CartoDB & Digital Globe Take a Selfie from Space!


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CartoDB & Digital Globe Take a Selfie from Space!


As you may know last week the United Nations Headquarters in New York City hosted the monumental State of The Map US Conference and for a few days the CartoDB team and map lovers from around the world got together for some incredible events and happenings across the city! You may have also noticed that our team here at CartoDB in partnership with DigitalGlobe took this opportunity to take the first ever high resolution satellite selfie from space!

The opportunity to take such a monumental selfie at such a monumental conference was nothing short of amazing and of course everyone involved wanted to know more!

With DigitalGlobe and CartoDB it is possible to bring incredibly crisp and current high resolution satellite imagery into the CartoDB editor to use with your data. All this is possible thanks to DigitalGlobe's insanely powerful WordView-3 Satellite!


WorldView-3 is the industry’s most advanced multi-payload super-spectral high-resolution commercial satellite. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 km WorldView-3 provides 31 cm panchromatic resolution 1.24 m multispectral resolution 3.7 m short-wave infrared resolution and 30 m CAVIS resolution.

This means that for our selfie at SOTM each pixel was approximately 31 centimeters! Pretty impressive for an orbiting camera traveling at about 17 500 miles per hour! At the time of the selfie the satellite was traveling near Cape Cod and Rhode Island. That's over 100 miles east of the State of The Map Conference with an unparalleled image quality! Truly Mind Blowing!

Of course it takes much more to bring those images back to earth and into CartoDB. With DigitalGlobe's network of ground downlink stations near the Equator and at classified locations in Antartica the WorldView-3 Satellite took our picture at approximately 11:43AM was downlinked processed by DigitalGlobe in Colorado and ready to be mapped using CartoDB as a GeoTIFF image before 5:00PM that same afternoon. Talk about break-neck speeds!


The Selfie from Space was quite the experience but here at CartoDB we are giddy just thinking of the possibilities for CartoDB users around the world to take this type of satellite imagery to the next level. Importing DigitalGlobe imagery into CartoDB is incredibly easy and can be accomplished in just a few easy steps! You can purchase the most recent high resolution DigitalGlobe imagery directly from us for use in your CartoDB account through our Beta Program and we're working to release this functionality right in the CartoDB Editor soon. Interested? Drop us a line at to get started!

Happy Mapping!!