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Planet On The Road Berlin: European Leadership, Platform Insights, and the Future of Our Planet


Berlin, Germany is the heart of Planet’s European operations. Our Berlin office has been established as a center of excellence for the company, acting as the hub for our critical operations, including our European space systems, engineering, product development teams, and Mission Operations. 

With this in mind, we were proud to host our first Planet On The Road 2024 event this week, kicking-off the year in Berlin with a day full of in-person learning, networking, and inspirational speaking sessions. This event showcased the Planet Insights Platform and the work we do with our customers and partners to address the global challenges of Digitalization and AI, Sustainability and Regulation; and Peace and Security.

The day left us optimistic about the future, and we’ve compiled our top key takeaways from the big day in Berlin:

  1. Europe Acts as a Global Leader in Earth Observation
  2. The Planet Insights Platform is in Your Hands
  3. The Future of Our Planet is Powered by Data

1. Europe Acts as a Global Leader in Earth Observation

Our On The Road Berlin event began with Planet CEO and Co-founder Will Marshall’s keynote acknowledging the vast Planet ecosystem of customers and partners in the room and welcoming those who came to learn more about Planet’s products and services. In his opening remarks, he brought attention to the European EO industry. 

“Europe is leading the way in innovation and investment in Earth observation,” said Will. “You have played a pivotal role in tackling key initiatives which have pushed us to innovate faster and be more efficient. And all for good reason.”

Will highlighted Europe’s policy objectives and investments that are working to transform the continent, including Copernicus and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and he commended the innovative EO technologies and businesses being developed in Europe, noting Planet’s own investment and acquisitions of VanderSat and Sinergise in recent years. 

Image of Planet CEO and Co-founder Will Marshall giving his keynote address at On The Road Berlin.

Throughout the day, we heard from a number of European industry leaders that are leveraging solutions and Planet satellite data to support government initiatives. Planet’s own VP of Government Affairs, Agnieszka Lukaszczyk, took the stage to dive into the state of European policy and EO regulation in the space sector.

Posing a question to the group to highlight just how important EO data is in our lives today, Agnieszka asked, “What would happen to our economy, to our world, to our daily lives if we turned all the satellites off for 24 hours?” She expanded on how vital satellite data is in the modern world and in what ways it can serve as a critical tool to help address nearly all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

Image of Dr. Agnieszka Lukaszczyk, Planet VP of Government Affairs, speaking at On The Road Berlin.

A powerful example of the nature of public-private collaboration in Europe came from the fireside chat with Professor Dr. Paul Becker, President of BKG, the central provider of geoinformation in Germany. BKG leverages Planet data to inform ministries in the German government, including the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture. Providing Planet insights across the entire government has enabled them to streamline workflows and reduce expenses.

“Our motto is: We provide orientation,” said Dr. Becker. “The acquisition of commercial satellite data for all organizations by one institution is a success story. We obtain the data for all federal institutions. This reduces costs for everyone involved. For the provider, the sales costs are lower and on the user side, the costs for data storage and advice can be kept lower.”

Image of fireside chat with Professor Dr. Paul Becker, President of BKG, and Will Marshall at On The Road Berlin.

2. The Planet Insights Platform is in Your Hands

Following the official launch of our Planet Insights Platform in April, our team was eager to present the latest developments and demonstrations to a live audience in Berlin. “The Platform will empower you to be more efficient, cost-effective, and agile to stay ahead in today’s dynamic landscape. We’ve got an ambitious and exciting plan for the future, all geared around making Planet data easier to use and speeding time to value for you,” said Will in his keynote. 

Following Will’s remarks, Thijs Van Leeuwen, Sr. Director of Product, showed how the Planet Insights Platform provides users with an all-in-one cloud based environment to accelerate their business. He highlighted that we have now integrated all of Planet’s product offerings, including our PlanetScope monitoring product and robust data Archive, SkySat tasking capabilities, Planetary Variables insights, and Basemaps into a user-friendly workspace, to empower our customers and partners to be more efficient and agile in order to remain competitive in today’s dynamic landscape.  

