Radiant Earth Foundation teams up with Blockchain software company ConsenSys to Make Geospatial Data More Accessible


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Radiant Earth Foundation, a non profit company that aims to simplify the overall process of using satellite imagery to equip global aid organizations with resources, is partnering with leading blockchain software company ConsenSys. With the partnership they hope to improve licensing processes for open Earth imagery and geospatial data. The blockchain technology offered by ConsenSys, makes information about our Earth more accessible to the organizations who need it most.

When disaster strikes, non-governmental organizations need access to the most up to date imagery available. For example, geospatial satellite data can provide critical insights for recovery and clean-up efforts after a hurricane.

Geospatial technology involves GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing).

To get this data, large philanthropic organizations and small non-profits alike utilize open Earth observation resources, such as Radiant Earth Foundation, or purchase commercially available geospatial data to support their mission. These commercial purchases come with a use license that typically allows for further distribution and sharing with non-profits and other organizations aligned with the same purpose as the original purchase. However, the complexity of the current licensing system itself often creates a barrier to this process and prevents further distribution of this critical data.

Using blockchain technology to create a transparent, immutable record of how the data is shared, Radiant Earth Foundation and ConsenSys have successfully created a proof-of-concept to better track the licensing and payments of geospatial data, in order to reduce friction and quickly provide geospatial information to the NGOs when they need it. The distributed ledger design and cryptographic mechanisms ensure that both the identity of the transacting parties and the authenticity of any transaction cannot be disputed.

“We are pleased to collaborate with ConsenSys on this game-changing technology for the commercial satellite industry. Blockchain will unlock high-resolution commercial data sets to the NGO community, leading to accelerated and improved data sharing between commercial data providers and authorized customers. This is an outcome we are proud to contribute to as we all benefit when data flows securely,” said Anne Hale Miglarese, founder and CEO of Radiant Earth Foundation.

“Ethereum has a unique potential to increase collaboration within a variety of industries,” said Robert Keenan, Product Lead for ConsenSys Solutions. “ConsenSys is excited to be exploring this potential on Earth observation use-cases, especially ones focused on global development.”

The proof-of-concept is built on the Blockchain Business Cloud, a solution provided by ConsenSys’ Kaleido in collaboration with Amazon Web Services to accelerate the process of building and managing an enterprise blockchain network with easy onboarding for future partners.

“This innovative use case is a great example of the kinds of social impact problems that can be solved with blockchain, in ways we might not have foreseen,” said Sophia Lopez, founder of Kaleido. “Kaleido was built to tackle the technology hurdles of implementing a blockchain network, so organizations like Radiant Earth Foundation can focus their energy and resources on fulfilling their mission.”

ConsenSys and Radiant Earth Foundation are now in talks to expand the scope and scale of this use-case to include additional organizations and end-users in the coming year.

Wieke Beenen
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