Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, image from Maxar Vivid Advanced Basemap 15-centimeter HD. Credit: Maxar

SAN FRANCISCO – Maxar Intelligence’s new global basemap offers 15-centimeter imagery for metropolitan areas.

The Vivid Advanced 15-centimeter HD Basemap, unveiled July 9, will be particularly important for mapping and navigation applications, Bryan Smith, Maxar 2D products director, told SpaceNews.

“In areas where there’s significant change occurring, our customers need a little bit more clarity so that they can keep the maps up to date,” Smith said. “Whether it’s being able to digitize lane lines or other road features, being able in dense urban environments to determine where buildings start and stop, or what’s an alley versus a sidewalk versus a road. You need that kind of clarity that our 15-centimeter HD product provides to meet the customer need.”

Maxar Vivid Advanced Basemap 15-centimeter HD image of Las Vegas, Nevada. Credit: Maxar

Mapping and Visualization

Maxar began offering global satellite imagery with a resolution of 30-centimeters per pixel in 2023. Prior to that, Maxar’s basemap offered 50-centimeter resolution worldwide and 30-centimeter resolution for select cities.

Customers for the upgraded imagery include national map makers. In addition, the maps will serve customers focused on visualization and simulation.

“Things like flight simulators fall into that bucket,” Smith said. Similarly, defense mission planning and analysis often requires background images as part of the workflow, he added.

Maxar Advanced Vivid Basemap 15-centimeter HD image of Las Vegas, Nevada, construction. Credit: Maxar

Annual Refresh

For areas of frequent change, Maxar’s goal is annual refresh.  

“If you think about where change is occurring, it’s occurring around population centers,” Smith said. “We’re continuing to cover population centers because that’s where people live, work and play. But we’ve expanded coverage in an intelligent fashion to those exurbs and to specific areas within population centers where change is occurring.”

Outside areas of rapid change, Maxar seeks to update imagery every other year. Those refresh rates are “something we will drive to over time,” Smith said.

Legion’s Contribution

Maxar’s six-satellite WorldView Legion constellation will support Vivid Advanced basemaps.

“We’re excited to have that imagery in our product suite,” Smith said.

The first two WorldView Legion satellites, which acquire 30-centimeter electro-optical imagery, launched May 2 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Legion will provide “additional 30-centimeter native capacity that we can then produce into this 15-centimeter HD Basemap over areas that are relevant for our customers,” Smith 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...