Onstage at TED, Will Marshall presents Planet’s vision of a Queryable Earth – to index physical change on Earth and make it searchable for all.
Curious Planeteer working to make the Earth's changes visible, accessible and actionable.

Queryable Earth: Our Vision for Making Daily Global Imagery Accessible and Actionable


In April, I presented a vision for Planet’s future onstage at TED 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. We call it Queryable Earth. Thanks to the good people at TED, you can now watch the full presentation below to hear what Queryable Earth is and what’s next for Planet.

When Planet achieved Mission 1 last fall, we gained the ability to see daily change as it was happening. But observing change is not the same as understanding it, and even further, predicting it. The vision for Queryable Earth is to index physical change on Earth and make it searchable for all.

This will usher in the transition to insights about our planet that we dreamed of, but never had tools for – questions like, “How many new buildings were developed this month in India?” or “How many square-kilometers of crops were impacted by the hail storm in Kansas last week?” or “What’s the daily average number of aircraft at the Beijing Daxing International Airport?”

To get to the root of questions like these, Planet is building a suite of products that detect where relevant objects (including ships, planes, roads, etc) are on Earth over time. By applying machine learning to this imagery, we will extract powerful insights at scale and deliver them to people on demand.

Once people have access to data feeds about areas they care about, there will be a shift away from reactive solutions to proactive ones. People will go from tracking change intermittently (via static imagery) to identifying indicators (via consistent historical analysis), to eventually predicting change (via a machine learning-driven index).

With Queryable Earth, Planet aims to not only increase transparency about global activity, but also empower people with the insights that drive better decision-making at the speed the world moves. We’re excited to get to work on this and we hope you will join us for the ride!

Be sure to check out the TED talk and stay tuned for future announcements around our vision of a Queryable Earth.