US: Radiant Earth Foundation (formerly known as Radiant.Earth) announced today the release of its new open Earth imagery platform, fundamentally changing the way humanitarian aid workers, policymakers, researchers, journalists, and others use satellite images to understand and serve their communities. The platform is the first of its kind to offer instant, secure, and free access to Earth observation data on the cloud and help the global development community apply the data to real-world problems.
Today, there are more than 600 Earth observation satellites orbiting the planet, each one generating an estimated 6.4 terabytes of data each day. From seeing the scale of natural disasters to supporting Ebola outbreak responses, this data can measure global changes in near real time, leading to better-informed interventions and investments from the public and private sectors.
However, the current growing market for Earth observation data is highly fragmented and often cost-prohibitive for NGOs, multilateral organizations, government agencies, and others focused on social entrepreneurship. Working with organizations such as NASA, the European Space Agency, the Group on Earth Observations, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, and private companies around the world, Radiant Earth Foundation’s platform brings together billions of dollars’ worth of satellite imagery and makes it available to the global development community. Additionally, the platform provides user-friendly analytical tools and support, empowering a range of users to consume and analyze the data in their everyday work.
“As global threats like climate change rapidly grow, observation systems and analytical technologies such as machine learning allow us to analyze landscapes and communities at a scale that was previously impractical and inaccessible to global development practitioners,” said Anne Hale Miglarese, founder and CEO of Radiant Earth Foundation. “And while satellite imagery offers a front row seat to humanity’s footprints, data alone doesn’t advance solutions. Our platform has been built by and for the development community, providing the best of today’s technology tools and insights to support the people who need it most—from a refugee camp in Myanmar to a small island nation in the Pacific.”
During its beta phase, Radiant Earth Foundation served more than 100 organizations including the World Bank and Catholic Relief Services and developed use cases that will be available to the public at large. The platform’s open API also allows users to integrate non-imagery data, including air quality, population, and weather statistics.
“I’ve been using drones to help low-income farmers across Botswana analyze crops, but I struggled with incomplete data, let alone data storage,” said Mmoloki Morapedi, a 2017 Mandela Fellow who uses Radiant Earth Foundation’s platform in his work as a drone designer, pilot, and analyst. “The platform allows me to streamline my drone data and help farmers better understand when and where to plant their crops—ultimately increasing their potential revenue and reducing food insecurity in Botswana.”
With funding from Omidyar Network and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Radiant Earth Foundation serves as a neutral, not-for-profit organization helping the growing satellite imagery industry balance bottom lines and higher purpose.
“The opportunity to create positive change through Earth observation data has never been greater,” said Peter Rabley, venture partner at Omidyar Network. “Radiant Earth Foundation is truly democratizing access to and use of satellite imagery, bringing clarity to an industry that has been confusing and costly for the global development community. The platform has the potential to spark solutions for some of society’s most entrenched issues—from rapid, unchecked urbanization to environmental degradation and more.”
Radiant Earth Foundation’s platform is now available to the public at app.radiant.earth through secure self sign-up or integrated social sign-on via Twitter, Facebook, GitHub, or Google accounts. Radiant Earth Foundation will host a webinar on September 26, 2018, at 11 a.m. EDT to demonstrate the platform’s unique features to users. To attend the webinar, please register here: http://bit.ly/REFPlatformWebinar.