Two of our space industry partners Aquila Space and Astro Digital were featured in a recent article by Re/code. The article does a great job of discussing the social and development implications of their approach. Frequently updated imagery and a solid distribution pipeline get imagery into the hands of decision makers. These are powerful tools for everything from precision agriculture to forestry management to monitoring for elections.
The article fails to mention the powerful commitment both of these organizations have made to open knowledge. Aquila sells satellites and licenses their designs for commercial use, but they are also opening up all their hardware designs under GPL for public use. Astro Digital recognizes the value of open source imagery processing. When we built Astro Digital’s platform we highly leveraged landsat-util, landsat-api and Libra. Throughout, Astro Digital supported the development of Libra and encouraged us to contribute back to landsat-util. Further, Astro Digital has committed to host Landsat data on their platform for free for programs such as OpenAerialMap.
Aquila Space and Astro Digital know that supporting open source helps them grow and thrive. We couldn’t agree more. We’re proud to work with them and with other satellite companies that open their data for research and humanitarian purposes.