DigitalGlobe Announces Winners of Inaugural 8-Band Research Challenge

Top papers show benefits of 8 bands for bathymetry, feature extraction/classification and vegetative analysis

Longmont, Colorado, December 16, 2010 – DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI), a leading global content provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, today announced the winners of the inaugural 8-Band Research Challenge. The 8-Band Research Challenge encourages researchers to investigate how 8-Band Imagery, available exclusively from DigitalGlobe, can enhance analysis and classification research and enable the development of next generation geospatial applications.

Judged by a panel of remote sensing experts, submissions were evaluated based on the quality of the science, innovative methodology and broad applicability of 8-Band Imagery to real-world challenges.

The five winning papers demonstrated scientific excellence in terms of sound reasoning, problem definition, methodology and presentation. In addition to the five winners, the judges identified 10 additional high-quality papers that presented compelling research into how 8-Band Imagery adds substantial value in a wide range of applications.

Overall, the fifteen papers found that 8-Band Imagery provides measurable improvements across a range of multispectral, remote sensing applications. These results translate into practical applications in many areas including bathymetry, feature extraction, vegetative analysis, environmental monitoring and land cover classification. The complete list of recognized papers, along with their abstracts, can be found at 

“We were thrilled with the thoughtful and thorough science behind the submissions. In fact it was difficult to choose a group of winners from the many entrants, because the quality of submissions was so high,” said DigitalGlobe CTO Walter Scott. “We expect that a number of these papers will go on to be accepted in scientific peer reviewed journals, as they represent elegant and sophisticated research that will have a profound impact in the remote sensing community.”

The five winning submissions are:
James F. Bramante – National University of Singapore, Tropical Marine Science Institute
Derivation of Bathymetry from Multispectral Imagery in the Highly Turbid Waters of Singapore’s South Islands
Jeremy M. Kerr – Nova Southeastern University, National Coral Reef Institute
WorldView-2 Offers New Capabilities for the Monitoring of Threatened Coral Reefs
Christoph C. Borel  – Air Force Institute of Technology
Vegetative Canopy Parameter Retrieval Using 8-Band Data
Hamdan Omar – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
Commercial Timber Tree Species Identification Using Multispectral WorldView-2 Data
Antonio Wolf – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Using WorldView-2 Vis-NIR MSI Imagery to Support Land Mapping and Feature Extraction Using Normalized Difference Index Ratios
These five studies found practical benefits from 8-Band Imagery in the following areas:
Bathymetry – Two studies clearly documented significant improvements in the accuracy of water depth measurements with 8-Band Imagery. These studies point out the value of rapid, accurate and inexpensive bathymetry in efforts to preserve coral reef habitats and maintain safety in active ports and harbors.
Feature Extraction – 8-Band Imagery was shown to dramatically simplify the process of feature extraction, making it more accessible to imagery analysts and ultimately enabling “on-the-fly” land cover classification map products. 
Tree Species Classification – With 8-Band Imagery, researchers were able to map tree species in both planted and natural forests with an accuracy of about 90%. Collecting detailed and accurate information on the species composition of entire forests is critical for the assessment of biodiversity, environmental monitoring and sustainable forest management.
Plant Health – Researchers clearly documented how 8-Band Imagery could be used to extract key plant information that would provide invaluable insights to farmers and foresters about the health of crops, the appropriate levels of fertilizer or irrigation and the impacts of disease, drought or storm damage.

Each winner will receive a cash grant of $5,000 USD to support their research and will present their findings at the Geospatial World Forum in Hyderabad, India in January.

Scott added that to accommodate overwhelming interest, the 8-Band Challenge has been extended to a second judging period in mid 2011, when five additional winners will be named.

To learn more about DigitalGlobe’s 8-Band multispectral imagery visit: 

About DigitalGlobe
DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution earth imagery products and services. Sourced from our own advanced satellite constellation, our imagery solutions support a wide variety of uses within defense and intelligence, civil agencies, mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, Internet portals and navigation technology. With our collection sources and comprehensive ImageLibrary (containing more than one billion square kilometers of earth imagery and imagery products) we offer a range of on- and off-line products and services designed to enable customers to easily access and integrate our imagery into their business operations and applications. For more information, visit