Up42 offers access to satellite imagery from a variety of sources including the European Union's Sentinel 2. This is a Sentinel 2 image of Brindisi, Italy. Credit: ESA

SAN FRANCISCO – Airbus Defence and Space subsidiary UP42 unveiled Sept. 17 a commercial data and analytics platform that offers access to satellite imagery, other geospatial datasets and algorithms.

On the platform, UP42 offers startups and application developers access to algorithms related to agriculture, object detection and change detection as well as tools to prepare satellite imagery for data analysis.

“With the launch of our new platform, we are looking to open up access not only to satellite imagery and data, but also to a range of analysis tools to help understand it,” UP42 CEO Eli Tamanaha said in a statement. “By using UP42, customers will be able to easily discover actionable insights to make data-driven decisions and geospatial products.”

A flood of satellite imagery is entering the commercial marketplace thanks to dozens of startups and established companies launching Earth imagery satellites. From forestry to construction, transportation and energy, companies are looking for ways to solve business and environmental problems with the help of geospatial data products and services.

UP42 draws on various data sources including high-resolution satellite and drone imagery and internet-of-things data. The company, established in Berlin earlier this year, has been testing its platform with partners since May.

In one of the projects conducted during Beta testing, Berlin startup LiveEO mapped German railway tracks and measured the height of nearby trees to assess the risk of trees falling onto the tracks.

In addition to relying on UP42’s existing algorithms, applications developers and data scientists will be able to upload their own processing algorithms to the platform.

UP42 offers agriculture customers tools to view farmland, identifying fields that require more water or fertilizer. The platform also includes tools designed to detect vehicles, including cars and ships, as well as structures like wind turbines and storage tanks.

An important job for geospatial data analysts is change detection. The UP42 platform includes tools to identify changes in comparable images.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...