Planet image of Shiveluch volcano taken November 8, 2022. © 2022, Planet Labs PBC. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Joe Mascaro is Planet's Director of Science Programs

Education and Research Program Enhances Global Accessibility and User Capabilities


From economists to ecologists, our Education and Research Program enables researchers from around the globe to dive into Planet’s datasets and explore a world of near limitless research insights. And starting today, we are transforming the program to offer greater global accessibility and enhanced user capabilities! Through a new tiered pricing system, we aim to serve more universities from more countries than ever before. With this program transformation, we are also offering our high-resolution SkySat data to our E&R users, a first for a university program in the satellite data industry. 

We launched the Education and Research Program in 2017, and are now nearing the sixth year of its operation. The program was designed to provide opportunities to students, researchers, and professors from accredited universities to access our data and services for their unique research needs. As of this December, researchers from more than 1,000 universities across more than 100 countries are accessing our data through the E&R program, including Rutgers University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, Utrecht University in the Netherlands, University of Toronto in Canada, and Yamaguchi University in Japan. 

And now we are further enabling this global momentum!

Our program enhancement means that now we will operate with a three tiered pricing system. A university campus will be offered a package price based on the economic context of their country. With this change, we aim to create opportunities for universities around the globe to obtain affordable satellite data. We look to support an even greater diversity of research projects generated from Planet’s satellite data and help lend insights to the world’s most pressing questions.

These academics will now also receive broad access to archive data from our high-resolution SkySat constellation. This will be a first-of-its-kind service for our program and empower researchers to explore the world with high-resolution (50 cm) imagery and review data that was captured at the same location multiple times a day. This can allow researchers to monitor daily experiments with fine details or observe swiftly changing events, such as volcanic eruptions. 

To date, the Education and Research Program’s users have demonstrated some of the most innovative use cases for Planet’s satellite data, and the sheer diversity of projects has showcased the value of Planet data for science. For example, curious researchers leveraged our satellite data to monitor thawing permafrost in Tibet, map urban forests in the United States, model the impacts of the war in Tigray on Ethiopian marketplaces, and simulate potentially hazardous lava flows in Eritrea. Further projects have ranged from monitoring urban air quality in India and kelp forests in California to cultural heritage sites in Azerbaijan and rice fields in Japan. 

In the last year, the E&R Program has also seen an increase in multi-university integrated research projects, including a program focused on monitoring Canadian boreal forests and their biodiversity through the University of Alberta, Yukon University, and the University of Calgary. And in September, the E&R Program announced a multi-year contract with Saint Louis University in support of the Taylor Geospatial Institute (TGI), a leading geospatial research collaborative in the midwestern United States focused on agriculture and security. 

Each day, researchers are advancing human knowledge by asking daring scientific questions and exploring Planet’s datasets. In fact, our data has now contributed to >2,500 academic publications in 10 different languages since 2016. This number includes users from our Education and Research Program, the NICFI Satellite Data Program, the acquisition of VanderSat, and our partnerships with NASA and DLR. In the last year, approximately two papers were published per day using Planet data. 

With this newly scaled Education and Research Program, we are expecting these numbers to continue to grow. Our goal is to get Planet’s data into the hands of as many researchers and young scientists from around the world as we can. We believe that this increased accessibility will stimulate novel discoveries about our changing natural world and complex social systems. As the backbone of geospatial research, students and academics demonstrate innovative analytical approaches for industries around the world, and we are excited to see how this upgraded program will open new doors.

Forward-looking Statements
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this blog post are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, the Company’s ability to capture market opportunity and realize any of the potential benefits from current or future education and research programs. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to them. Because such statements are based on expectations as to future events and results and are not statements of fact, actual results may differ materially from those projected. Factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to the risk factors and other disclosures about the Company and its business included in the Company’s periodic reports, proxy statements, and other disclosure materials filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which are available online at, and on the Company’s website at All forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s beliefs and assumptions only as of the date such statements are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.