Feeds

US allows commercial use of sharper satellite snaps

American satellite operators catch up with France

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

US-based satellite-images-for-sale outfit DigitalGlobe has had a win: its national government will allow it to sell higher-resolution images.

As we noted in March, the US Senate has been considering whether local satellite operators should be allowed to sell more detailed images. The reason for the deliberations was that while DigitalGlobe and others were limited to 0.5 metre resolution, “foreign firms approach or surpass this level of resolution” meaning “current restrictions on U.S. commercial imagery data providers put the United States at a competitive disadvantage and may harm an industrial base that is important to national security.”

That argument appears to have proved irresistible, as the company late last week announced it can now offer sub-half-metre imagery.

DigitalGlobe is widely believed to offer even higher-resolution images to government clients. Its site now advertises the chance to acquire “.3-.6 meter” imagery that makes it possible to “easily discern key features such as manholes and mailboxes.”

Privacy groups are often far from keen on satellite imagery, so before they get all huffy about this relaxation of the rules let's remember that other nations already allow sale of images at similar resolutions. Let's also remember, as we pointed out in 2012 there's lots of 10cm imagery out there . Some of it is even free, with copyright thrown in!

Good luck then to DigitalGlobe: we hope it fares well against competitors. And that people don't get too worried that the USA's decision to let it sell sharper snaps means some new era of surveillance is upon us. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.