Distributed in our own remote offices from Berlin to Colorado, the UP42 team has been hard at work improving the experience for purchasing, accessing, and analyzing high-resolution satellite imagery. We're excited to also share a number of exciting new capabilities from our incredible partners.
Check out what we've been up to this month 👇
——— ✨ What's New? 🚀 ———
Over the past few months, we've made improvements, large and small, to radically improve the experience for purchasing and processing high-resolution satellite data on UP42. These updates change how the ordering process works, the volume and types of data you can access, and how it can be accessed and processed.
The first major change with the ordering process is the ability to purchase data directly from our catalog search. UP42 users no longer need to run workflows to simply download SPOT, Pléiades, or Sentinel imagery. You can now select your area of interest, browse the catalog to discover the right image for your use case, and purchase it in just a few clicks.
Additionally, we're bringing greater transparency to the discovery and purchase process. When choosing the most suitable satellite image, you now have access to more metadata, with unified information across all our data sources, as well as the raw metadata from that specific constellation.
That transparency extends throughout the ordering process with a newly-added "Order Summary" step showing the exact number of credits that your image or set of images will cost, along with your current and remaining credit balance.
As you may have read in our January update blog post, we've vastly expanded the number of images available through enabling "Archived Image Collection". This means that we can order data that is not instantly available in the OneAtlas catalog but needs to be fetched from the archive.
For many AOIs, this more than doubles the number of SPOT and Pléiades images that you can now access (see the GIF below), albeit with a couple of hours of latency. However, our "Order status" functionality will provide you with real-time insights into the status of your purchase from the archive.
When you task a satellite or access imagery from download data blocks on UP42, you are allowed to reuse that image an unlimited number of times, whether you are choosing to download or process it.
To enable this through UP42 and give you access to your imagery in a single place, we have released our user storage feature. Any Display and Reflectance (Download) images from SPOT or Pléiades that you order or use in workflows will automatically appear in your user storage, as will any OneAtlas images you task with UP42.
Processing satellite imagery on UP42 revolves around the concept of a workflow. A workflow is a template containing data and one or more pre-processing, analytical, or operational capabilities. For example, Pléiades / SPOT Reflectance (Download) --> Pan-sharpening Pléiades/SPOT --> Water Finder.
We've introduced the analytics tab to the catalog search in the console, enabling you to use images from the catalog search in your workflows in a much more seamless way. You simply select the "Analytics" tab in the catalog search results, "Configure job", and then choose the workflow you would like to run.
Additionally, as mentioned in the previous section, images from download data blocks stored in user storage can be easily reused. All you need to do is copy the
asset_id into your job's parameters, and the image stored in your user storage will be processed.
We are excited to launch WorldDEM™ from Airbus. Hailed as "The New Standard for Global Elevation Models", WorldDEM™ brings UP42 users a Digital Surface Model (DSM) with pole-to-pole coverage, high accuracy, and consistency.
WorldDEM™ is based on radar satellite data acquired during the TanDEM-X Mission, which had the primary goal of generating a high-quality DSM of the entirety of the Earth's surface, based on SAR interferometry.
The goal of the mission was clearly achieved with all 148.5 million km2 of the Earth's surface being captured in the space of four and half years, driving consistency in the generated DSM and global coverage. The elevation models' accuracy is evident, with the Absolute Vertical Accuracy and Absolute Horizontal Accuracy being <4m and <6m, respectively.
For more information about WorldDEM™ and its use cases, check out the following video:
Elevation models have a range of use cases in their raw state. However, processing elevation models can be extremely valuable for not just visualizing elevation but understanding it. One such processing capability is Viewshed.
Viewshed from Intermap provides the line-of-sight from any point, height, radius, and azimuth on elevation models, such as NEXTMap One. The model outputs a GeoTIFF, with the pixels visible from the point of origin are in green, while the pixels not visible from the point of origin are in red (see below).
A viewshed is primarily used in the telecommunications industry to evaluate the reach of signals from telecom transmitters. To ensure signal strength is uninterrupted, telecommunications providers must place communicating transmitters within each others' line of sight, avoiding buildings, trees, and terrain. As such, Viewshed is the perfect tool to analyze and optimize signal strength.
The Flood and Water Finder blocks from UP42 generate a binary water or flood mask from Pléiades or SPOT imagery. This enables you to analyze SPOT or Pléiades imagery omitting water bodies or flooded areas from your analysis.
Alternatively, you can convert your output into a vector file to use the water body or flooded area as an area-of-interest for any water-related analysis.
