Usage Guidelines


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Important information about license terms and use in academic journals or the web.

NGA NextView License

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) NextView license was developed to accommodate the desire to share commercial satellite imagery across U.S. Government agencies, contractors, and other entities supporting U.S. Government interests.

Read more about the mission of NGA at

Commonly referred to as the NextView License, the End User License Agreement (EULA) of the EnhancedView Contract establishes the terms of use (how data may be used) for commercial imagery.

The NextView License applies to all data, imagery, imagery services, and imagery derived products. The license rights for use by the U.S. Government (USG) are established under the EnhancedView Contract and apply in perpetuity. Any derived product may be generated.

Licensed Users

Members of the United States Federal Government including all branches, departments, agencies, and offices are licensed to use the imagery under the terms of the NextView License.

The U.S. Government (USG) may share the imagery with the following organizations, as temporary licensed users:

  • USG Contractors & university researchers supporting USG contracts
  • State & local governments
  • Foreign governments & intergovernmental agencies
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGA) & non-profit organizations

Rules For Use

U.S. Government Purpose

Imagery shared with organizations beyond the USG must support a USG purpose, with a direct benefit to the USG.


USG must educate anyone who receives the data on the terms of the NextView License and communicate restrictions for proper use, to ensure compliance with the license.


Licensed users may generate an unlimited number of hardcopies and softcopies for their use, as well as any derived product.


Any new imagery or imagery-derived products obtained through the NGA must contain copright and NextView License notice.


USG shall use its reasonable best efforts to minimize the effects on commercial sales. Do not sell or use it for commercial gain, or anyone planning to do so.

Note on Ownership

It is important to note that licensing commercial satellite imagery does not transfer ownership of the data to the buyer. Rather, it grants the purchaser permission to use the imagery as outlined in the license agreement. The vendor retains ownership and copyrights to the imagery.


NGA NextView License

Sharing & Copying Imagery

Commercial satellite imagery is provided by the Polar Geospatial Center to researchers that are working in direct support of an active award funded by the NSF Office of Polar Programs or NASA Cryospheric Sciences.

Imagery can be shared with other collaborators working in support of the same award so long as the award remains active.

Prohibited Activities:
  • Sharing or copying of imagery for purposes outside of the scope of the award
  • Using the imagery after the term of an award has expired
  • Posting the imagery to a public website without access controls
  • Sharing the imagery or imagery derived products with anyone planning to sell it or use it for commercial gain

Please contact the PGC if you have any questions regarding the sharing or copying of licensed commercial satellite imagery.

External Use

Commercial imagery can be used in research publications when proper acknowledgement to DigitalGlobe is provided, so long as the original source imagery and metadata cannot be recovered from the document.

You must get approval from NGA to use the imagery publicly via the PGC. Please read the below information carefully.

Public Use and NGA Approval Process

Effective June 2017, releasing or posting NextView licensed imagery and imagery derived products in the public domain without prior NGA review is not in compliance with the NextView License and may result in loss of access to imagery.

You must contact PGC if you are to use imagery or imagery derived product in any of the formats below. PGC will then forward your objectives and imagery use to NGA for approval.

This must be done before your publication is submitted to a journal, conference proceeding, or other public engagement. The link below will download a Word document (.docx) template for you complete. The document contains detailed instructions and how to submit it back to PGC.

For more information, read the initial post.

Download Template

Citing Commercial Imagery

Please refer to the PGC Acknowledgement Policy for a detailed explanation of how to cite figures, illustrations, and graphics that contain licensed imagery.

Academic Research Journals

Figures, illustrations, and graphics containing licensed imagery can be used within papers published by academic research journals. Some journals (e.g. Nature) may require written notice from the copyright holder that permission has been given to publish the licensed imagery. Please ask your point of contact at the PGC if this documentation is needed.

Posters and Presentations

DigitalGlobe licensed imagery can be used in posters and presentations so long as work is done in support of NSF/NASA award and is cited appropriately.

Website, Blogs, and Social Media

Using DigitalGlobe imagery on public-facing websites, blogs, or social media, even with a copyright disclaimer, is not permitted without prior approval. Please contact the PGC if you have a requirement to host commercial imagery on a website or other public outlet.

Other Use

Please contact the PGC if you are planning to use imagery in other outlets. Advance notification is required.


In this Guide, we’ve covered:

  • Purpose of the NGA NextView license
  • Guidelines for sharing imagery
  • Imagery use in journals, presentations, websites, etc.

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