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AUTHOR PROFILE Agnieszka Lukaszczyk
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Planet Names Top Three Finalists Of The Copernicus Masters Planet Daily Change Challenge


Following a multi-phase evaluation this past summer, Planet is pleased to announce the top three finalists of our Copernicus Masters Planet Daily Change ChallengeThe Copernicus Masters competition awards prizes to developers who leverage Earth observation data to solve important problems for business and society. 

The three finalists and their proposed solutions demonstrate the diverse range of use cases and applications that can be built upon global satellite imagery. The top three finalists, in no particular order, are:

DirtSat – DirtSat leverages geospatial data and AI to unlock powerful insights and help reframe urban food systems. They are developing an IoT-enabled network of urban rooftop farms, empowering smart cities to accelerate food security, climate resilience and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through geospatial data and analytics. DirtSat provides a systematized, synthesized and scalable platform for global smart city adoption. “We applied to the Planet challenge for two reasons: one, Planet’s datasets are second to none regarding spatial and temporal resolutions, and that data provides us with an ideal platform to build our business case; second, we felt empowered to work with a company whose ethos mirrors our own — seeking meaningful change in the world through Earth Observation data” said Christine Tiballi, Founder, DirtSat. 

IMARA – IMARA combines ground truth and satellite data to boost land restoration projects to work towards a more sustainable, biodiverse and better balanced world. They quantify environmental and socio-economic impact through the widely adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators to enable easy, fast and objective reporting. “One of the benefits [of the Planet challenge] would be winning access to high resolution data, but we mostly joined their challenge, because we recognized the vision of IMARA in the vision of Planet: a mission-driven view and the wish to contribute to a sustainable planet,” said Elise van Tilborg, Founder, IMARA. 

Geo Gecko – Geo Gecko is an Ugandan company that remotely monitors how Africa changes to enhance decision-making. They have a free service for organizations to monitor hundreds of thousands of smallholders across Africa that equips conservation organizations with remote-sensing data to tackle deforestation, poaching and development of oil infrastructure in Virunga, one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. “We applied to the Copernicus Masters as it is supported by our two favourite actors in the space sector; Copernicus and Planet. Africa is hindered by a data gap and high frequency imaging of the continent can help us fill it. We’ve built our company around Sentinel and we’ll expand it with Planet imagery,” said Bernard Wright, Managing Director, Geo Gecko. 

What ties the three finalists and their projects together is that they capitalize on Planet’s frequent global data for creating real-time solutions, deploying cutting-edge machine learning techniques, and demonstrating environmental and business use cases that help people and the planet. 

Planet received a wealth of submissions to the Planet Daily Change Challenge, which were evaluated by a panel of multidisciplinary experts. Participants were first evaluated based on their written submissions to the competition, then a selection of the best ideas were invited to pitch their solutions to the panel. The three finalists were selected by Planet during the evaluation meeting in early September.

The winner of the Planet Daily Change Challenge will be announced during the virtual awards ceremony at the European Space Week in December. To learn more about Copernicus Masters, visit their website and keep an eye out for the full list of finalists from all challenges coming soon.  

Learn more about Copernicus Masters and hear directly from our 2019 challenge winners, Green City Watch, here