The Water Finder generates a GeoTIFF output highlighting the presence of water on a single SPOT or Pléiades image. Alternatively, the Flood Finder generates a similar output but looks at the water area that is not present in an initial SPOT or Pléiades image but is present in a subsequent image.
We have two new Sentinel data blocks and two new processing capabilities that are compatible with Sentinel imagery. Check out how to use these capabilities below.
This block provides clipped True Colour Images (TCI) from Sentinel-2's multispectral imaging sensor processing level L-2A as RGB (red, green, blue) composite images. L2A data are available from April 2017 over the wider Europe region and globally since December 2018.
Sentinel-5P is the first mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere. Operating in a sun-synchronous orbit, the satellite maps a multitude of air pollutants around the globe. After launching in 2017 and subsequent calibration periods, Sentinel-5P reached its routine operations phase in early 2019, capturing the entire Earth's surface daily.
Read about how to use Sentinel-5P to monitor the atmosphere in UP42 Data Scientist Christoph Rieke's article from 2020.
Alternatively, you can get stuck in and use the block yourself.
This new processing block from Terra Cover enables you to create a robust surface water extent map using a deep neural network. This allows you to visualize a lake or reservoir's presence and area for your area of interest. The approach of generating surface extent maps is significantly less impacted by atmospheric disturbances than traditional index-based thresholding methods, ensuring the accuracy of the reservoir and lake surface is higher.
The model first checks for the presence of a lake or reservoir using Terra Cover's time-series data set, also available on UP42. The pre-check ensures that you don't spend money or time on computationally-intensive deep learning models when there is no presence of water within your area of interest. The block also automatically utilizes the s2cloudless cloud mask to minimize the disruption of clouds in your analysis.
This block generates a time series on a stack of raster images. For example, you could use this block to create a time-series data set of the mean, median, minimum, maximum, sum, or standard deviations of a band of Sentinel-5P inputs.
——— 🏢 Updates From The Team 👪 ———
We're excited to welcome Seth, our new Senior Sales Manager, to the UP42 team! Based in Denver, Colorado, Seth expands our presence in the US and brings a wealth of geospatial experience, having previously worked at Esri, SolSpec, and Digital Globe Energy. With this in-depth knowledge and experience in remote sensing and GIS, Seth will be the perfect advisor to our US-based customers.
In his spare time, Seth loves being in the mountains, slopes, or by the river with his family, perhaps even cooking up something tasty on the BBQ. We hope that Seth can make it over to Berlin in the near future and show us his BBQ skills in person! 🔥
Ilia is the latest addition to our engineering team, joining UP42 as a Senior Backend Engineer. Having spent four and a half years at the professional and technology consulting firm Capgemini, Ilia has built up a diverse set of skills that will enable him to bring a fresh perspective to the backend engineering team.
Indeed, Ilia is inspired by ideas that bring novel outside the box solutions to old problems. We are sure he'll bring this inspiration to UP42, enabling us to continue to solve tough, longstanding challenges in the geospatial industry. 💡
Christian is another fantastic addition to the backend engineering team. We're excited to have Christian apply his knowledge of new, emerging engineering technologies, coupled with his vast experience working at tech and data companies, to a range of technical challenges at UP42.
Like his engineering skillset, Christian has a diverse set of hobbies. Christian loves to travel, play music from his native Brazil, and has even trained in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu! 🥋
We're over the moon to have Onyothi join our data science team. With an incredible, inspirational, and diverse background in geospatial technology, data analytics, community development, and even as a professional rugby player in her home country of Namibia.
You can hear more about Onyothi's work in community development and conservation in a fascinating talk she gave on Automated Wildlife Monitoring and Poacher Detection. Check out the video below. 👇
We're continually expanding our team to bring amazing new people just like you on board. Check out our latest open role below, all our open positions here, or if you don't find what you're looking for, drop us a speculative application!
Are you interested in joining a rapidly scaling startup where you'll be working directly with our senior finance manager to navigate the financial complexity that comes with internationalization and fast growth? Then this role may be for you! | Apply now
——— 📅 In Case You Missed It 😱 ———
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We love sharing the features, new blocks, and updates that matter most to you. And sometimes, a month just feels like too long to wait for the next update. That's why we've just launched Release Notes!
Now you can get the latest updates from us directly in the UP42 console or on the release notes page linked below. Stay up to date with what we're shipping before anyone else and be the first to use the amazing new features our engineering teams are building or data and processing capabilities that our partners are providing.
That's it for now. But we have tons of exciting things in the works that we'll announce in the coming weeks and months, so keep your eyes peeled in Release Notes, or if you can wait a whole month, we'll meet you back here in March!