Airbus launches UP42, a space tech startup democratising access to geospatial data

  • UP42 is a new data platform for developers and startups, offering self-service access to high-resolution satellite and drone imagery, geospatial data, and pre-configured algorithms
  • SMBs and independent developers will now have access to geospatial data and technologies, which have traditionally been restricted to large corporates and governments
  • The space tech startup is a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space

Berlin, 7 May 2019 - UP42 , a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, today launches an open platform and marketplace dedicated to helping developers and startups build, run, and scale geospatial products. UP42 opens up access to geospatial data, imagery, and processing algorithms — allowing users to develop, launch, and monetise game-changing new products.

Examples of UP42’s ready-to-use algorithms include cloud masking and change detection — i.e. identifying cloud coverage in satellite imagery and revealing changes over time, respectively. Use cases therefore include the monitoring of farmland, tracking pollution levels and analysing patterns of urbanisation.

UP42’s unique offering provides access to data from a range of sources - including both commercial and open-source high-resolution satellite/drone imagery and IoT data. It solves a key pain point for users looking to leverage extensive, accurate, and diverse real-time geospatial data sources, many of which have historically been unavailable for startups or individual developers.

In addition to off the shelf processing algorithms , developers and data scientists will also be able to use their own algorithms by uploading their code directly to the platform or via the API and executing it in the cloud. UP42’s scalable, modular infrastructure, will adapt to an application’s requirements in real-time, and developers will be able to simplify their processing by leveraging custom Docker containers and other state-of-the-art technology.

The platform will also allow entrepreneurial developers to monetise processing algorithms on UP42’s developer platform, helping them unlock new customers and revenue streams.

Eli Tamanaha, CEO of UP42, said: “By lowering the barrier to entry for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as independent developers, UP42 is opening up access to geospatial data that has traditionally been restricted to large corporates and governments.

“Our offering is unique - by combining access to a broad range of data sources alongside a marketplace for processing capacity and tools, developers using UP42 will be able to quickly build and scale geospatial products on our platform. We already have an exceptional roster of partners on the UP42 platform and we’re looking forward to working with a range of startups across Europe and beyond.”

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said: “We created UP42 to approach the market in a different way that appeals to a wider variety of potential users of earth observation data. We strongly believe in a new and dynamic way to build geospatial solutions together with our partners, based on a public cloud environment that allows simplified access to a large variety of geospatial data sources and eases the development of applications. Congratulations to all involved in the launch today, for all they have achieved in such a short space of time.”

UP42 has been in beta since 2019 and users will initially have access to data from a wide range of partners including LiveEO , ITO World , and Simularity , with more being added over the coming months. The company was founded in 2019 with support from BCG Digital Ventures and is based in Kreuzberg, a borough of Berlin. UP42 currently has 20 employees but is looking to expand this year, with plans to grow its product and development teams in particular.

About UP42: UP42 is an open platform and marketplace to build, run, and scale geospatial products. The platform opens up access to a variety of geospatial data and processing algorithms. UP42 brings together high-resolution satellite imagery, drone imagery, IoT data and more - serving as a marketplace for the exchange of geospatial data and processing algorithms. Developers and data scientists across all industries can access and supply ready-to-use data and processing blocks - in order to gain valuable geospatial insights and streamline their processes. The company was founded in Berlin in 2019 and is a subsidiary of Airbus.

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