False-color oblique image of the Cumbre Vieja eruption on the island of La Palma © 2021, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Planet’s Earth Observation Data Contributes to Over 1,500 Scientific Publications


Our data has officially contributed to over 1,500 academic publications since 2016. There has been a steady yearly growth in Planet-informed publications released in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, dissertations, and open journals, with over 400 new papers published just in the last year. Notably, in 2021, a study using Planet’s data was published at an average of 1 every 15 hours. With a global reach, we are excited to see that these papers have been published in up to 10 languages, and that nearly 100 graduate students have used Planet data as part of their graduate degrees, contributing to substantial new fields of inquiry. 

We are proud of this success stemming from our Education and Research Program, designed to provide opportunities for students, researchers, and professors, associated with accredited universities, to access Planet’s unique satellite datasets. With this access, participants can review, download, and analyze Planet’s archive of remote sensing data and publish key results. With the Education and Research Program, the NICFI Satellite Data Program, and through partnerships with NASA, DLR, and others, more than 20,000 Planet users globally are accessing Planet’s near-daily imaging of the earth data. With our data, users have contributed to important and urgent scientific discoveries, such as the cause of the Chamoli landslide. With a vast array of uses for Planet’s data, researchers have explored the full Earth system, publishing pieces ranging from melting arctic ice and natural disasters to revealing insights on walrus colonies or life in medieval times

Graph depicting the growth in Planet-informed publications by year from 2016 to 2021.

The Education and Research Program has continued to grow over the last five years, showcasing the high demand for Planet data in academic settings. To date, the number of universities purchasing Planet’s data and services for scientific applications has reached 80 schools in 20 countries. With 36 new universities joining in 2021, the program has seen more than 80% growth since last year. Planet has also seen 44 universities renew or expand their existing accounts in the last year, including Arizona State University, Stanford University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) .


Dave Knapp, lead scientific software engineer at the Center for Global Diversity and Conservation Science at Arizona State University, leads a student workshop for analysis of Planet imagery.

“Reading a paper, or watching a talk by a researcher applying Planet data to some of our common global challenges, like climate change, is thrilling,” said Dr. Joseph Mascaro, Director of Science Programs at Planet. “These users—many of them undergraduate and graduate students—are helping to realize our founding intent to use space to help life on Earth. It’s an honor to collaborate with them.”

As Planet continues to grow, we intend to also expand our Education and Research Program, providing critical insights for scientists globally. Through our user-friendly software platform, Planet Explorer, researchers can access and analyze this data to evaluate changes over time. Planet’s data also provides key insights for markets including civil government, agriculture, and sustainability-oriented businesses by providing timely information for disaster response and commodity management. 

Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company. Upon closing of the transaction we will become a public benefit corporation (PBC). Planet’s mission will be encoded into our corporate DNA, obligating Planet’s directors to stay true to our mission as part of our fiduciary duty to our stockholders. Planet’s public benefit purpose is: “To accelerate humanity toward a more sustainable, secure and prosperous world by illuminating environmental and social change.”

Learn more about how Planet’s Education and Research Program could help with your research here.