Planet launches AI-powered earth data platform to help governments ‘turn data into solutions’

By Planet

The new Planet Insights Platform brings together a wide, diverse range of earth data sets with cloud-based analytics tools to accelerate data-driven decision-making for governments and businesses.

Planet recently launched its Insights Platform incorporating new cloud-based and analytics capabilities to make it easier for governments and busineses to get actionable insights from Earth data. Image: Planet.

Global satellite imagery and geospatial solutions provider, Planet, launched its Insights Platform on 9th April 2024 to make it easier for governments and businesses to gain actionable insights from large volumes of Earth data.


The refreshed platform now includes new cloud-based and analytics capabilities drawn from Sentinel Hub, a geospatial developer platform that was acquired by Planet last year.


Previously, the core offerings were not unified in an all-in-one platform, which now includes Earth data sets, new analytics capabilities, as well as APIs and tools to help users build solutions.  


“What is core to solving real-world challenges is not just data, but solutions,” said Planet CEO William Marshall at the virtual launch event on 11th April 2024. 

Centralised cloud for hosting large datasets, and AI-powered tools

Cloud-based and API-first, Planet Insights Platform empowers developers, data scientists, and GIS teams to host, analyze, and stream Earth data and analytics at scale. Image: Planet.

The new platform uses a centralised cloud architecture to host a wider, more diverse range of Earth datasets, which include datasets from Planet and public missions as well as the user’s own data sets. 


Moving from downloading terabytes of data to streaming data from the cloud is a “fundamentally different approach that is multidimensional and dynamic,” said Troy Toman, Senior Vice President of Product and Software Engineering, Planet, at the same event. 


Hosting data on the cloud makes it easier for users to operate across ecosystems, and to scale and expedite their analyses across these systems. 

The refreshed platform also offers a suite of AI and machine learning tools to make the data relevant and useful for users - “analysis-ready data” as it is called. 


For one of Planet’s government customers, the United Kingdom’s Rural Payments Agency (RPA) previously found that managing large data sets proved to be a key challenge in terms of resource and labour costs for the small team. 


RPA disburses financial subsidies to farmers for sustainable agriculture practices and uses satellite data to verify that they comply with the recommendations.

API-friendly features offer flexibility for analytics tools

This challenge led RPA to use Planet Insights Platform to host their data sets, as well as to build and scale analytical models on the platform.


Developers can build their solutions directly on the Planet Insights Platform or use the Planet API-friendly features to build new solutions out of the platform. The API-friendly features also make it possible for users to integrate this into their existing GIS platforms and applications.


Valentin Louis, RPA’s Senior Earth Observation Specialist, shared in a testimonial that the platform has seamlessly integrated with their current software ecosystem, and offers timely insights to other team members, such as developers, specialists, field officers, and farmers.


The all-in-one platform offers something for every team member in organisations using geospatial data.


For developers, this means faster and more cost-effective product and application development. For data scientists, this means more accurate models that can scale globally and over long timespans. Finally, analysts can access robust data with AI-powered change detection and alert tools to speed up analysis.

Enabling broad area management

The new platform will also enable maritime domain awareness for geopolitical security and risk mitigation for disaster management by making Earth observation data useful and relevant for governments.


Planet’s government customers in defence agencies often relied on broad area management, a practice of monitoring large areas in real-time and across location, time, and physical characteristics.


And this practice is best achieved with data, analytics and software, stated Planet’s blog.


This time series of Planet Basemap images spanning May to July 2023, gives insights into the broader and potential downstream consequences of the collapse of a dam in Ukraine. Video: Planet.


For instance, defence agencies rely on the Planet global daily imagery to monitor broad areas for unusual activities.


“This increases contextual awareness over broad areas and decreases the potential for strategic surprise,” it explained. 


Many defense and intelligence agencies have traditionally relied on tasked satellite imagery that can be limited to a small area of interest. 


In contrast, real-time, broad area monitoring data can give the agencies a strategic and operational advantage. By gaining a broader understanding, this can in turn inform their next move. 


After all, you cannot look closer until you know where you want to look, it added.