Satellite imagery is expensive, but its potential to create social good excites nonprofit technology experts. In a story that reports on the plans of Silicon Valley start-up Planet Labs to bring down the cost of satellite imagery and significantly increase the recording frequency of such photos, The Chronicle of Philanthropy quotes our CEO, Jim Fruchterman, on the opportunities that cheaper remote imagery technology could open up for nonprofits.
For instance, human rights groups, Fruchterman notes, could use the images to confirm or refute reports they receive, almost in real time. “Let’s say you get a report that there’s a civil disturbance, a rebel group is attacking villages in a certain province, he says. “You can go and look, just by specifying the place, whether there are people on the move in masses.” Similarly, environmental groups will be able to find many uses for frequently updated images, such as monitoring of illegal logging. “Is there a new road being built in this national forest? Wouldn’t it be great to hear about that as it starts to be built—as opposed to three or four weeks later, when it shows up on Google maps and it’s done?” he adds.
The complete story, “Start-Up Seeks to Provide Inexpensive Satellite Images for Nonprofits,” can be found on The Chronicle of Philanthropy website (but is available exclusively to Chronicle subscribers).