“With these capabilities, you can analyze and act, at scale. You can spend less time manually searching through individual images from different vendors, and instead automatically detect when an anomaly has occurred in order to task a higher resolution view. You can begin to see how teams can become more productive and context-aware when they have the right data, the right tools in one place, and better ways to share what they learn with people who might not be experts in geospatial or remote sensing,” he said.

Image of Thijs Van Leeuwen, Planet Sr. Director of Product, opening the product keynote at On The Road Berlin.

Our Director of Product, Customer Platform, Caroline Biermann, then walked our users through a powerful demonstration showing an example of how a user could gain insights about wildfires and disaster risk in Greece. “The Planet Insights Platform helps take remote sensing data and translate it into numbers, rather than just visuals. By looking at those values, we can understand what’s happening over time,” she said as she showed how users can now go deeper to gather layered geospatial insights regarding their topic of interest. She shared how existing APIs can support user workflows and how customers can also create and conduct all of their analyses with new scripts in one streamlined process. 

Image of Caroline Biermann, Planet Director of Product, Customer Platform, providing a Planet Insights Platform demonstration at On The Road Berlin.

Thijs wrapped their keynote with a call for feedback and suggestions. “It’s our goal to give the right core platform capabilities in your hands, so you can just focus on solving your core problems, representing your niche in your industry vertical. Our platform needs to grow organically, and the input of our customers and partners is key. We need those feedback loops to further improve the platform, we need to learn from you which next problems we need to solve,” he said. 

3. The Future of Our Planet is Powered by Data

The most impactful stories we heard yesterday came from our customers and partners, who are all looking to bring innovation, sustainability, and security to this planet that we call home. We’re living in a thrilling time where big data, space technology, and AI are accelerating at rapid speeds. It’s a time for thoughtful opportunity, for deciding to innovate to make the world better. 

And that’s what we were honored to hear from all of those who joined us this week. For example, in our fireside chat with Dr. Mojtaba Karami, Geospatial Capability Lead at BASF Digital Farming, we heard how their business has expanded their strategic partnership with Planet to build digital tools, like xarvio ® FIELD MANAGER, to help farmers, across Europe and the world, ensure crop production is more efficient, profitable, and sustainable. This type of work is scaling global operations across the entire agriculture industry – radically changing how we approach farming.

Image of fireside chat with Dr. Mojtaba Karami Geospatial Capability Lead at BASF Digital Farming and Nina Ewerlof, Planet VP of EMEA Sales at On The Road Berlin.

Our data is powering unique tools that aim to protect nature and lives. In a breakout session, our partner EOMap shared how they are able to utilize Planet data to identify early warning signs for water quality issues, causing harmful algal blooms in rivers and disrupting water supplies. In another talk regarding the alpine regions of Italy, customers from Regione Autonoma Valle d’Aosta explained how they are using AI and machine learning alongside Planet data to manage natural disaster prevention, response, and recovery. Early in the day, Alexander Lee, Director, Activity-Based Intelligence at Hala Systems, Inc. took the stage to share how the intelligence industry is combining AI and satellite imagery from Planet to provide mission critical solutions for the the security and defense sector.

Image of Alexander Lee, Director, Activity-Based Intelligence at Hala Systems, Inc. speaking at On The Road Berlin.

We believe that the future needs Planet data as it provides transparency at a global scale. We are adapting to new management structures around the world with novel finance mechanisms, such as carbon markets and corporate sustainability programs. At the end of our day, we heard how our partners, like ERM and BeZero are utilizing our newest products, such as the Forest Carbon Planetary Variable to start to bring real, tangible metrics to these evolving marketplaces. This optimistic future is becoming more feasible due to daily Earth data feeds and insights, and we are so deeply proud of our customers and partners that are taking bold steps into these emerging markets with Planet-powered tools. 

Demonstration of Planet product capabilities at On the Road Berlin.

Overall, we were inspired and energized by the whole day and we hope it was invigorating for all of those in attendance. Our Planet On The Road 2024 work has just begun. We’ll see more of you for the next On The Road in the Washington, DC Area, happening June 12th!

Planet On The Road Berlin was made possible by our partner sponsors – Google Cloud, EOMap, Swift Geospatial, and Earth-i. 

Organizers and attendees at Planet On The Road Berlin.