Satellite Imagery

Satellite images are photographs of the Earth taken by artificial satellites. Satellites have individual orbits, elevations and time intervals to image the globe.

Satellites may have active or passive sensors. Passive sensors use reflected sunlight to record objects on the ground. Active sensors record signals reflected directly by the Earth’s surface.

Satellites send digital image data in several spectral bands to receiving stations on earth. These systems use multi-spectral scanners to collect data.

Product Details

The B.C. Government’s digital imagery warehouse has several series of images in its inventory, including those taken by Canadian satellites RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2.

The digital imagery warehouse also includes images from:

  • Landsat 5 & 7
  • SPOT-5

Product specifications vary by year and satellite type. Metadata supplied with the search results will provide further details. Image specifications are determined by the imagery suppliers.

Image formats are in TIFF and ECW. Projections are Albers and UTM.


Some satellite images, such as those taken by SPOT-5, require a special license to view. These licenses must be obtained from the image providers. The Province of B.C. maintains an inventory of these specialized images for various programs that are doing work related to geological or environmental study.

Other satellite images, such as those taken by Landsat 5 and 7, do not require special licenses and can be viewed using the B.C. Imagery Web Map Services (WMS).

How to Acquire

To inquire about satellite imagery please contact




Satellite images

No charge