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Satellite imagery is a crucial technology for evolving industries to better plan urban developments, route worldwide journeys, and respond to disasters among other functions. Here’s how: the high-resolution images captured by satellites can track changes in land use, monitor the conditions of roads, and help identify safe zones during natural disasters like floods to name a few benefits.
It is critical for leaders, developers, and consumers in the tech space to keep up with the latest trends of satellite imagery so this technology can continue to innovative solutions for large-scale challenges and meet the needs of an increasingly map-assisted world.
Satellite imagery refers to images of the Earth taken from satellites orbiting the planet. These satellites are equipped with various sensors for detecting visible light, infrared light, microwave radiation, and more to craft high-resolution images. These images come together to create visual representations of the Earth that provide new perspectives on climate, geography, and manmade structures.
Satellite imagery plays a crucial role in shaping our understanding of the world by providing a wealth of information that cannot be obtained from cameras on the ground level. For example, satellite imagery can utilize its birdseye view to track the spread of deforestation, monitor changes in ocean temperatures, or identify the impact of new developments on certain areas of land. Overall, the data gleaned from satellite imagery can help us make more informed decisions about our planet.
There are a few main types of satellite imagery, each of which captures a different spectrum of information. The top three most common types of satellite imagery are:
This type of imagery uses the visible light spectrum (the colors of the rainbow) to capture a representation of the Earth’s surface. These images are much like the ordinary photographs anyone might take from a digital camera. The key difference is satellite imagery is taken from an extremely high altitude by an orbiting satellite.
Infrared imagery is a type of satellite imagery that captures images of the Earth's surface using infrared light. Infrared imagery offers a different view of the Earth's surface than visible imagery. While visible imagery only captures images within the visible spectrum, infrared imagery can detect energy in the infrared spectrum, specifically the temperature emitted by objects. This capability provides a distinct perspective of the Earth's surface to track the spread of fires, measure the water in crop soil, or look at large swings in temperature over time.
Water vapor imagery is a type of satellite imagery that uses sensors to detect and measure the amount of water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere. Unlike visible imagery, which captures images in the visible light spectrum, and infrared imagery, which detects temperature emitted by objects, water vapor imagery detects the microwave energy emitted by water molecules. This allows for a more specific understanding of water vapor distribution and movement in the atmosphere, useful for weather forecasting and climate studies.
Satellite imagery is used for a variety of purposes, including creating maps and images, change detection, and weather prediction.
Satellite images can be used to create detailed maps of the Earth’s surface. These maps can be used for a variety of purposes, including navigation, urban planning, and environmental management.
Satellite images can be used to track changes to the Earth’s surface over time. For example, satellite images can be used to monitor deforestation, track the growth of urban areas, or monitor the extent of damage after a natural disaster.
Satellite images can be used to track weather patterns, including the movement of clouds, the location of storms, and changes in temperature.
Satellite imagery is captured at a very high altitude by satellites orbiting the Earth. Aerial imagery, on the other hand, is captured from a lower altitude, typically by aircraft flying over the Earth’s surface. Aerial imagery provides a more detailed view of the Earth’s surface to its proximity, but it is also more limited in scope than satellite imagery.
To further investigate the uses of satellite imagery, you can take advantage of satellite imagery data from Mapbox. Mapbox Satellite provides a broad coverage of the Earth’s surface and is updated regularly, making it an ideal tool for gaining additional context about your surroundings.
With Mapbox’s satellite imagery, you can perform tasks like identifying every parking lot in a state or every school in the world, or visualize the extent of deforestation in the Amazon basin. Additionally, Mapbox satellite imagery allows you to understand ground truth before hiking in a new area, making a curbside delivery in a new neighborhood, or accurately planning a UAV flight by using existing landmarks in the imagery.
Satellite imagery is images of the earth taken from satellites that come together to create visual representations of the Earth and provide new perspectives on climate, geography, and manmade structures.
The three main types of satellite imagery are visible imagery, infared imagery, and water vapor imagery--each of which captures a different spectrum of information.
Satellite imagery is captured at a very high altitude by satellites orbiting the Earth. Aerial imagery, on the other hand, is captured from a lower altitude, typically by aircraft flying over the Earth’s surface.