Annual Selection of Spectacular Satellite Images Determined With 1,460 Public Votes

When asked to help determine the top 10 IKONOS satellite images of the year, 1,460 people from around the world logged online and gave their candid opinions. Space Imaging asked voters to choose 10 images using a single word as the criteria, “stunning.” Voters chose from 24 images, all taken during 2004, and after four weeks of voting in December and January, one image rose to the top as the most popular – Ayers Rock in Australia.

This is the fifth year Space Imaging has named the Top 10 IKONOS Images, but it’s the first time the public has been asked to help select the 10 best. The Top 10 IKONOS Images are featured on Space Imaging’s Web site 2004 Top 10 Gallery (

  • Ayers Rock, Australia
  • Fritzler Corn Maze, Colo.
  • Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Gooseneck State Park, Utah
  • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Athens Olympic Sports Complex, Greece
  • Angkor Wat monument, Cambodia
  • Matangi Island, Fiji
  • Enoki Tunnel landslide in Niigata, Japan
  • Banda Aceh tsunami damage in Sumatra, Indonesia (The Banda Aceh tsunami image was taken on Dec. 26 after voting started but was included because of the enormous impact of the tragedy.)

All of the images were taken from 423 miles in space as IKONOS moved over the Earth in a north-to-south orbit at 17,000 mph. They represent the very best from IKONOS including those taken by some of Space Imaging’s Regional Affiliate ground stations located around the world. Since IKONOS ushered in a new era of commercial high-resolution Earth imagery, it has documented the ever-changing world with more than 1.7 million images – the most of any commercial high-resolution satellite. IKONOS is expected to operate well into the 2008 timeframe.

While voting, participants were given the opportunity to leave a comment about the images. Most of the comments can be read online at Space Imaging’s 2004 Top 10 Gallery. Examples of comments left by voters include: “I chose these images, not merely because the subject matter was interesting, but also because there is an emotive quality that is enhanced by the resolution and clarity of the images;” and “Images are excellent as documents of history, events and disasters. I am geologist and some of them are especially interesting for me as IKONOS enables extraordinary sight from sky. I am again fascinated with human curiosity and effort to always find something new and to discover the unknown.”

“Customers throughout the world have come to rely on map-accurate imagery from IKONOS as a decision-support tool for a variety of business, economic, environmental and security challenges,” said Mark Brender, vice president of Corporate Communications at Space Imaging. “It’s nice to see such a large voting response from those who see value in the visual.”

Many of these images and hundreds of other satellite images can be purchased as posters at Space Imaging’s online Poster Store at

About Space Imaging

Space Imaging is the premier provider of satellite imagery enabling businesses, governments and individuals to better map, measure, monitor and manage the world in which we live. Based near Denver, Colo., Space Imaging radically transformed the Earth information market when in 1999 it launched IKONOS, the world’s first commercial high-resolution imaging satellite. Today, Space Imaging’s products are the cornerstone of the remote-sensing industry. The company supplies the highest quality, most accurate, visual information about the planet’s changing natural and cultural features. Space Imaging’s customer-centric business lines include imagery from satellites and aircraft, decision-support geospatial solutions, and direct access to its satellites for corporations and governments. Space Imaging is a privately held company with partners, resellers and 14 affiliate ground stations around the world. For more information on products and services, please visit