As a young soldier working in military intelligence nearly 20 years ago, I learned firsthand about the humbling power of satellite data. I was part of a unit tasked with protecting humanitarian missions with ongoing intelligence operations. Though my military service and these operations ended long ago, the impact of these experiences has helped shape me.
It was incredibly sobering to be fresh from college and entrusted with ensuring the safety of the pilots conducting such dangerous missions. We spent countless hours combing through the incoming data looking for information that might help save lives while constantly dealing with a never-ending, overwhelming sense of helplessness and frustration due to the sheer amount and rapid speed at which the data was being produced.
Fast-forward to today and that overwhelming feeling is only increasing for analysts everywhere. We are generating more data than ever and presented with some of the biggest challenges our planet has faced, such as climate change, sustainable development, and global food and water scarcity.
At the end of 2018, NASA had produced over 27 petabytes of Earth-observation (EO) data dating back to the launch of its first Landsat satellite in 1972. With the advancement in satellite technology, NASA will generate another 24 petabytes of EO data this year alone. Let that sink in for a minute… NASA will double its data archive in a single year!
At Astraea, we believe the EO data being generated by a growing number of public and private providers holds the potential to answer some of the big challenges facing our planet. However, if we are going to realize that potential, organizations and individuals searching for solutions to these challenges need better tools to access and analyze information at scale. With this mission to guide us, we have spent the last three years creating a fully integrated, cloud-native platform to enable experts and non-experts alike to leverage the full power of Earth-observing data.
Astraea’s EarthAI platform provides a suite of products focused on removing the complexities of discovering, processing, and analyzing EO data at scale.
Six months ago, we beta launched our flagship product, EarthAI Workflow, which provides a no-code/low-code environment for creating geospatial solutions using machine learning on EO data paired with the scalability of cloud computing. The interest and feedback have been awesome! Through the beta process, we have recognized the demand for two stand-alone products that are currently part of the integrated EarthAI Workflow product: Earth OnDemand and EarthAI Notebooks.
We are excited to announce that this Wednesday, July 31st, Astraea’s Earth OnDemand will be released as our first publicly available product! Earth OnDemand will enable users to accelerate their data discovery and selection process by providing open access to up-to-date images across data providers through an intuitive visual interface. Users can quickly identify what data is available over various locations and time spans and export that data as a simple picture, CSV list of URLs, or a Jupyter notebook. Over the coming months, we will be adding several data sources and visual analysis capabilities so that users can spend more time analyzing data and less time wrangling it. Visit www.astraea.earth/earth-ondemand July 31st to discover more and tell us what you think.
Coming in September, we will also be launching Astraea EarthAI Notebooks. EarthAI Notebooks will provide access to the same machine learning and scalable cloud-computing capabilities as EarthAI Workflow but in a familiar code-centric notebook environment. EarthAI Notebooks will be tightly integrated with Earth OnDemand to provide a one-stop-shop for creating scalable geospatial solutions using your favorite machine learning tools, like TensorFlow. Contact us to apply for the upcoming beta!
After two decades in the trenches, I’ve experienced the frustrations and rewards of using big data first hand. By democratizing access to EO data and giving people the tools to analyze it, we believe that you can create a more informed pathway to a better world. I hope you’ll join us in this exciting time.
Written by Daniel Bailey
Co-founder and CTO at Astraea