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PSMA Australia and DigitalGlobe accelerate continent-scale mapping

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DigitalGlobe and PSMA Australia will accelerate operations to map the entirety of the man-made environment across the Australian continent using DigitalGlobe’s ‘Geospatial Big Data platform’ (GBDX). A new follow-on contract has been awarded to DigitalGlobe to deploy the GBDX and realise PSMA Australia’s award winning Geoscape initiative. The GBDX will analyse satellite imagery and crowdsourced data to map and characterise the physical attributes of more than 15 million structures across Australia.

DigitalGlobe delivered the first phase of the project in April when selected urban areas around Australia were first covered by the Geoscape approach. For the continent-scale initiative, GBDX will scale up the operations with deep learning algorithms used to create a massive amount of geospatial content and location information.

Geoscape will capture a host of valuable location and structural information on buildings across Australia, including features such as building footprints and heights, rooftop materials, solar panels, and swimming pools. The information will be derived from more than 7.6 million square kilometers of high-resolution satellite imagery, proprietary DigitalGlobe and ecosystem partner technologies and crowdsourced data.

“DigitalGlobe developed GBDX and the partner ecosystem to enable the world to be analysed at scale and critical decisions to be made with confidence,” said Shay Har-Noy, DigitalGlobe’s Platform General Manager. “Geoscape is a massive endeavour for which we’re bringing together our GBDX ecosystem, amazing imagery, and deep learning technology to convert terabytes of imagery into precise information about the built environment for the entire Australian continent.”

The resulting Geoscape data will be able to provide a comprehensive view into the location, distribution, and characteristics of structures around the entire continent with unprecedented fidelity. These insights can be applied broadly for applications such as insurance risk modelling, urban planning and services delivery, emergency planning and management, business intelligence, research, and policy development.

“Information about the built environment is the missing link in Australia’s otherwise excellent location data framework,” said Dan Paull, PSMA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Working with DigitalGlobe, we have been able to combine innovative technologies and techniques to create Geoscape and develop an award-winning solution to the challenges presented by Australia’s massive size.”

PSMA Australia’s Geoscape initiative was first announced in the cover story of the April/May issue of Position Magazine.

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