DigitalGlobe was founded in 1992 under the name WorldView Imaging Corporation, became EarthWatch Incorporated in 1995, before finally becoming DigitalGlobe in 2002.
In 1993, the United States Department of Commerce granted DigitalGlobe (then WorldView), the first license allowing a private enterprise to build and operate a satellite system to gather high-resolution digital imagery of the earth for commercial sale.
In January 1994, the company merged with the commercial remote sensing efforts of Ball Aerospace (operating under the name EarthWatch Incorporated). Ball brought significant technological and optics experience in building satellites and was responsible for the design and construction of the QuickBird sub-meter satellites. In addition to Ball Aerospace, DigitalGlobe contracted with Eastman Kodak Company and Fokker Space B.V. for the design, development and fabrication of QuickBird.