The new imagery coming down from WorldView-3, the satellite that DigitalGlobe launched only two weeks ago, is amazing! And this early imagery is now live on Mapbox Satellite for all maps. The combination of color and crispness from WorldView-3 is unparalleled by any other commercial imagery that we’ve worked with. We’re starting with a small update to Mapbox Satellite, just a 3 km2 area around Madrid’s airport, but the details are stunning. Below you can see minute runway details, down to expansion joints in the pavement. You can read the numbers on the planes’ parking lots, count shipping containers, and see trucks queued for departure. The satellite has laid out the whole story of the airport’s traffic at this moment in time. Shot from 619km altitude in space, you can’t tell the difference between this imagery and the 30cm flyover imagery that it’s seamlessly mosaiced with in our map.

First WorldView-3 Imagery

40 cm resolution in Madrid From 89°, 12:56:21 local time


Identifying planes

A Boeing 787–800 is at Terminal 1, Gate A4: RyanAir FR7754, a passenger flight bound for Tangier, Morocco.

Runway detail

Runway markings are clearly visible, including expansion joints in the pavement, guide lines, and aircraft storage lot numbers.

Airport shuttles

Parked airport shuttles indicate infrastructure load at this time of day.

Air cargo

The flow of shipping containers is easy to track at this resolution. You can count the group next to this DHL freight jet.

© Mapbox, Digital Globe

Captured on August 21, eight days after launch at 12:56:21 local time, Madrid Spain. Using WorldView-3’s 27 super-spectral bands. Powered by Mapbox GL.

We can’t wait for more imagery in the coming months as we look to continue to build out the most beautiful satellite map in the world. The combination of image quality, image volume, and timeliness will make entirely new kinds of maps possible. The satellite is still in testing phase, but DigitalGlobe is already taking early orders, so if you’re looking for updated imagery, or even custom tasking, drop us a line