United Kingdom, Apr 17, 2016

Social Impact

In space to help life on Earth.

Here's where we're working

In the 21st century, humanity faces dramatic ecological, social and humanitarian challenges. Planet is working with a growing network of international agencies, scientists, NGOs and social innovators to develop new, scalable and inclusive new approaches to these challenges.

Whether it's improving humanitarian response with real-time imagery and damage assessments, or alerting authorities to illegal deforestation before it becomes endemic, or helping to power new approaches to pricing carbon, we’re working to empower new paradigms of planetary stewardship.

This is the reason we founded our company, and its our highest expression of our mission, our values and our purpose.


Are you a college student, researcher or professor? We’re looking for innovative academics, researchers and scientists to unlock the power of a one-of-a-kind dataset. You can now apply for access to Planet’s unique dataset for non-commercial research purposes. In an area as large as 2,000 square kilometers, you’ll have access to download imagery, analyze trends, and publish your results.

Apply Here


Different landscape features can be clearly identified in this image where lush rainforest and growing agricultural activity coexist in Cendrawasih Bay (Papua New Guinea).

Planet’s satellite constellations have been an asset for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). The combination of broad-area coverage, frequent revisit, and high resolution makes Planet Monitoring for REDD+ the most reliable solution for Measuring and Reporting in the frame of MRV.

Learn more

Monitoring Forests and Enabling Carbon Management

Planet imagery was used by the Amazon Conservation Association to monitor illegal mining in Peru. Learn more from coverage by Peru’s national newspaper, El Comercio; and watch for more alerts based on Planet’s data at maaproject.org

Planet is revolutionizing our access to information about the status of forests worldwide. Forest monitoring accelerates to the speed of the global economy: honest developers, brash miners and illicit loggers the world over will know that—when they put the axe to a canopy tree—their actions will be seen within a matter of days, not weeks, months or years.

“We require high-frequency, high-resolution imagery to track urgent threats, such as gold mining into protected areas and oil palm into primary forests. Having access to Planet imagery has revolutionized our methodology by providing us with a constant fresh supply of 3-meter resolution imagery across our vast study area. We can even set up alerts for key areas and get an email as soon a new image is available for that area.”

- Matt Finer, Amazon Conservation Association.

Advancing Disaster Risk Reduction and Response

In the weeks following the Bento Rodrigues Dam failure, the Rio Doce has carried water contaminated with iron-mining waste 300 miles to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean.

In the last decade, disasters have affected more than two billion people around the world, caused more than $1.5 trillion in infrastructure damage and reaped untold misery and human suffering.

Planet is working to help improve every part of the disaster risk reduction and response continuum, from pre-disaster preparedness, situational awareness and efficacy of humanitarian aid workers when they respond to a disaster, and our persistent monitoring can improve the longer process of recovery and rebuilding, long after other imaging tools have moved on.

Planet often makes certain imagery available for free to people and organizations responding to major natural disasters. For more information and a list of available products, visit planet.com/disasterdata.

Learn more

Measuring Sustainable Development

Rural master-planning leaves unique patterns on previously forested land in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz region. These radial, wedge-shaped fields inscribed on square parcels of land are part of part of the Tierras Bajas agricultural relocation project.

In 2015, the nations of the world, under the umbrella of the United Nations, agreed to a set of seventeen defining global goals, covering everything from building climate resilience to accelerating food security for the world’s poorest citizens. Planet data can directly and indirectly support the measurement of twelve of these goals. We’re also working with partners to create new indicators of social development, inclusion, and poverty.

Improving Food Security

A landscape of smallholder farmers in Namutumba, Uganda. While some landholders grow cotton and coffee for cash, most are subsistence farmers growing a diversity of fruit and grain, including maize, cassava, millet, and bananas.

More than 1 billion people live on less than $1.90 per day. With our partners at the United Nations, World Bank, and global philanthropies, Planet is committed to eliminating extreme poverty. In this global effort, Planet’s key contribution is the world-wide monitoring of global agriculture, especially billions of smallholder farms that feed much of the world. Aided by machine vision, Planet’s data can provide near real-time updates on the yield, health and welfare of billions of smallholder farms. Storms, drought and disease can be detected faster than ever before, enabling smart intervention and enhancing the effectiveness of insurance and disaster relief mechanisms.

Water Security

Subsidence near Semarang, Indonesia leads to encroaching ocean waters that threaten homes and agricultural livelihoods.

Water is as fundamental to human life as oxygen. Yet, hundreds of millions live without access to clean water, and billions more face food shortages due to drought. As climate change increasingly threatens the water cycle, water security becomes increasingly important.

With its near-infrared capable, high-cadence satellites, Planet has the unique ability to track Earth’s surface water—from lakes and rivers, to reservoir levels, flash floods and even sea level rise—every day.

Bolstering Urban Planning and Resilience

A profusion of landscapes surrounds the mouth of the Potenji River in Northeastern Brazil: wetlands, shrimp ponds, and sand dunes; as well as the scyscrapers, colonial architecture, and sprawling bairros of Natal.

Ours is an urban century, and by the end of it, 80% of humanity will live in a city. Many are growing faster than their ability to be effectively managed, especially “secondary cities” that are often growing informally. Planet is working to provide new approaches to helping such cities understand their infrastructure, better manage their vital green spaces, and adapt more effectively to their changing needs, and a changing climate.

Monitoring Public Health

About 80,000 people reside in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, a small percentage of the millions of refugees who have fled Syria. The camp continues to evolve, as tents erected in 2012 are replaced by semi-permanent structures.

Geospatial imagery and analytics are a boon to public health monitoring—whether it's providing up-to-date mapping of health-related infrastructure to frontline health workers, tracking land-use change associated with the potential emergence of new diseases and pandemics, or modeling the relationship between climate variability and health.

A Commitment to Ethics

Big data can have big consequences, and we at Planet are deeply committed to the highest ethical standards in the use of ours (and others’) data. This is especially true in humanitarian and development-focused circumstances. We have a robust internal ethics team and set of processes, with participation from across the company and have also invited oversight by a number of external partners with deep field experience to regularly review and help us improve our data policies and procedures to minimize harm and ensure collective impact.