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Resource ID: #5052
Source: Sara Schnadt
Date: 2017



For decades, time-sensitive satellite imagery has been expensive and accessible mostly to governments and large corporations. Recent advances in consumer technologies are making satellite technology cheaper, and new business models are making the production of space-bound hardware and imagery more democratized. Planet Labs, a startup founded by ex-NASA engineers, has the largest constellation of Earth-imaging satellites ever and aims to image the entire planet every day to track global events and challenges like climate change, deforestation, refugee camp growth, disaster response, and many others. The high frequency of Planet's imagery creates new opportunities to capture insight on significant local and global change and is able to move at the rapid rate of today’s 24-hour news cycle. Recent stories include coverage of deforestation in Bolivia, illegal gold mining in Peru, a collapsing glacier, and discovery of North Korean missile tests. As a unique source of data, Planet's imagery is available to approved journalists and socially-impactful projects.

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