Data collected by earth observation satellites are freely available: Philip Jörg, Hendrik Wulf, and Reik Leiterer want to use them to create refined, customized information.
Hundreds of satellites crammed full with sensors, circle our planet. “This is a wealth of data which will take a long time to exploit fully,” according to Philip Jörg of the Remote Sensing Laboratories at the University of Zurich. Together with two colleagues at the Geographical Institute, he has launched Project EOint. It focuses on the different wavelengths of reflected sunlight. The flood of images from the orbit will be processed to create information; this can benefit, for example, agriculture, where infrared images could inform farmers about the state of vegetation. Charities could use 3D images of targeted areas to help them plan their relief campaigns. Jörg, 34, from Graubünden, said: “Currently, we are writing our business plan.” He has already researched the market data. In 2014, some 1.5 billion US dollars were spent on services based on earth observation data; in ten years’ time, this figure might have doubled.