Vizrt Offers Breaking News Satellite Imagery

Wildfires, severe weather, civil unrest, terrorist attacks, global sporting and human interest events are just some of the breaking news stories broadcasters need to bring to viewers. But sending camera crews to news hot spots, especially in remote locations, can be difficult, costly, and even dangerous. Vizrt recently launched a new service called DigitalGlobe Online that offers access to DigitalGlobe’s satellite imagery library. Part of the DigitalGlobe Online service is FirstLook, a faster, more cost-effective way to capture events from around the world.

As the name implies, Vizrt customers will get a “first look” at any digital satellite imagery captured by one of DigitalGlobe’s three commercial satellites. When an event happens globally, DigitalGlobe activates the service by tasking their constellation of satellites to the event location, taking new high-resolution images. Within hours these images are available to all DigitalGlobe Online customers with the option to purchase. Customers are sent notifications from Vizrt when an event collection is activated and can preview the collected content to decide if they want to purchase them.

Upon launch, the service was providing Vizrt’s DigitalGlobe Online customers with new images from the Olympics, a typhoon in the Northwest Pacific and images from the Hungarian Grand Prix. Customers could also find images for older stories such as mudslides in Japan, wildfires in the American West and images from the civil unrest in Syria.

From within Vizrt systems — such as Viz World for branded, animated, template-based maps; Viz Trio for live graphics creation; Viz Weather; and Viz Artist for graphics and template design — customers can use search, purchase and incorporate FirstLook images into their own content.

Using Viz World 12.0’s map editing tools, including zoom, crop, pan, trim or label, Vizrt artists can manipulate FirstLook satellite imagery to create animated maps. They can also string together images that DigitalGlobe satellites captured before, during and after an event to show how the situation progressed over time.

“With the launch of FirstLook into the Vizrt portfolio, we’re pleased to expand our relationship and partnership with DigitalGlobe,” said Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO of Vizrt.  “Not only is DigitalGlobe’s massive online library of satellite imagery accessible to our customers, FirstLook is now available providing a brand new service  that addresses the need to show breaking news events as they unfold around the world.”


“Our collaboration with Vizrt is a natural fit for DigitalGlobe because television broadcasters are a primary market for our high-resolution digital satellite imagery,” said Andrea Bersan, international vice president at DigitalGlobe. “Being first to air with valuable content is a key objective for any competitive broadcast news organization.  For reports on perilous events, like a nuclear power plant accident or tsunami, FirstLook can give everyone a birds-eye view from the safety of an orbiting satellite.”

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