Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Imagery of New Iranian Nuclear Site at Qum Raises Questions

Today, the New York Times and other media outlets released imagery from DigitalGlobe and GeoEye showing the location of the newly revealed nuclear material manufacturing plant in Iran. The GeoEye-1 half-meter imagery taken on 9/26/2009 shows the completed facility while an image taken in January by DigitalGlobe's WorldView-1 satellite shows the plant under construction. Certainly, U.S. intelligence agencies had their eye on this facility for some time.

The imagery reveals excellent detail showing ventilation shafts, surface-to-air missile batteries and the supporting road network. However, what's missing? No scale bar, no north arrow. If the media is going to start regularly using imagery, maps, and other supporting map-based information, they better learn how to follow correct cartographic principals.

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