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Interesting Information About Satellite Imagery

By Cathy Mercer

Recent innovations in satellite imagery have made it possible to provide free digital maps online. Cartography or map making uses geographic positioning information that is transmitted by satellites orbiting the Earth. This information is processed by sophisticated computer software to create online maps.

Satellite images are used in many different ways. Some good examples would be military and defense strategy, meteorology, farming and forestry. The federal government has played a large role in promoting this industry. NASA partnered with private industry to create innovative new technology for the space programs. The Department of Defense was the inventor and prime promoter of the internet. Much of the government funded and sponsored technology was done in partnership with private enterprise. Creative entrepreneurs found uses for new technology in everyday life.

Global positioning devices have become helpful tools. A GPS device provides accurate and efficient driving directions. These devices incorporates the technology behind satellite imaging. Cellphones actually have a GPS built-in to them. Remember, cellphones use satellites too. In order for a GPS to work, there must be an enormous database of geographic positioning information. This database must be constantly updated too. The database is queried to obtain precise locations and other geographic information.

Global positioning technology has become ubiquitous in our society. The device communicates with satellites to obtain latitude, longitude and the atomic time. The detailed position coordinates are constantly updated to provide the route the vehicle is traveling. A GPS device must have its internal database updated frequently to remain current.

Four satellites are circling the earth that are dedicated for these types of applications. Information is used to calculate a position within 10 to 20 meters of its actual location. When the driver deviates from the route, the most efficient route is calculated again using the current position. The orbiting satellites communicate back and forth, updating the current position of the vehicle. The positioning data is used in a computer process to continuously draw a digital map.

Digital cartography and high altitude image processing have been a growth sector in the economy. The devices that use this technology are in their infancy. This industry is ready to expand and mature. Investors can take advantage of the situation as it is currently. However, investors ought to decide quickly before conditions change.

For students gifted in mathematics or science, this is an area of academic study they may wish to consider. This is an exciting field where there is room for gifted innovators. An entrepreneur with unique creative ideas could do well. Industry will be investing huge amounts of capital into this exciting area. For these reasons, ambitious students ought to consider the employment potential that is presenting itself.

When you purchase an automobile, you now buy with the expectation that the vehicle has a GPS. It has now become ingrained in our social culture. It is similar to the smart phone experience, you may be a skeptic at first, but it does not take long to become hooked. You can not remember how you survived without it. Thanks to entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, engineers and political leaders, satellite imagery has made life better.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "Interesting Information About Satellite Imagery." Interesting Information About Satellite Imagery. 19 Apr. 2014. 29 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Mercer, C (2014, April 19). Interesting Information About Satellite Imagery. Retrieved July 29, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Mercer, Cathy "Interesting Information About Satellite Imagery"

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