Planet “See Change, Change the World” Challenge

Planet was looking for new solutions that combine Copernicus data with Planet’s global imagery to solve important sustainable development challenges faced by today’s population.


Those are the TOP 3 submissions to the Planet “See Change, Change the World” Challenge. Congratulations to the winning solution!

Green City Watch – Measure the Quality of Urban Nature
The mission of Green City Watch is to radically change the way nature and biodiversity is valued, to bring transparency to local government, and to regenerate cities. The technology combines ecological science, emerging data sources (high-resolution satellite data), and innovative technologies (machine learning and AI) to measure the quality of urban nature. Green City Watches products have endless applications for municipalities, foresters, and planners in conducting inspections faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Green City Watch relies on Sentinel-2 MSI for vegetation analytics, Sentinel-1 SAR imagery to assess urban flood risks, Planet’s SkySat, RapidEye, and ±2x daily revisit times to map illegal tree removal and much more.
Together with cities, Green City Watch is  attacking green space management head-on, sketching out concepts, and reducing the turnaround time required to get ideas implemented. The technology is faster than manual assessments, operates in near-real time, and is temporally and spatially scalable.
Submitted by Nadinè Galle

Automatic Warning System for Prevention of Oil and Gas Pipeline Leaks
Long-distance pipelines form the backbone of the international energy network, yet they are plagued by leaks and other incidents. The project is about developing an automatic system which can detect risks in a timely and reliable manner. This is achieved by getting the coordinates of a given pipeline and then processing the latest satellite images from the location. When the system detects a risk, it acquires a higher-resolution image and evaluates whether the pipeline operators should be informed.
The most recent free optical images (Sentinel-1 IW mode products) and radar images (Sentinel-2 L1C products), along with higher-resolution commercial images (PlanetScope data and on-demand SkySat images) are used.
Using this service, pipeline operators will receive notifications of potential risks to their infrastructure and therefore be able to take action before incidents happen. This will save them money in terms of repairs, damages, lawsuits, and service interruptions, especially in remote regions.
Submitted by Jan Kolmas

Village Data Analytics – Shedding Light on Remote off-grid Villages
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), large numbers of rural villages will need to be electrified in the next decade. The existing planning tools, however, are inefficient and inaccurate. The project proposes an EO tool for finding and ranking villages according to the most suitable electrification route. On-the-ground surveys can then be done on this pre-selected subset and the results validated using VHR image analysis. Using EO will shed light on other critical data, such as historic village growth, flood risk, and access to supporting infrastructure.
Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 imagery for coarse settlement characterisation and VHR data to get village-level insights are essential for the success of the project. Further socio-economic household surveys will be collected by the customers of the tool itself.
Using the solution, the surveys the customers perform will be more targeted, validated, and supplemented with additional data points that are impossible to gather on the ground. This will reduce the cost of electrifying villages and improve the chances of project success.
Submitted by Tobias Engelmeier

The Challenge

Planet is strongly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, the most ambitious development agenda ever. Creative solutions that use Planet data, complemented by other data sources such as the Copernicus programme and additional data sources, can play a crucial role in reaching the world’s collective goals. The most compelling solutions should have a strong technical underpinning, be feasible and achievable.

Planet has identified the following areas of interest for participants to focus on:

    • Sustainable cities and communities, for instance:
      – Detect and analyse the proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing
      – Determine the ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate
      – Understand the average share of built-up areas in cities that is open space for public use for all, by gender, age and persons with disabilities
    • Life on land, for example:
      – Determine forest area as a proportion of total land area
      – Measure the proportion of land that is degraded over total land area

Submissions are not limited to the above mentioned. Solutions that
propose Planet imagery in combination with Copernicus data for
sustainable development are also welcome.


Planet​ ​will​ ​provide​ ​the​ ​winner​ ​with​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ finalise​ ​their ​solution​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​it​ ​to​ ​market. ​​This​ ​includes the​ ​following​ ​prize​ ​details:


6 months free access to Planet’s data with value of 125k EUR over relevant areas of land for PlanetScope and RapidEye imagery products, for R&D/technical evaluation purpose only. The winner can choose between the split of the Monitoring, Basemaps and Archive data required.



Technical and business consulting from Planet during the 6-month period.



A commercial contract for Planet imagery once the first customer is identified.


Fully paid (flights, hotel, conference fee) trip for two to Planet’s customer conference in 2020, providing the winner with a world class opportunity to network with thought leaders in the geospatial industry.


Submissions to Planet “See Change, Change the World” Challenge will be assessed against the following criteria:

Sustainable Development

Does this solution contribute toward the sustainable development of our planet?


Is the solution a novel and ground breaking application of Planet data?


Planet and Copernicus Connection

Does the solution use both Planet data and Copernicus data to create added-value?

Commercial Viability

Does the solution present a viable business model that considers the cost of operations and Planet imagery?

About Planet

Founded​ ​in​ ​2010​ ​by​ ​a​ ​team​ ​of​ ​ex-NASA​ ​scientists, ​Planet​ ​is​ ​driven​ ​by​ ​a​ ​mission​ ​to​ ​image​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​Earth every​ ​day, ​and​ ​make​ ​Earth’s​ ​changes​ ​visible, ​​accessible​ ​and​ ​actionable. Planet​ ​started​ ​as​ ​a​ ​small​ ​team​ ​of​ ​physicists, ​aerospace​ ​and​ ​mechanical​ ​engineers​ ​in​ ​a​ ​garage, ​using​ ​the cube sat​ ​form-factor​ ​to​ ​inform​ ​the​ ​first​ ​designs​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Dove​ ​satellite. ​Just​ ​six​ ​years​ ​after​ ​their​ ​first​ ​satellite entered​ ​space, ​Planet​ ​now​ ​operates​ ​the​ ​largest​ ​constellation​ ​of​ ​Earth-imaging​ ​satellites… ever. Their​ ​satellites​ ​are​ ​collecting​ ​a​ ​radical​ ​new​ ​data​ ​set​ ​with​ ​endless,​ ​real-world​ ​applications.​ ​Whether​ ​one is measuring​ ​agricultural​ ​yields,​ ​monitoring​ ​natural​ ​resources,​ ​or​ ​aiding​ ​first​ ​responders​ ​after​ ​natural​ ​disasters, Planet’s​ ​data​ ​is​ ​here​ ​to​ ​lend​ ​businesses​ ​and​ ​humanitarian​ ​organizations​ ​a​ ​helping​ ​hand.​ ​Planet​ ​believes​ ​timely, global​ ​imagery​ ​will​ ​empower​ ​informed,​ ​deliberate​ ​and​ ​meaningful​ ​stewardship​ ​of​ ​our​ ​planet.


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