Eric Richards

The Use of High Resolution Satellite Data (IKONOS) in the Establishment and Maintenance of an Urban Geographical Information System

EricRichards sq
University of NSW
Supervisor (Academic)
Dr John Trinder, University of NSW
Supervisor (Industry)
Mr Andrew McCleave, SKM
Department of Defence
Thesis Abstract

The past years has seen the advent of the availability of high resolution commercial satellite imagery. This study shows that whilst high resolution commercial satellite imagery is capable of producing reasonable spatial data both in quality and cost for use in an urban GIS the challenges of supplying this data commercially is not limited to simply the provision of the imagery.

Since a significant amount of work has been done by others to examine and quantify the technical suitability and limitations of high resolution commercial satellite imagery, this study examines the practical limitations and opportunities presented with the arrival of this new spatial data source. In order to do this a number of areas are examined; the historical development of the satellite systems themselves, the business evolution of the owning commercial ventures, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) data and service requirements for a diverse range of spatial data applications and finally the evaluation and comparison of the imagery as a spatial data source.

The study shows that high resolution commercial satellite imagery is capable of providing spatial data and imagery for a variety of uses at different levels of accuracy as well as opening up a new era in the supply and application of metric imagery. From a technical approach high resolution commercial satellite imagery provides remote access, one metre or better resolution, 11 bit imagery and a multispectral capability not previously available from space. Equally as challenging is the process or achievement in making the technical capability a reality in a commercial world requiring a financial return at all levels; from the image vendors to the spatial science professional providing a service to a paying customer. The imagery must be financially viable for all concerned.

For a copy of Eric's thesis, contact: