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Written by Jason Karl. Edited and updated by Leandro Gonzalez

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Agency/Company Operating the Sensor

Worldview 2 is operated by DigitalGlobe -


Worldview 2 was launched on October 8th 2009. This commercial satellite offers eight spectral bands of image information. Panchromatic imagery is collected at half-meter resolution, and multi-spectral information is collected at a ground resolution of 1.8 meters. This satellite offers several additional bands of image information that may be very useful for rangeland applications. These include bands tuned to yellow-edge and red-edge regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and an additional near-infrared band. This is a scheduled-acquisition satellite capable of re-imaging the same spot on the earth approximately every day.

Similar Sensors

Sample Image

WorldView-2 Imagery from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Source: Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment

Sensor Specifications

Worldview-2 has a panchromatic band and eight bands to its multispectral sensor. In addition to the standard 4 multispectral bands found in sensors like Quickbird or Ikonos, Worldview-2 has four new bands. The “coastal band” captures wavelengths shorter than standard blue bands. Because it penetrates water better than longer wavelengths, it is designed to assist in mapping aquatic vegetation or bathymetric studies. The yellow-edge band is tuned to the region between the typical green and red bands and is designed to aid in mapping of senescent vegetation. The red-edge band is tuned to the region between red and near-infrared wavelengths and is designed to aid in analysis of vegetation types and plant condition. An additional near-infrared band that is less sensitive to atmospheric conditions will also aid in vegetation mapping.

Spectral Bands/Wavelengths

Band Resolution Wavelength µm Description
1 1.8m 0.40-0.45 Coastal
2 1.8m 0.45-0.51 Blue
3 1.8m 0.51-0.58 Green
4 1.8m 0.585-0.625 Yellow edge
5 1.8m 0.63-0.69 Red
6 1.8m 0.705-0.745 Red edge
7 1.8m 0.77-0.895 Near infrared 1
8 1.8m 0.86-1.04 Near infrared 2
9 0.42m 0.45-0.77* Panchromatic

Image footprint or swath width

Worldview 2 has a swath width of 16.4km. Regions wider than this will need to be collected in successive swaths.

Return interval

Worldview 2 has a positionable sensor that allows the same spot on the earth to be re-imaged every 1.1 days. To do this requires that the sensor collect images at extreme angles off nadir. This can cause problems with shadowing. At off-nadir angles of 20 degrees, Worldview can re-image the same location every 3.7 days.


Worldview 2 was launched on October 8th 2009. Imagery is acquired on demand.

Cost, Acquisition, Licensing

The minimum order amount for any WorldView imagery is $350 USD. Once you submit the area of interest on Digital Globe's website, you will receive a price estimate online and a member of Digital Globe's team will contact you to confirm the details and deliver final pricing for the imagery you need. You can contact Digital Globe at 303-759-5050 x 2 with any questions.

Because WorldView-2 is commercially operated, there are some licensing restrictions regarding image usage and sharing. Please consult with DigitalGlobe to get the level of licensing that is appropriate for your research or project.

Image format

WorldView-2 Imagery can be acquired in the following formats: Geo TIFF, JPEG, NTIF

Examples of Rangeland Uses

* Laliberte et al. (2011) describe challenges and solutions associated with efficient processing of multispectral imagery to obtain orthorectified, radiometrically calibrated image mosaics for the purpose of rangeland vegetation classification.

Software/Hardware Requirements

Geotiff images often come as one band per file. For the purposes of making it easier to handle, manipulate, and display the imagery, most people combine all of the separate image bands into a single, multi-band image file using an image-processing package. The size of the files will depend on the extent of the scene, but because of its fine resolution WorldView-2 data can be very large (2.5 GB or more).

Additional Information


* Laliberte A, Goforth MA, Steele CM, and Rango A. 2011. Multispectral Remote Sensing from Unmanned Aircraft: Image Processing Workflows and Applications for Rangeland Environments. Remote Sensing 3:2529-2551.


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remote_sensor_types/worldview-2.txt · Last modified: 2013/02/12 10:38 by gtucker