Recently, UBS Investment Research issued its earnings preview for Wal-Mart”s second quarter, which publicly revealed that UBS used satellite imagery to gather data about the parking lots at Wal-Mart stores. Neil Currie, the UBS analyst who studied the satellite data, concluded that there was enough correlation between the images of the parking lot and Wal-Mart’s quarterly earnings. Currie purchased the analysis from a Chicago-based firm called Remote Sensing Metrics LLC, which had sourced the satellite imagery of more than 100 Wal-Mart stores. The analysts at Remote Sensing Metrics counted the cars in Wal-Mart’s parking lots to know the customer flow. They used the data to predict the company’s quarterly revenue.