Band combinations for Worldview 2

Last week I wrote up a cheat sheet for transitioning from Landsat 7 to Landsat 8 that went into the band specifications and listed some common band compositions. Due to popular demand, I’m going to do something similar for Worldview 2. If you’re not familiar with this sensor, it’s unique in that it has a coastal blue band, a yellow band, a red-edge band and two near infrareds. I’ll be honest; I was unfamiliar with Worldview 2, so I had to do a little research into it. There are not a whole lot of papers out there, but using this white paper from Digital Globe as a guide, I was able to develop and test some composites that utilize these bands that you don’t see very often on other sensors.

Feature R G B
Vegetation NIR2 Yellow Coastal
Shadow NIR2 Red Edge Yellow
Cement NIR2 Yellow Blue
Sedimenation Red Yellow Coastal
Mud flats Red Edge Yellow Coastal
Red roofs Red Yellow Green
Water depth Yellow Green Coastal

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what you can use these bands for. Please post suggestions/criticisms in the comments. From what I gather, there’s a lack of information out there regarding this sensor and its applications. Here are screen shots from the composites I came up with.

false color composite

Vegetation Composite (left). NIR2 | Yellow | Coastal. Higher levels of vegetation correlate with deeper reds. I thought this did a pretty good job from low to high levels of vegetation. A traditional False Color Composite (NIR1 | Red | Green) is shown on the right. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

shadow composite

Shadow Composite. NIR2 | Red Edge | Yellow. There are a few options here, incorporating both a NIR band and the red-edge band, plus any other visible band. This combination seemed to make the shadows pop out more. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

cement composite

Cement Composite. NIR2 | Yellow | Blue. There are a few options here. I chose this one because there’s a greater distinction with what’s on the cement (i.e. painted stripes and cars) than what I saw in the other potential composites. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

red roof composite

Red Roof Composite. Red | Yellow | Green. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

water depth composite

Water Depth Composite. Green | Blue | Coastal. Dubrovnik, Croatia.

mud flat composite

Mud Flat Composite. Red Edge | Yellow | Coastal. You heard it here first. This is the Al Khor Wildlife Reserve in Dubai. The green areas are mudflats used by flamingos for breeding and feeding. You can see the channels that cut through the flats well.

sedimentation composite

Sedimentation Composite. Red | Yellow | Coastal. New York City.

About the author

Jeff Liedtke is a PE and Documentation Lead for the Raster Team at Esri. He has a background in remote sensing, photogrammetry and image processing. Applying remote sensing techniques to provide valuable information for operational decision support applications is his passion.

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