Falling launch costs have combined with the microelectronics, optics, and fast hardware iterations from smartphones to create a revolution in Earth observation satellites. A few bus-sized satellites are being replaced by constellations of dozens or hundreds. Further, optical and multispectral data are being supplemented with radar and hyperspectral instruments. The results include avalanches of data, dozens of well-funded startups, and a widening array of potential applications. While the satellite industry was built on the back of national defense and intelligence budgets, today's companies are looking beyond that to commercial and humanitarian use cases. This talk will outline some of the latest open source tools and standards for working with Earth observation imagery, describe several contemporary use cases, and suggest some important technical challenges ahead.
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