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Image is everything

VAIL – Stand up straight and smile, you’re being photographed.Over the next 30 days, a Vail-based satellite imaging company will be collecting images of the country’s most popular ski resorts.The guys from SnowVisual, LLP, Kenleigh Hobby and Ken Cameron, will have their technological fingers on the shutter button of the IKONOS Earth Imaging Satellite as it orbits 423 miles above the Earth. The satellite will make 15 orbits around the globe each day – each lap taking 96 minutes – to capture images of Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and California’s Heavenly Ski Resort.

Hobby and Cameron captured images of Vail and Beaver Creek last February to produce posters, which are now available at 12 regional retailers. The new images will also be turned into posters.Cameron has been in the valley since 1990 learning as much as he can about the local market. The lessons seem well learned. One retailer has gone through 130 prints since Christmas.

“They can’t hold onto them,” Cameron said.The company expects to soon be making its new satellite imagery available online at http://www.snowvisual.com and in retailers throughout Denver, Summit County and the Lake Tahoe region. Hobby said SnowVisual is not unique in using satellite technology to acquire images from space. But to the best of their knowledge, it’s the only company that focuses on wintertime data.



“We are very excited to soon be offering breathtaking lithograph prints of these popular resorts,” Hobby said. “There’s nothing like reliving your ski vacation through the eye of a satellite image.”The images can pinpoint resolution down to one meter. That means when you do a yardsale, the satellite can read what brand of skis you’re picking up and putting back on.

The images capture detail of the natural terrain unique to each ski resort. Skiers and snowboarders can view their favorite powder stashes, tree runs and backcountry. Moguls, cornices, gullies and groomed slopes appear in detail.SnowVisual LLP was originally Hobby’s idea. He started it while he lived in Catalina, Calif. The company provides a variety of satellite imagery products and services focused on meeting the demanding requirements of your business. They provide expertise in all forms of satellite imagery acquisition and processing.Their satellite time is licensed through Space Imaging, a Colorado company based in Thornton.



Cameron said he jumped on board because he loves maps. He also is an off-road driving instructor for Land Rover. He slid over to that after he was an competition expedition driver for Land Rover. Among his best finishes was a second in the world in the Camel Trophy, a multinational expedition involving teams from 20 countries. These days, he’s teaching desert driving for the Department of Defense. “We’ve been busy with them lately, as you can imagine,” Cameron said.

Vail, Colorado


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