Machine Learning

Open Earth Observation Data in the Age of Machine Learning

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same.

Not so long ago, there was just one viable source for Earth imaging data: Landsat, a joint program of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey whose mission dates back to 1973. Back then, civilian remote sensing was still in its infancy and commercial satellite operators were unheard of. And yet, the nascent professional remote sensing community was galvanized by the promise of what could be. Decades later, civil society has a wealth of commercial and government Earth observation data to analyze, and more is on the way thanks to a dramatic period of innovation whose day is almost here. Innovation fueled by the confluence of available Earth observation data, machine learning methods, cloud computing and an expanding data science workforce that is eager to create new products and solutions, will change everything. And in some respects, nothing.

Machine Learning

Enhancing Earth Observation Solutions in Agriculture with Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML) and Earth observation (EO) are complementary technologies. While EO helps us understand natural and anthropogenic changes on the Earth, ML empowers us to analyze vast amounts of imagery and build new models for EO data that would have been very difficult if not impossible using traditional physical models a few short years ago.

The promise ML and EO hold for agriculture are immense. EO satellites capture data at a global scale, and ML techniques can use these data to map croplands at local, regional, and continental levels, which provide input for farmers and policymakers alike. In particular, the ability to estimate crop yield or detect pest/disease damage during the growing season will be game-changing in addressing food insecurity problems.

Machine Learning

Accessing and Downloading Training Data on the Radiant MLHub API

Community Voices

Data Challenge Winners: Identifying African crop types using satellite imagery

In May, we announced the winners of the Radiant Earth Computer Vision for Crop Detection from Satellite Imagery data challenge, which took place in February and March 2020. A total of 440 data scientists signed up for the challenge, representing a wide range of educational backgrounds, institutions, and geographies. While five winners were selected, in this Q&A, we sat down with Karim Amer, the First Place Overall Winner of the Data challenge, and the First Place African Citizen winner, Femi Sotonwa. Our goal is to learn more about the people behind the top scores.

Machine Learning, News

BigEarthNet Benchmark Archive Now Available on Radiant MLHub

BigEarthNet is a new large-scale benchmark geospatial training data consisting of multi-label land cover classes in ten European countries. 

Radiant Earth Foundation, the leader in enabling access to geospatial training data, is pleased to announce the availability of the BigEarthNet large-scale benchmark archive through Radiant MLHub, the world’s first open library dedicated to Earth observation (EO) training data.

News, Standards

STAC 1.0-beta.1 Released!

The SpatioTemporal Asset Catalog community is incredibly proud to announce the release of STAC 1.0! If you want to get technical it’s 1.0-beta.1, which means that everything is not yet completely locked in. And it’s just the core specs, as we’ve split off the STAC API into its own repository, and its 1.0-beta.1 release will follow. But this is a huge milestone, as it symbolizes that the community has worked through every known issue and desired improvement. It is the beginning of the final stabilization steps, to ensure STAC will be a stable core that people can build on for years and even decades to come.

The reason we are calling it a ‘beta’ release is so that the specification is not so set that we can’t take additional feedback as we push to get it much more widely adopted. The goal between beta.1 and 1.0.0 is to update every piece of software that has implemented STAC, as well as upgrade all the existing STAC Catalogs to the latest, so we are sure our changes work for everyone.

Machine Learning, News

Announcing the Winners of Radiant Earth’s Competition for Crop Detection in Africa

Five Data Scientists emerged as winners of Radiant Earth Foundation’s competition, in partnership with Zindi Africa, to create a machine learning model that classifies farm fields in Kenya by crop type using time series of Sentinel-2 satellite imagery collected during the growing season.

Earth observations provide critical data for agricultural monitoring at scale, and machine learning (ML) techniques are best suited to learn from these data. Yet, building agricultural ML models poses a problem in Africa due to limited training data, as well as add-on hurdles created by the relatively small size of the farms. These difficulties prompted Radiant Earth to design a competition to crowdsource data science skills globally for the best crop detection model.

Machine Learning

A Guide for Collecting and Sharing Ground Reference Data for Machine Learning Applications

Machine learning (ML) applications for Earth observation (EO) can use currently available data that are collected via surveys for empirical research to investigate applied sciences or conduct socio-economic analysis. However, the chances of those survey data being incomplete are high. Many ML applications on EO require ground reference data, which are accurate observations of some property on the ground and can be used as a label or description of what a potential overhead image¹ represents.

It is, of course, possible to label images remotely using online platforms like OpenStreetMap…

Machine Learning

Which Data Science Event is Right for You?

As data-driven approaches become more integrated with global development missions like food security, practitioners need to stay up to date with data science methodologies and best practices. Trying to keep up with this rapidly evolving field can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are numerous capacity-building data science events that provide a great way to stay abreast of new trends and developments.

Data science events are all structured in a similar participant-driven style, but each type has key differences and lends itself to distinct data science skillset and goals. In this article …

Machine Learning

Regional Training Data are Essential for Building Accurate Machine Learning Models

Thinking that having familiarity with Las Vegas in the United States would be enough to navigate the streets of Khartoum, Sudan sounds far-fetched. Yet, many machine learning models use Western-centric training data to predict features from satellite imagery in places as culturally and economically diverse as Bangladesh, Uganda, or Honduras.

Advances in computer vision and machine learning (ML) are improving the ability to accurately extract insights from frequent and high-resolution satellite imagery, shedding light on global development and progress …