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Q4 2017 Earth Observation

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2017 review

2017 review

I started writing these reviews last year, really to get a feel of the pace of change in Earth Observation / Geospatial today. Looking back over the year the pace has been incredible.

Q1 review

Q2 review

Q3 review

First off I want to mention This is an excellent website supplying free images to use as you like. They are of a stunning quality and I have used them as the main images for these reviews.

Q4 2017

Spire Global raises $70 million.

Landsat ARD analysis tool makes its debut.

MDA completes acquisition of Digital Globe.

Mapbox takes a $164 million investment.

Sentinel-5P is launched…

…and then provides its first data:


Euroconsult publishes its report on the state of the market. EO market is expected to be $8.5 billion by 2026 with potential to reach $15 billion.

Planet achieves mission 1 and tells us that it’s now all about data analytics.

We are fully up to speed with Sentinel 2 (a and b) giving Europe 5 day coverage. The rest of the world gets 10 day repeats.

Pixalytics reports its annual breakdown of satellites in orbit. Spoiler alert; the number is up!

Birdi close a $2.6 million dollar funding round.

PDAL 1.6 is released.

Landsat Tiler and then Sentinel Tiler are released; Mapbox helping process data on the cloud.

Orfeo ToolBox 6.2 is out now. Don’t underestimate this excellent open source EO tool!

Planet… well, they launched more doves and SkySats:


The Sat Apps Catapult continues to keep track of the small sat market. 2017 is a record breaker!

EU space week takes place in Estonia and it seems interest is growing on social media…


Morocco has its first satellite.

FSSCat wins at the Copernicus masters. To “provide data on Earth’s ice and soil moisture content to complement the Sentinel fleet”.

Orbital Insights reports the size of Oil stocks in KSA. The financial times picks up on it.

Economic benefits of Landsat – is this an underestimate?


EnMAP Box 3.0 is out.

UK parliament publishes a report on Earth Observation.

Earth-i orders 5 satellites – becoming the first European-owned constellation able to provide both video and still images.

USGS Landsat Collection 1 Products are now Available in NASA’s Earthdata Search.

Remap is launched – aiming to enable you to quickly map and report the status of ecosystems, powered by Google Earth Engine; the app looks great.

Near Real Time viewer from Sentinel 3 data? Yes please.

PerúSAT-1 has completed its first year of operation… and it has already recovered its investment!

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and Radiant.Earth begin a knowledge and technology transfer of earth observation in Kathmandu.

European Commission launched the Copernicus Data and Information Access Services (DIAS). This really is huge news, processing data on the cloud is the way forward and this is a massive step for Copernicus.

Google Maps seems to have been capturing buildings at an ever increasing rate, probably from satellite imagery.

Sentinel hub produces stunning results in cloud detection.

ERS-1 & -2 are now free and open:


How will satellites change the world? Digital Globe sets up its GBDX sustainability challenge.

Cloud Native Geospatial. “What would the geospatial world look like if we built everything from the ground up on the cloud?” First in a series of 6 articles (all published).

The OpenEO project begins work, aiming to “develop an API to connect R, python and javascript clients to big Earth observation cloud back-ends in a simple and unified way.

The #scenefromabove podcast is launched! Here and here.

Did I miss something? Let me know and I will add it to the list.

When I wrote the Q1 summary I thought it would be interesting at the end of 2017 to see the pace that the Earth Observation community is moving. Looking back now, at the start of 2018, I am not sure I would have predicted so many different and varied things. The Earth Observation community is growing fast, the range of topics combined with the increasing interest in Geospatial data to deliver insights is changing the way we view our Planet.

Will 2017 be remembered as a stellar time for Earth Observation? It seems so.

I am a freelancer able to help you with your projects. I offer consultancy, training and writing. I’d be delighted to hear from you.

I have grouped all my previous blogs (technical stuff / tutorials / opinions / ideas) are here

I am @map_andrew on twitter

Will 2017 be remembered as a stellar time for Earth Observation. It seems so.