Maxar Vivid Basemap 30-centimeter-resolution image of Port de Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Nice, France. Credit: Maxar Technologies

SAN FRANCISCO — Maxar Technologies unveiled an updated version March 28 of its popular global basemap.

Maxar’s Vivid Standard, the new basemap, includes global imagery with a resolution of 30-centimeters per pixel. In contrast, Maxar’s previous basemap, which underpins many mapping applications, offers 50-centimeter resolution worldwide and 30-centimeter resolution for select cities.

“We are able to do a lot more things with 30-centimeter imagery, which we have not been able to do previously,” Sid Dixit, Maxar vice president of engineering and product, told SpaceNews. “We can identify structures like bus stops and traffic lights, and we get a very accurate view of new roads, vegetation and buildings.”

The Vivid Standard basemap is available to the more than 220 customers who rely on Vivid basemap. Organizations that pair Vivid basemap with artificial intelligence to create 3D simulations for training, gaming and planning, for example, will have access to the higher-resolution basemap.

Maxar has gathered 30-centimeter imagery since launching WorldView-3 in 2014. To create a global basemap, Maxar combines about 400,000 image strips. Image consistency is maintained by combining cloud-free imagery obtained during the spring and summer.

Vivid Standard includes imagery captured at a native resolution of 30-centimeters per pixel plus slightly lower-resolution imagery enhanced through the application of AI and machine learning.  

Maxar plans to continue improving the Vivid basemap. The next step, achieving a resolution of 15 centimeters per pixel, will offer “yet again an order of magnitude improvement in being able to understand our world from space more accurately,” Dixit said.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...