U.S. Intelligence Community Supports Sharper Satellite Images

In the increasingly competitive business of satellite imaging, Colorado-based DigitalGlobe is getting a welcome boost from some powerful friends. U.S. government agencies, particularly those in the intelligence sector, have traditionally worried that allowing private companies such as DigitalGlobe to sell increasingly high-resolution images could undermine one of the government’s key strategic advantages on the geopolitical scene. However, in light of advances made by non-U.S. satellite imaging companies, the intelligence community is now supporting DigitalGlobe’s push to make those higher resolution images publicly available on the open market. Why? Market share and global competitiveness.

DigitalGlobe offers a range of high-resolution satellite images.
DigitalGlobe offers a range of high-resolution satellite images.
DigitalGlobe offers a range of high-resolution satellite images.

In the increasingly competitive business of satellite imaging, Colorado-based DigitalGlobe is getting a welcome boost from some powerful friends. U.S. government agencies, particularly those in the intelligence sector, have traditionally worried that allowing private companies such as DigitalGlobe to sell increasingly high-resolution images could undermine one of the government’s key strategic advantages on the geopolitical scene. However, in light of advances made by non-U.S. satellite imaging companies, the intelligence community is now supporting DigitalGlobe’s push to make those higher resolution images publicly available on the open market. Why? Market share and global competitiveness. Walter Scott, DigitalGlobe’s founder and CTO and a participant at Techonomy’s 2013 conference, was quoted as saying, “DigitalGlobe appreciates the intelligence community’s support for reforms to the current U.S. regulations…. We are hopeful that the administration will act promptly on this issue to advance the nation’s commanding lead in this strategically important industry.” If approved, the new resolutions made available could allow images in which users could not only see a vehicle from space but identify what specific make of vehicle it was.

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