International Geospatial Briefing – June 6th, 2022: 1. Largest-ever imagery contract handed out by National Reconnaissance Office 2. Are Maps the next big medium? Felt is betting on it 3. Xona’s private GNSS passes critical tests on path to launch 4. New US school shooting map in wake of Texas tragedy 5. Geospatial and the problem of too much climate data
Largest-ever imagery contract handed out by National Reconnaissance Office
A new announcement out of the National Reconnaissance Office in the US is now the largest-ever contract for imagery in the commercial sector. The contract, announced on May 25, was awarded to Maxar, BlackSky, and Planet for commercial imagery products and is valued in the billions of dollars over the next decade. Pete Muend, NRO director of the commercial systems program office said, “Commercial imagery is a valuable tool for information sharing and decision making,” and they have made a big investment in some of the sector leaders. To learn more about this contract, check out the full story here.
Are maps the next big medium? Felt is betting on it
Oakland-based start-up Felt finished a new round of funding worth $15 million on their journey to brings maps to the masses. They are hoping to change the role they play in our society, and rethink how we use them. They encourage users to build maps with integrated datasets, allowing the display of data in a much more dynamic way than using other services such as Google Maps. After a round of beta testing with a private group, they have recently released their platform publicly launching with a climate-focused angle and allowing users to explore over 50 layers ranging from earthquake history to flood risk. To learn more about how Felt is hoping to disrupt media with maps, check out the full article here.
Xona’s private GNSS passes critical tests on path to launch
Startup Xona has achieved a significant milestone on their path to launching the first ever private GNSS. Thanks to advances in industry practices, navigation systems such as GPS are no longer strictly in the government domain. Xona eventually will launch and operate their Pulsar constellation, a low earth orbit (20x closer to earth than traditional GPS) system that will provide high-performance timing and navigation services. The first of two missions, Huginn, successfully underwent a rigorous testing campaign in preparation for launch. To learn more about what this means and what’s next for Xona, click here.
New US school shooting map in wake of Texas tragedy
The tragic school shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas on May 24th reminded us how these devastating events happen far too often and how they have been on the rise in recent years. 2021 was a year in which these events reached their highest recorded levels ever, with 2022 on pace to surpass if they continue at the same rate. This article from SkyNews hits us with some of the most significant facts about the scale of the problem in the US, while also highlighting a very informative map created by the Centre for Homeland Defense and Security.
Geospatial and the problem of too much climate data
In the ongoing fight against climate change a big part of the strategy has become the collection of a wide variety of remotely sensed satellite data. In fact, an estimated 50% of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) can only be observed from satellites according to the Global Climate Observing System. While there is no shortage of data being collected on these variables, estimated to be 100 TB per day, there is a significant disconnect between what is being collected and what is being process and analyzed. An estimated less than 1% of the data collected is estimated to be analyzed. Blue Sky Analytics is hoping to offer a solution to this issue, leveraging the satellite data along with AI and cloud resources through their “Geospatial Data Refinery” before pushing the data to stakeholders through APIs and their visualization platform, SpaceTime. To learn more about how Blue Sky Analytics is hoping to close this “data gap” check out the full article here.