satellite imagery one of the most widely used medium resolution commercial sources of Earth observation data in the U.S. government,” said Antoine de Chassy, President and CEO of Spot Image Corp. 

Spot Image was awarded the one-year contract, which went into effect in December 2009, following a competitive bid process managed by USGS. Among the reasons for Spot Image’s selection is the fact the SPOT satellites acquire mid- to high-resolution panchromatic and multispectral imagery. The mid-resolution SPOT data is similar to imagery acquired by the aging U.S. Landsat satellites.

“Concern over Landsat data continuity led us to take a proactive approach to ensure an alternate source of imagery was available,” said Bruce Quirk, Program Coordinator for USGS Land Remote Sensing Program. “In the competitive bidding process, Spot Image offered us liberal licensing arrangements and timely data delivery.”

Under the agreement, USGS is now operating a SPOT-compatible ground receiving station using a SPOT Image-owned Terminal system. The SPOT 5 Terminal was installed in April 2010 at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Landsat data is currently processed and distributed. In a similar process, USGS receives, processes, and web-enables the SPOT data and distributes it to qualifying federal, state and local agencies. Prior to installation of the station, Spot Image provided North American imagery for USGS via a high-speed data connection.

This North American data purchase complements another acquisition agreement finalized between USGS and Spot Image in 2000. Under that contract, the USGS received a copy of the entire SPOT satellite image archive over North America from 1986 to 1998. Since early 2009, USGS has been making the archived SPOT data available at no charge to the U.S. public and private sectors via the EarthExplorer website (

About Spot Image Corporation (
Spot Image Corporation of Chantilly, VA, is a fully-owned North American subsidiary of Spot Image S.A., an EADS Astrium company. With two operational Earth observation satellites in orbit and four more scheduled to launch over the next four years, Spot Image is a leading supplier of geospatial information. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, with subsidiaries and offices in Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Peru, Singapore and the United States, the Spot Image group leverages a global network of ground receiving stations, partners and distributors to bring an extensive variety of geographic information products and services to public- and private-sector decision-makers worldwide.