Satellite-based Environmental Analytics
Monitoring the effects of climate change through the application of high-resolution satellite imagery and sophisticated data analytics.
Project Budget* - $2.9M
Partner Co-investment* - $1.8M
Supercluster Co-investment* - $1.1M
Climate change, pollution, urbanization and natural disasters have accelerated the need to better monitor their impact on our planet. To understand these impacts over time and large areas, space-based imagery of the Earth is a vital tool. Large collections of overlapping satellite images can be accurately merged together as “mosaics” to help understand how the Earth’s landscape and ecosystem evolve over time. These mosaics provide vital input data to help us understand the health of wetlands, forests and agricultural regions around the globe.
Mosaics are also essential tools in monitoring the land base. They are used across a variety of sectors, including environmental modelling, chemical contamination detection, community engagement, and can be used to model the health of wetlands, forests and agricultural regions.
Mosaics for large areas tend to be constructed from low-resolution images with lower quality, and generally, only small targeted mosaics can provide a high-resolution, fine-scale view of the environment. Producing high-quality mosaics for large areas is labour intensive and time-consuming, they can take many months to build as they are often manually pieced together to create precise and seamless images that are cloud, shadow, and artifact-free.
The consortium members including UrtheCast the project lead, Microsoft, BC Parks Foundation, the University of Victoria, Hatfield Consultants, BGC Engineering, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, have come together to build a system to automate and accelerate the generation of high-quality analytics-ready mosaics using multiple data sources of complex earth observation satellite data. This automated process will create the mosaics by correcting for discrepancies in location, addressing satellite geolocation errors, and applying radiometric balancing, accounting for atmospheric conditions and removing cloud.
These high-quality mosaics will be ready for use with machine learning and augmented reality environmental monitoring applications. This will give users the tools they need to assess the land base, whether it’s wildfire area mapping, evaluating changes in the land cover, or managing rangelands.
This project aims to supply what mosaic users need – geolocation accuracy, faster delivery, and high-quality that will lead to derivative products. When taken together, the Satellite-based Environmental Analytics project will help organizations across the spectrum enhance their work in climate mitigation and environmental stewardship.
Once prototypes have been developed, this project aims to demonstrate their extensive capabilities to large-scale mapping and navigation enterprises, including Uber, Google and Azure Maps. Organizations will be able to use this solution as a tool for environmental monitoring, allowing us to apply better environmental stewardship and mitigate the effects of climate change on our planet.