GEOCENTO LIMITED (GB)
A key indication of the performance of earth observation is how easy, quick and affordable it is to collect fresh imagery of a location. This underpins the viability of value-added services and the credibility of the sector right across markets. It is our contention that fresh image collection rates poorly in this regard, particularly in relation to very high resolution optical imagery. If a customer wishes to obtain a fresh image of their area of interest, they have to select a supplier (typically based on reputation rather than informed knowledge), select a service (which can be complex and not necessarily a great fit to requirements), wait for a feasibility report, and then pay a supplier before knowing if the collection will be successful. To address this, we are developing EarthImages-on-Demand – a commercial service that drives standardised requests for very high resolution optical image collection to the network of imaging suppliers for cooperative fulfilment. This turns the current image collection protocol around 180 degrees in favour of customers by allowing them to specify what imagery they want, where and when and the price they are prepared to pay (via a simply interface), and then have the money released to the first supplier that delivers to specification within the requested time window. EarthImages-on-Demand will benefit the whole sector by creating a dynamic between demand and supply, encouraging competition for image collection (driving standards in delivery time and pricing) and supporting scalability through standardisation of imaging requests. We are looking to exploit these benefits by identifying and stimulating demand for the service in key markets, starting with some pilot projects, thus ultimately benefitting suppliers as well as customers through increased demand for image collection.