Thursday, May 10, 2007

High resolution satellites are always watchning you...

High resolution satellite data reveal amaging details of the activities on the surface of the earth. Recently the most popular images are taken by IKONOS and QuicBird. The QuickBird images are the highest resolution ones (0.62 to 0.72cm). A link below shows you the resolving power. One can sneak into the private affairs of people in public places, "it is now more than ever necessary to discuss and formulate a 'privacy policy' for high resolution data." Says Dr. Samanta. A deep web search on 'highest resolution google data' resulted in this Link ... go ahead , try it out.

An interesting editorial appeared on GIS Development Weekly May 07, 2007: Enjoy:

EDITORIAL

A couple of months ago North Ireland Tax Department declared its intentions of monitoring personal assets of its citizens using high resolution oblique aerial photographs. Last week Indonesia has announced that it will use high resolution imagery from Digital Globe to 'visually identify taxable land'. With an overall boom in world economy, the tax sharks have tasted blood. Satellite Imagery – once an exclusive research tool in the hands of earth scientists is being exhaustively used by the official spooks to nail tax evaders. The data used for such activities is almost totally acquired, processed and sold by private data providers who have their own satellites.

The cutbacks in funds allocated for the US earth observation satellites has been criticised by the US's general science society. Since the early 70's, it has been the US who took the initiative of funding, launching, maintaining earth imaging satellites, and then graciously disseminating global datasets on various themes for the world's researchers. The returns from this gesture have benefited the planet. Till about a decade ago, the global remote sensing data users community would be offered data for monitoring diverse global surface and atmospheric parameters from the state-of the-art (or should I call it 'designer') sensors, mostly from satellites launched by the US. This activity is slowly but surely decreasing. Today, the emphasis is on designing sensors with the highest resolution – and that too in the RGB range. The government controlled remote sensing programmes of almost all developed and unfortunately, also the developing nations, seem to be content with allowing private organisations take over their job and then go a step further by possibly being the largest buyers of the acquired data and use it for monitoring its citizenry.

A deep web search on 'highest resolution google data' resulted in this Link ... go ahead , try it out.

It is now more than ever necessary to discuss and formulate a 'privacy policy' for high resolution data. I look forward to hearing your views on this.

Dr. Hrishikesh Samant
hrishikesh@gisdevelopment.net

"GIS Development"

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