In the Colombian Amazon, PlanetScope imagery shows changes in forest cover in and around Chiribiquete National Park. © 2021, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Tara O’Shea is the Director of Forest Programs at Planet.

NICFI Satellite Data Program Extended to Include Recipients of the GEO-Microsoft Planetary Computer Grants Program


In an effort to advance scientific research, development, and discovery from the NICFI Satellite Data Program, Planet has teamed up with Microsoft to make high-resolution, tropical forest Basemaps available to select researchers within the Planetary Computer platform. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO), in partnership with Microsoft, today announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) from scientists looking to bring the power of Microsoft’s Planetary Computer to Planet’s high-resolution imagery to help reduce and reverse tropical forest loss.

Announced at the FOSS4G conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the GEO-Microsoft Planetary Computer RFP will support a number of 12-month projects that use the NICFI Satellite Data and the Planetary Computer to address environmental challenges. Successful applicants will receive access to the NICFI Satellite Data within the Planetary Computer platform, up to $60,000 in financial support for 12 months, up to $60,000 in Microsoft Azure credits, and technical advice and support. To submit a proposal and view the RFP click here.

Planet Basemap of NICFI supported tropical forest in Rio Macaya, Columbia © 2020, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The projects will be developed and scaled using Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Planetary Computer. All project deliverables will be made publicly available to enable the global community of researchers to innovate together and build on each other’s work to help address the global challenges of deforestation and climate change.

“The unprecedented scale of high-resolution data being made available through the NICFI program – along with the computational power provided by the Planetary Computer – will enable the conservation community to ask completely new questions about the state of Earth’s forests, and to develop novel approaches to deforestation monitoring that are urgently needed,” said Dan Morris, Principal Scientist with Microsoft’s AI for Earth Program.

In addition to today’s announcement, Planet will present on the NICFI Satellite Data Program during Microsoft’s AI for Earth session at FOSS4G this Thursday, September 30. 

In September 2020, Norway’s Ministry of Climate and Environment awarded an international contract to Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), who, in partnership with Planet and Airbus, have since been providing universal access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics to support efforts to stop deforestation and save the world’s tropical forests. To learn more about the NICFI Satellite Data Program, click here.