Planet partners with Taylor Geospatial Institute, data set to be leveraged for food security research, defense and intelligence


In exciting news, we have entered into a multi-year contract with Saint Louis University to support the Taylor Geospatial Institute (TGI), a leading geospatial research collaboration. Bringing together eight Midwestern universities and research centers, TGI aims to harness innovation in geospatial science and make scientific discoveries that address global challenges. Thanks to access to our satellite data, TGI aims to enable researchers to explore critical questions surrounding global food security, basic geospatial science and computing, geospatial health, and national security.

As Planet’s largest direct academic engagement, this agreement provides us with our largest community of potential academic users. Through this multi-user agreement, TGI member institutions will have access to our data through our education and research program. Members of the TGI consortium are Saint Louis University, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Harris-Stowe State University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis. Together, these establishments have more than 5,000 professors and 100,000 students.

“This consortium allows the Taylor Geospatial Institute to tap into the incredibly talented and diverse community of users in the St. Louis area as they seek solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. We look forward to seeing the countless ways these students and researchers will leverage Planet’s satellite data to help us ensure global safety and well-being,” said Robert Cardillo, Planet’s Chief Federal Strategist. .

“With Planet’s unique satellite capabilities and archive, the Taylor Geospatial Institute can pursue its goal of leading innovation and impact through cutting-edge geospatial technologies. We also believe that access to Planet data is vital to developing future leaders in geospatial science. By harnessing time-stamped satellite big data from across the planet, our students and researchers can continue to bring advanced data analytics, AI, and geospatial insights to grand societal challenges related to food, water, energy, and food. human insecurity and the protection of our planet,” said Vasit Sagan, Ph.D, associate professor at Saint Louis University and acting director of the Taylor Geospatial Institute.

TGI joins a recent wave of geospatial investments in the St. Louis area, including a vast new National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) West Headquarters with an investment of over $1.7 billion. This new facility is purpose built to include up to 40% of its operating space at the unclassified level. It will also allow students and researchers to collaborate more frequently with the NGA. It will also deepen the existing partnership between Saint Louis University and the NGA, which includes collaborative research and development, geospatial training programs, and the annual Geo-Resolution Conference. With access to our PlanetScope archive, TGI researchers can obtain daily satellite images at 3 meter resolution of locations of security interest, such as military buildups along borders. These researchers will also be able to take advantage of our SkySat high-resolution mission satellites, allowing them to capture fast-moving events at 50cm resolution, such as the immediate impacts of missile attacks or detailed imagery of foreign bases. These capabilities can further help these analysts generate vital skills for the future of the defense and intelligence workforce.

Located in the fertile heartland of America, these institutions also advance agricultural research to ensure food security in today’s changing political landscape. As the world faces uncertainty surrounding global supply chains and food security, it is increasingly important to have advanced and timely analytics on agricultural production and distribution. Using our datasets, TGI partner institutions can publish research on crop yields, gain timely information on irrigation, and help industry create climate-smart agricultural practices. Using our high-frequency datasets and archived satellite data, researchers can assess day-to-day changes and compare results from season to season. By incorporating these datasets into models, TGI analysts could predict crop shortages early on, allowing the agricultural sector to respond appropriately to ensure food security.

This partnership marks a breakthrough for the geospatial community. By providing broad access to our cutting-edge satellite data capabilities, TGI is building a global center of excellence in geospatial research and ensuring its collaborative network of students and researchers has the tools it needs to ‘coming.

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