Imagery Delivery


What to expect when PGC delivers commercial satellite imagery and derived products.


When a user requests a certain collection of data products from PGC, their point of contact will package the data into a delivery and determine an appropriate method of transfer to the recipient.

Although each deliverable is customized for the user’s specific project needs, PGC has a standardized delivery structure that will include appropriate documentation, indexes, and auxiliary files in addition to the primary image files.

Indexes are a geographic footprint (polygon) for each image complete with metadata attributes, typically delivered as an Esri shapefile.

This structure is designed to help streamline services so that users can spend less time deciphering naming schemes and more time using the data products for their projects.

Delivery Contents

Documentation and Metadata

With each image product delivery, PGC will link users to our main deliverable documentation guide containing important information about the imagery specifications and licensing policies.

PGC Commercial Satellite Imagery Documentation

Outlines the file structure, naming scheme, and specifications associated with both raw and processed imagery delivered by PGC.

PGC Commercial Satellite Imagery Documentation

Commercial Satellite Imagery FAQ

Users should review these FAQs if they are having any issues using the data they received or are unsure about the data structures. If the answer is not in this document, please do not hesitate to contact your PGC point of contact!

PGC Commercial Satellite Imagery FAQ

NGA Commercial Satellite Imagery Usage Guidelines (EOCL LICENSE)

This document from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) lays out the “do’s” and “don’ts” when using Maxar’s federally-licensed satellite imagery.

First-time users are highly encouraged to read this short document to ensure that they are following the usage guidelines.

EOCL License

PGC Acknowledgement Policy

Anyone who uses PGC’s services should acknowledge those contributions in any publication, presentation, website, and media interviews. Please review this document to ensure that PGC is properly acknowledged and cited in your work.

Not only is this required by the National Science Foundation, but it helps PGC to accurately track and report our contributions to polar community. Plus, the staff at PGC loves to read about the amazing work our users are producing.

ASP Stereo DEM Product Documentation

Included in stereo DEM deliveries only. It outlines the specifications of the DEM file and the purpose of each auxiliary file.


SETSM Stereo DEM Product Documentation

Included in stereo DEM deliveries only. It outlines the specifications of the SETSM Version 4 Strip DEM file and the purpose of each auxiliary file.



Because the imagery deliveries from PGC often contain a significant number of individual images or DEMs, an index file will be included in each delivery. This index comes as an Esri shapefile and can be opened using most GIS software packages.

Use this shapefile footprint to identify the location and extent of each image without having to load the larger image files.

Additionally, the shapefile footprint contains valuable information about each image, including acquisition date, cloud cover, and number of bands.

Imagery Files

Whether the imagery delivered by PGC is in its raw NITF form or if it has been processed, a number of auxiliary files will be included with each image file.

These additional files store important metadata and projection information and should remain with the main image file during transfers.

The purpose of each auxiliary file is outlined in the PGC Commercial Satellite Imagery Documentation that is included in the main PGC deliverable documentation guide, PGC Delivery Documentation.

Naming Scheme

PGC has a standardized naming scheme that is used for imagery (raw and processed) as well as stereo DEMs.

Each unique file name gives the user valuable information about the data file including, but not limited to: sensor, acquisition date, and processing specifications.

By familiarizing oneself with this naming scheme, a user can easily distinguish between images and obtain information without having to open each file or refer to the index shapefile.

The PGC Commercial Satellite Imagery Documentation document also outlines this naming scheme.

Delivery Options

PGC will generally deliver imagery in one of two ways, through FTP or a hard drive.

The easier, more cost effective option is to deliver via FTP. However, due to the logistical difficulties of moving large image files through the internet, it is recommended that any delivery over 200 GB be delivered on a hard drive supplied by the user.

Once the data has been transferred to the hard drive, PGC will cover the cost to ship it back to the recipient.


In this Guide, we’ve covered:

  • What’s included with imagery delivery
  • Documentation, FAQs, and licenses included
  • FTP and hard drive options for receiving data

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