Commercial Entrants are Driving Innovation in Earth Observation — and That is All Good!

In the last installment of this blog series on the value of Earth observation (EO) data, we focused on government supplied satellite data and its use in progressing global development solutions. Government EO data are predominately characterized by high to low spatial resolution, a consistent revisit rate, constant imaging that allows for routine monitoring, and, a deep archive of data to be built up and relied upon (United Nations, 2017, p. 42 and Green et al., 2017, p. 51). In the case of the Landsat and Sentinel programs, the data are open and free to use and hosted on multiple sites globally. These satellites tend to be large, very expensive to build and launch, and can take a decade to go from design to launch and then to operations.