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Airbus Aerial Provides a Whole New View of the World

WIRED

You may know Airbus as that Boeing competitor that also makes planes, but the European company is in fact an defense and aerospace giant that makes helicopters, satellites, and drones, and now it's using its aircraft not just to move people, but to give those on the ground a whole new view from the skies. A year-old effort called Airbus Aerial will seek to serve climate modelers, farmers, city planners, engineers, first responders, and anybody else who needs a a particular view of the world. The company combines data from observation satellites (of which Airbus is the largest global operator), manned planes with cameras slung underneath, and drones, to get to the places others can't reach. Airbus Aerial packages it all up, and presents it neatly to the customer, via a cloud-based interface. "It's a very complex thing to just say'I need satellite data'," says Jesse Kallman, president of the company.


Catching Amazon's Eye

#artificialintelligence

Amazon's hunt for a second headquarters, after several months of publicity stunts and dangled perks from cities and regions vying to lure the e-commerce giant, has been narrowed to 20 options from 238 bids. The company, which is based in Seattle, plans to invest $5 billion in development and create up to 50,000 jobs wherever it builds its newest hub. With the kind of enthusiasm normally reserved for bids to host the Olympics, governors, mayors, business leaders and others have pulled together proposals promoting the potential of their cities and regions, sometimes going to outlandish lengths. These are some of the places that caught Amazon's attention. Schools: The caliber of local schools is impressive, including Harvard University, Boston University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University.