Are there samples of 5 cm per pixel or better resolution satellite imagery especially for a city or urban area ( street view level)?

Also are there providers of 5 cm per pixel satellite imagery for cities in Asia and Middle East that I can buy from and more important if they have such imagery available for selling to general public?

  • where have you looked already? – Spacedman Jul 30 '16 at 8:07
  • What image providers have you spoken to already? – Knightshound Jul 30 '16 at 8:59

There is no satellite with a 5cm resolution. The best one that is available is 30cm (worldview 3, panchromatic). There are rumors that the military/secret service still have better ones in orbit (11. june this year there was the biggest available rocket starting with confidential payload if you like conspiracy). But the physics is a problem here. The optics would be either huge (no rocket to transport them) or the they would be in a really low orbit. In low orbit the atmosphere is still braking them a bit and you need lots of fuel to keep them there. That leads to expensive missions and satellites that are only flying for a few month. Nothing commercial.

The only way for 5cm are aerial images. And no country is flying 5cm for the whole area. Some cities with money and interest in tourism (that I know of here in Germany) have 2-3cm pictures but you have to check each city on its own and ask the municipalty.

  • plus on top of that I think there's a restriction limit on the resolution – nickves Aug 1 '16 at 1:15

I would like to add to @Matte's answer. The Raleigh criterion can be used to approximate the resolution as a function of the satellite's altitude, the diameter of the lens/mirror and the wavelength of the light being captured.

A satellite orbiting at 300 km, imaging in the visible wavelengths (let's say 5.5e-7 meters) could achieve 0.05 meter resolution with a mirror of diameter of just over 4 meters. The James Webb space telescope will have a diameter of 6.5 meters, so this is in fact physically achievable (although technically difficult and requiring different trade-offs in terms of on-the-ground image size, file size/data volume, etc.).


The best provided imagery from satellite is 20 - 25 cm per pixel

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