View of San Francisco (and the city's classic fog) from above, © 2020, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

2019 Dispatch: Planet’s Year-in-Review


The year 2019 was an astronomical time for Planet. Twenty SuperDove satellites entered orbit aboard the ISRO’s PSLV-C45 in the spring and 12 more hitched a ride into space in winter, with the latter marking Planet’s 25th successful launch. Since the company’s inception a decade ago, we have launched over 400 satellites into space—and have now imaged all the Earth’s land an average of over 1,000 times!

But perhaps most exciting was our more terrestrial news activities over the past year.

– We hosted Explore 19, our first-ever global user conference, which had an attendance of over 400 customers, both current and prospective. (Watch the Explore 19 video recap here.) At the event, we made a series of exciting announcements:

©2019, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SuperDove satellites will bring four additional bands to Planet’s medium-resolution dataset. This image of the Amu Darya in Turkmenistan shows Planet’s comprehensive coverage of the visible and near infrared spectrum. From top to bottom: NIR, Red-edge, red, yellow, green 2, green 1, blue and coastal blue. ©2019, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.

– We also prioritized customer and partner engagement, participating in strategic market events like GEOINT, Esri’s annual User Conference, American Geophysical Union, NSGIC and many more.

– We added talent across every department, and are especially proud to report that we increased our numbers of women/non-binary employees in leadership by 24 percent year over year through an intentional focus on equity and inclusion. We also grew our executive team, hiring Martin van Ryswyk as our new SVP of Product.

– We launched Planet Orbit, a new partner ecosystem across verticals to better serve end users and help scale our business globally. We also launched Professional Services so that customers can more easily navigate our platform and APIs, build applications to optimize return on investment, and integrate imagery into their tech stack more efficiently. We also started our first Customer Advisory Board to help ensure that we always have our finger on the pulse of the market and our customers.

– We established Planet Federal as a subsidiary of Planet Inc. so that we can continue to grow partnerships with government entities and organizations like the National Reconnaissance Office and NASA, the latter of which has seen success with using our data to track key climate variables.

– Our imagery continued to support journalists in their efforts to spotlight pressing issues and events including the Saudi oil attacks, the Iranian tanker seizure, natural disasters like California’s fires and Typhoon Lingling, and more.

©2019, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This map shows Planet’s global detections of roads and buildings. Red areas indicate roads, while blue regions denote buildings. ©2019, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.

– Our data’s usefulness in education and research was further solidified by new deals with Arizona State University and Stanford—and it was thrilling to see 60 abstracts featuring Planet data presented by scientists at the American Geophysical Union annual fall meeting this past December.

– We formed many impactful partnerships, including:

  • Satellites for Climate Action, a new initiative that will use satellite data to inform and accelerate climate protection. The initiative spawned from a partnership between Planet, California Governor Gavin Newsom and United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg.
  • The California Forest Observatory (CFO), a platform that will be designed to dynamically map forest structure and fuel loads down to the tree level and provide a clearer picture of wildfire risk. The CFO comes from a partnership with the Moore Foundation, Salo Sciences and Vibrant Planet.
  • A partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to help track deforestation

In 2020, we look forward to continuing to partner with our users to make global change visible, accessible and actionable.