This was the second time we participated in the “Engage” conference organized by Maxar — the leading satellite imagery provider. Due to the pandemic, however, Engage was last held in 2019 in Barcelona. At that time, we had just started Geoalert and were making our first steps working with Maxar’s cloud platform. This year, in Lisbon, we got a chance to present the results of our work over the past three years — Mapflow — our cloud platform that harnesses AI for the mapping on satellite and aerial imagery.
Probably we were the smallest company in the event where the most guests were the national agencies, governmental organizations, and large enterprises in the Geospatial market. We are currently working closely with Maxar to integrate their Maxar SecureWatch API into Mapflow as part of Mapflow Custom, — our advanced subscription, where user can process the premium imagery provided by Maxar.
By the way, if you love both GIS and free-and-open-source software, we recommend you try Mapflow for QGIS, — our plugin for the most widely used GIS application. It provides full access to Maxar’s vast imagery archive and lets you run Mapflow AI-mapping pipelines using the images that select from it.
So let us sum up what we see and did there☝️
On the first day, there was a lot of discussions about 3D data and the ruminations about the “Metauniverse”. Doesn’t it sound like something that Google was talking about 5–6 years ago while showcasing Google Earth. One of the presentations ended with a tagline “Geospatial metauniverse company”.
It might be that the only difference is that today, big companies like Facebook or Microsoft lean towards buying this 3D data from geospatial professionals rather than building their own geo-factories. And also that today geospatial companies are stitched to the hosting and computational resources such as AWS and Azure, which allows them to process these very large 3D datasets.
We couldn’t miss the opportunity to know about the upcoming version of Maxar SecureWatch 3.0 which will include 3D data as premium layers, available both on the web and via an API. Speaking about our collaboration with Maxar, we were told, unfortunately, that QGIS and Mapflow integration has a pretty low priority in the v.3.0 roadmap (many sad smiles here).
Among other major updates of SW, Maxar announced that the billing system is going to move from Gb to credits (oh yeah, in our integrated solution we have Mapflow credits… version 3.0 is already here 😅). They mentioned many requests from users for the satellite tasking — “hey, I wanna the new satellite photo of my freshly painted roof” — but for us it still remains unclear whether this feature is going to be implemented.
Euroconsult moderated most important sessions and was supposed to play the role of the overall market visionary, known for their accurate and moderately optimistic market forecasts. Of course among the limitations of the one-leading-company conferences is the one that you can’t spot their competitors here, well, at least to mention them in the survey.
We were presenting in the lightning talks session on the topic that hasn’t been highlighted in the event’s agenda since we missed all the last calls: “Being a SaaS (Small Analytics company) in the Earth Observation market”.
We will tell you about this topic and what our presentation was about in the next blogpost. Stay tuned 😊