Elevating Global Awareness

The Value of Geospatial Data

XaaS: Anything-as-is service

The Value of Geospatial Data

Myrna James Yoo
Publisher and Managing Editor Apogeo Spatial

Apogeo Spatial is partnering with Innovation Pavilion’s NovaSpace, as I announced in my last letter, creating quarterly events and building community. Mark your calendars for upcoming events in Denver, Colorado: June 20th on space data and analytics, Sept. 18th on celebrating women in space, and Dec. 11th on the tension and cooperation among NewSpace and traditional space companies.

The topic for the inaugural event of 2018, held March 27, was “The Future of Space: Data Downlink,” including innovation in on-board data processing and the use of laser communications for data transfer and downlink. I’d like to thank our speakers, Rick Sanford of BridgeSat, Dave Jungkind of SEAKR Engineering, and Dylan Taylor of Space Angels and Space for Humanity.

Dylan writes about the same topic in his new column, “Spatial Capital,” beginning here. Dylan’s first article appeared in the last issue about the significant economic impact of space-based data, predicting that the value of the megaset of this data, after industry consolidation, will lead to the first multi-trillion-dollar market cap company on Earth. Those are bold words, and Dylan is not afraid to use them. This is one reason we are thrilled to have him join Apogeo Spatial on a regular basis.

We tend to get easily distracted by how incredibly sexy space has become, with reusable rockets and citizens getting ready to go to space and a Tesla Roadster flying through the cosmos (complete with Starman and a matching Hot Wheels Roadster). Admittedly, it’s an exciting time to be in the space sector. While we enjoy these distractions, we are still committed to sharing what the innovative companies are doing within the ecosystem, from launch to satellite operations to data downlink, and to the use of space-derived data. For several years now, we have covered the companies that provide analytics, and currently, we are doing this within our Analytics Series, which begins here.

The third in our Analytics Series featuresOrbital Insight, whose mission is to source, process, and analyze geospatial information and make it actionable for businesses, governments, and NGOs. By applying machine learning and computer vision technologies, they build software that interprets data at petabyte scale to drive better business and policy decisions.

EagleView is also included, having acquired OmniEarth to create an analytics company that uses primarily aerial data. With deep roots in aerial oblique imagery from Pictometry, EagleView has been the brand name for all acquisitions since 2017. EagleView provides access to its orthogonal and oblique aerial imagery, its 3D models, and to its measurement and analytical tools through proprietary software as well as through partner integrations.

It’s interesting to watch the terms evolve. What began as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) has spun off additional terms, such as GaaS (Geospatial Analytics-as-a-Service) and AaaS (Analytics-as-a-Service) and in this issue, Orbital Insight shares information about their SaaP (Software-as-a-Product).

At the GeoInt Symposium, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency introduced XaaS, or Anything as a Service, in an official solicitation for industry analytics innovation. “Developed to improve the quality and quantity of analysis, drive modernization, introduce automation into the workflow, and encourage innovation, XaaS is expected to spark industry partners to share their best technology,” according to Melanie D.G. Kaplan in Trajectory magazine, the publication of USGIF (http://trajectorymagazine.com/ nga-solicits-industry-analytic-innovation).

Our mission is to contribute to long-term sustainability, so that humans have a place to live, and to share how data from space is used for that purpose. If this resonates with you, please contact us to consider ways in which we can partner.


Publisher: Apogeo Spatial (formerly Imaging Notes).   Myrna James's company, Blueline Publishing LLC is the publisher and owner of Apogeo Spatial. She is a communications and business development consultant for space and satellite companies, and has been in the media for 30 years. Since 2003, she has been publisher of Apogeo Spatial (www.ApogeoSpatial.com), which is a publication that communicates the power of geospatial technologies in managing the world’s environment and scarce resources for global security. In this era of “fake news,” Myrna is committed to truth and science, and she takes the responsibility of publishing very seriously. She is passionate about how geospatial tools help solve the world’s biggest problems. She lives in Denver, Colorado.