Intelligence capabilities that in the past were available only to nation-states are now available to commercial organizations through services provided by companies like Orbital Insight. They partner with a wide range of satellite and other geospatial data collection companies to aggregate and analyze data, using artificial intelligence and data science to provide near-real-time insights. One of their products monitors over 260,000 retail parking lots from space. They use artificial intelligence to count and measure the number of cars in the lots and analyze time sequences to understand how the number of cars fluctuates over time. This helps them understand if sales are increasing or decreasing in a particular location. Isn’t that crazy to think about? But think about it we should. This is the next generation of business intelligence. Put on your James Bond suit or dress, order a drink, and prepare for the next generation of digital transformation.
Satellite imagery can also help monitor fleets of trucks, warehouse activities, crops, plant health, highway traffic, construction projects and activities, oil field operations and oil storage levels, mines, logging, shipping and much more. It’s important for business leaders to understand what is possible today, and what is being used by other digitally-mature competitors. Intelligence gathering and analysis methodologies first developed by military and intelligence agencies, such as activity-based analysis and patterns of life analysis, will soon be critical skills for businesses.
All of these capabilities are being productized and/or offered as subscription services. What makes it possible? The commercialization of space as a result of massive numbers of new satellites being launched, producing massive volumes of new data, transmitted across incredibly fast wireless networks and then analyzed and interpreted by artificial intelligence.
It is also important to know that satellites support many different types of sensors. They can include infrared thermal sensors to detect different heat signatures. They may include hyperspectral sensors to detect different minerals, terrestrial vegetation and man-made materials. Each new generation of satellite includes new types of sensors capable of collecting new forms of data.
The real insight here is the way combinations of newly-available data sources plus artificial intelligence will make possible new and additional waves of digital transformation. Digital transformation is most certainly a journey not a destination.
Senior Vice President Solutions Strategy, Regalix Inc.
Website Regalix Inc.
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.