DigitalGlobe now has 4 billion km2 of imagery in their archive

Without the company DigitalGlobe, Google Earth would not be nearly as compelling as it is.  As we discussed last year, DigitalGlobe is responsible for much of the imagery that you find in Google Earth.  Earlier this year they looked at the past 50 years of the satellite industry, and just recently they reached a major milestone: 4 billion square kilometers of imagery in their archives.

Here is what they had to say about this amazing accomplishment:

DigitalGlobe recently reached a major milestone – the company’s archive surpassed 4 billion square kilometers of high-resolution satellite imagery. As the leader in commercial satellite imagery content, DigitalGlobe now has an archive containing enough imagery to cover the globe’s landmass 27 times over. With its current five satellite constellation, DigitalGlobe is adding a billion square kilometers every year to the imagery archive, an area expected to increase even further with the launch of its newest satellite, WorldView-3, next year.

You can view the full blog post here. Below, we’ve also included the first image ever taken by DigitalGlobe’s satellite, Ikonos, which is the first satellite to collect commercially-available, high-resolution imagery launched in 1999. We’ve also shared a more recent image to showcase how DigitalGlobe’s imagery has progressed.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. The entire surface area of the earth is around half a billion (US) square kilometres, only a third of which is land. So are Digital Globe covering the land surface on average six or seven times a year or the whole surface twice a year (with presumably not much to show over the oceans)?

    • The image collections are not uniformally disributed across the landmass, they are typically focused more on areas experiencing change to the surface (population zones, industrial zones, agricultural areas, coastlines, etc…). It is not uncommon to have multiple images a month in areas experiencing rapid change. You will also find maritime coverage (including the polar regions), typically concentrated in littoral areas.

  2. But there are still plenty of areas around the globe which is not covered. Specially in south Asia and middle East. So basically these 4 billion figures are just only impressive on papers.

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