Oct 31, 2015

EO industry evolution

Geoff Sawyer looks at what the latest EARSC survey reveals about how the earth observation services industry has been changing over the past few years

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Companies selling earth observation (EO) services are seeing an almost tectonic shift in the business environment in which they operate. Some of the key changes which we have seen in the past two years are:

  • The Copernicus programme has launched the first two Sentinel satellites with a free and open data policy making large volumes of data freely available

  • Worldview 3 has been launched, which together with the relaxation of ITAR regulations by the US government brings optical data onto the market at a resolution not seen before from satellite sensors outside closed military circles.

  • New business ventures are being launched at a rapid rate and sometimes it seems like we hear of a new one every month.

  • Several corporate actions have taken place, including Google buying Skybox, Urthecast buying Deimos Imaging and Planet Labs buying Blackbridge’s geospatial companies.

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