BlackSky and Esri unveil tasking through ArcGIS Online

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SAN FRANCISCO — BlackSky Technology unveiled satellite tasking July 12 through Esri’s ArcGIS Online geographic mapping platform at the Esri User Conference in San Diego.

After working closely together, BlackSky and Esri released BlackSky Tasking, a cloud-based application that allows Esri and BlackSky customers to task a satellite and receive the imagery in ArcGIS Online.

“It is first time that users have the ability to do dynamic monitoring and satellite tasking through ArcGIS Online leveraging BlackSky’s constellation and platform,” BlackSky Chief Commercial Officer Amy Minnick told SpaceNews. “Through that interface and through BlackSky’s capabilities, you can task a satellite to monitor locations from the time the sun comes up to the time the sun goes down, virtually hourly, in many locations around the world, and then get that data back down to the user within hours.”

Earth observation companies are reinventing satellite tasking to appeal to new and established customers.

“The world needs the ability to do dynamic tasking right now,” Minnick said, citing the importance of monitoring climate change, global supply chains and crises occurring within countries and across borders.

BlackSky joined forces with Esri due in part to ArcGIS Online’s millions of users in 300,000 organizations.

BlackSky was eager “to integrate that dynamic tasking capability with a company of the caliber of Esri and then deliver it to end customers around the world that need insights that matter to them,” Minnick said.

Richard Cooke, Esri global business development director, said in a statement that imagery captured arrives “within hours” and “can immediately be leveraged using ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online to perform analytic workflows that provide analysis for informed decision making.”

BlackSky operates a constellation of 14 Earth observation satellites. The company offers customers access to data from its own constellations and other sources through its cloud-based Spectra AI platform.

“By opening access to BlackSky’s Spectra AI tasking through our API integration, Esri users can incorporate BlackSky’s imagery directly into their current workflows by ordering imagery and having ready-to-use imagery delivered with very little training required,” Minnick said in a statement.