Rapid growth in the types and diversity of sensors available to collect data -- from ground sensors, to drones, to rapid advancements in satellite technology -- and the application of machine learning and AI is set to radically change the way geospatial data is used. The increase in demand for location-based services, and the need to analyze, understand and interpret geospatial data from many different sources, plus the urgent need to address fundamental environmental and economic challenges on our planet, shows how critical a pillar location is in this period of change. Just think of the revolution automated cars will bring and the importance of location in realizing that opportunity. There will also be a radical increase in the application and usage of social, mobile, analytics and Cloud (SMAC) and location data to power a wide range of analytics, insights and new governmental and commercial services. There is not a single industry today that is not touched by geospatial.
Airbus backed startup UP42 offers satellite imagery and geospatial analytics from a wide range of sources, allowing the users to explore different datasets and run their own algorithms. Last month, UP-42, a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, launched its commercial data and analytics platform and marketplace. Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Berlin, UP42 offers access to geodata and processing tools that enable observation and analysis of portions of the planet at scale, facilitating customers to build new geospatial products. UP42 has ready-to-use algorithms for vegetation indexing and moisture detection, object detection, change detection, and pre-processing tools. It provides access to data from a range of sources, including both commercial and open-source high-resolution satellite/drone imagery and IoT data.
Picterra, a Swiss AI-based SaaS platform allows users to interactively create a personalized AI detecting, localizing and counting any objects from satellite and aerial imagery. The company aims to democratize geospatial mapping, and its platform bridges the gap between Earth Observation (EO) imagery, cloud processing and geospatial insights by commoditizing Machine Learning technology. From precision agriculture to utilities and infrastructure, Picterra serves a wide variety of clients and provides customized services. Its main partners are geospatial and UAV mapping professionals looking to derive insights and actionable information for specific verticals based off large or heavy EO imagery set. The Picterra platform allows users to seamlessly integrate cutting edge machine learning technology into their existing workflow, so they can focus on their core business while achieving quick return on investment.
Visual intelligence firm Geospatial Insight, has raised £3.5 million from private equity company Foresight Williams and VenturesOne investments. The money will be used to improve its machine learning capabilities, boost its additional product streams and develop visual intelligence customer solutions. Geospatial, founded in 2012, aim to give corporations and governments accurate real time data to tackle some of the world's most challenging problems, such as crop shortages, deforestation and tracking greenhouse gas emissions by using satellites and drones. Their programme also aims to spot trends and gain insight into global events by bringing together data from satellites, drones and aircraft. Machine learning gives computers the ability to learn from repeated data patterns without being programmed.
The report, funded by the Geospatial Commission and published by PUBLIC, an organisation that helps technology start-ups work better with the public sector, analyses commercial opportunities for use of geospatial and location data, considers the maturity of each technology in the UK, and provides numerous case studies and success stories. Geospatial and location data is a valuable tool for both the public and private sectors, helping them make better decisions, which could range from tackling crime hotspots or finding the quickest routes for emergency services, to deciding where best to locate warehouses. The Geospatial Commission was launched in 2017, and supported by £80m of funding over that time to drive the move to use this data more productively. This work builds on wider Cabinet Office plans for cross-government digital transformation, including a new Technology Innovation Strategy, launched in June, which sets out the government's approach to boosting the adoption of new technologies across the public sector. Minister for the cabinet office, Oliver Dowden, said: "Government investment in geospatial data is helping to grow our economy and improve public services. I welcome this report and look forward to taking the opportunities of geospatial technology even further."