DigitalGlobe Partnership

Notice: As of Feb, 28 2019 Digital Globe is no longer offering imagery grants.

Do you need high resolution satellite imagery for your research?

There are many use cases for satellite based imagery data. Depending on your study there can be several options. The commonly accepted definition of High Resolution is 10m size pixels or smaller.

Cases where you need High Resolution

  • Individual Buildings
  • Counting Cars
  • Digitizing Roads
  • Counting Trees

Cases where you don’t need High Resolution

  • Landscape Classification
  • Water Bodies
  • Forest Cover
  • Large Scale Agriculture

List of some sources of High Resolution Imagery

  • Sentinel – 10m from European Space Agency [Free]
  • RapidEye or Planet ~2-5m (Planet) [Educational Program, monthly Quota, California Free]
  • National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP), US Only ~ .6-1m [Free]
  • DigitalGlobe ~ .3-4m [Free by application below with limits]

What does Digital Globe offer?

University students, faculty and academic/research staff can request free imagery thanks to an arrangement initiated by UC Davis Center for Spatial Sciences with DigitalGlobe Foundation.

Requests are limited to 5,000 sq km / 20 images per research project. More robust imagery requests will be considered case by case basis. Data usage is strictly limited for Research and Education purposes, and includes requirements for attribution (see rules).

Read more about our partnership from our announcement, DigitalGlobe Foundation to Provide Free Access to Satellite Imagery for UC Davis”.

Instructions for Requesting Data

To request data you will need to supply some information about your project, funding source, intended use, along with the detailed information about the exact assests (“images”) you need. If at any point this is confusing please contact us so we can help you figure it out.

Option 1: For Remote Sensing Experts

  1. Use the Digital Globe discover tool to locate the data you want to request.
    1. See instructions for more details
    2. Note: Full resolution, georeferenced images are not available to download through the online interface, only by request through the Center for Spatial Sciences data request form linked below.
  2. Fill out the data request form.
  3. Give us some time review the request (should take about 1 week). We will let you know once we order it, and then again once it’s been delivered to campus and how to access it (2-4 weeks).

Option 2: Guided Assistance with Data Selection & Request Form

  1. Watch a short video showing how to search for data using the DigitalGlobe Discover tool.
  2. Michele Tobias, the UC Davis Library GIS Data Curator, is happy to help you identify data that meets your needs and to go over the request form questions.  She has Drop-In Hours on Wednesdays from 2:00-4:00 in the Shields Library Map Room or by appointment.
  3. Then do steps 1 & 2 from the Experts section.


Please read and follow the agreements and attribution requirements.

Other Data

Don’t forget to look at our data page, as there may be other data sources for your project.