August 26, 2016

"Satellite operator DigitalGlobe is teaming up with Amazon, the venture arm of the CIA, and chipmaker Nvidia to try to make it happen."

Technology Review: In a joint project, DigitalGlobe today released satellite imagery depicting the whole of Rio de Janeiro to a resolution of 50 centimeters. by Tom Simonite

'The outlines of 200,000 buildings inside the city's roughly 1,900 square kilometers have been manually marked on the photos. The SpaceNet data set, as it is called, is intended to spark efforts to train machine-learning algorithms to interpret high-resolution satellite photos by themselves.

'DigitalGlobe says the SpaceNet data set should eventually include high-resolution images of half a million square kilometers of Earth, and that it will add annotations beyond just buildings. DigitalGlobe's data is much more detailed than publicly available satellite data such as NASA's, which typically has a resolution of tens of meters. Amazon will make the SpaceNet data available via its cloud computing service. Nvidia will provide tools to help machine-learning researchers train and test algorithms on the data, and CosmiQ Works, a division of the CIA’s venture arm In-Q-Tel focused on space, is also supporting the project.'

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