Impact Observatory is building an artificial intelligence-powered mapping prototype designed to help accelerate the identification of multiple classes of land cover in near real-time under a Small Business Innovation Research contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
The SBIR partnership between Impact Observatory and NGA kicked off in July 2022 and will run through Jan. 2024, the agency said Tuesday.
Under the research and development phase, the AI-generated maps from Impact Observatory are now showing areas of deforestation, construction and fire and burn scars in addition to rangeland, trees, crops and flooded vegetation.
The team at Impact Observatory plans to improve imagery by incorporating remote sensing data and continue to integrate new sources of data to further improve global mapping.
In 2021, the company published the first public land-cover map at 10-meter resolution using imagery from Europe’s Sentinel satellite constellation and adopting big data and machine learning. Esri provided funding and Microsoft contributed computers and server space to the effort.