SPOT 5 Satellite Image Primer


Whistler, British Columbia
Print quality SPOT 5 Image created by
Pacific Geomatics Ltd.

3-D visualization of the Pitt and Fraser Rivers. Created by draping a SPOT 5 satellite image over a digital elevation model, using the VTP software tools. Click here to view a short animated fly-over of the Pitt River (recent Flash plugin and high bandwidth connection required).


Purpose of site

This site introduces potential users of satellite imagery to the SPOT 5 satellite imagery being acquired by the provincial government—what it is, how it can be used, and how to obtain it. SPOT 5 satellite imagery is complementary to orthophotography for supporting many of the provincial government's land management activities.

Technical information on SPOT 5 and links to other remote sensing resource materials are found under Further Information.

For more information on SPOT 5, contact:
Malcolm Gray, Remote Sensing Services



SPOT 5 Origins

SPOT 5 images are products of the SPOT 5 satellite developed and operated by the French national space agency, Centre National D'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), in partnership with Belgium and Sweden. The SPOT 5 satellite, launched May 3, 2002, is the latest and most advanced of the SPOT family of satellites.

The SPOT 5 imagery purchased by the provincial government comes from the high resolution geometry (HRG) optical sensor—a camera that records panchromatic (black and white) images at a resolution of 5 metres. A single SPOT 5 image is 12,000 x 12,000 pixels and covers a ground area ranging between 60 km x 60 km and 60 km x 81.5 km, depending on the viewing angle of the camera. Each pixel in the image represents an area of 5 metres x 5 metres on the ground.



The provincial government’s SPOT 5 acquisition program has been funded by:

• British Columbia Timber Sales
• Ministry of Forests and Range
• Forests for Tomorrow
• BC Forest Practices Branch
• Ministry of Environment
• Integrated Land Management Bureau



The information presented in this website has been drawn primarily from the expertise of BC Government staff, from the websites of the Centre National D'Etudes Spatiales, SPOT Image Corporation, and from the excellent remote sensing tutorial created by Dr. Nicholas M. Short and the Applied Information Sciences Branch of the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.