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March 19, 2015
U of M Gains Cloud-based Access to Global High-resolution Satellite Imagery

March 17, 2015—The University of Minnesota announced today that it has been selected as one of only two universities in the country to gain open access to DigitalGlobe Basemap, an online map and database of current, high-resolution satellite imagery of the globe. Commercial satellite imagery has become an invaluable tool for applications such as mapping, environmental research, agriculture, national defense, energy exploration, disaster response, and human rights monitoring and enforcement. Access to DigitalGlobe Basemap creates vast new possibilities for academic research and education at the University of Minnesota.

DigitalGlobe Basemap is provided by the DigitalGlobe Foundation, an academic-focused philanthropic organization supported by Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI). The DigitalGlobe Foundation, through imagery donations from DigitalGlobe, awards grants of earth observation data and products at no cost to students and academic faculty to support qualified research and education projects.

DigitalGlobe Basemap features millions of square kilometers of current and archive imagery captured by DigitalGlobe’s industry-leading satellite constellation over the past 15 years, including imagery from WorldView-3, DigitalGlobe’s newest satellite that collects imagery with 30 cm ground resolution.

Nearly every college across all five campuses is using these technologies in remote sensing and geographic information science to meet the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the University. This unparalleled resource is available to all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Minnesota.

“The DigitalGlobe Foundation has given the University of Minnesota an extremely powerful tool that will enable researchers and students to explore and better understand the entire globe,” said Paul Morin, Director and Principal Investigator of the University of Minnesota’s Polar Geospatial Center. “Before this pilot program, only a limited number of researchers had access to such a resource.”

“The DigitalGlobe Foundation is excited to offer the University of Minnesota this product to evaluate its utility for university research and education,” said Mark E. Brender, the Foundation’s executive director. “Lessons learned will help the Foundation determine if and how the program can be expanded to other schools. As a top research institution, we felt the University of Minnesota would be an ideal candidate to evaluate DigitalGlobe Basemap in an academic environment.”

For more information, visit or contact the U-Spatial Help Desk at [email protected] or (612) 624-7591.

About the DigitalGlobe Foundation

The DigitalGlobe Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2007 with the belief that we have an opportunity to share DigitalGlobe’s unique technology and resources to help train others to map, monitor, and measure the Earth.  We focus on fostering the growth of the next generation of geospatial leaders by providing satellite imagery to students and faculty to advance research in geographic information systems and technology as well as environmental studies.

For more information visit

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