Success Stories

UrtheCast spins new insight on a dynamic planet

UrtheCast spins new insight on a dynamic planet


Watch the earth rotate in real time on your phone or desktop computer screen. See the blue and white globe turning from the perspective of astronauts gliding 400 kilometres above the earth’s surface in the International Space Station. You may see a blanket of cloud over the ocean or, often, the blackness of night on earth.  Through a partnership with NASA, these images are broadcast live on the website of UrtheCast.

UrtheCast is a B.C.-based, international company that serves the rapidly-evolving geospatial and geo-analytics markets with a wide range of Earth Observation products and services from its growing sensor system. Customers such as Global Forest Watch (GFW), a not-for-profit online forest monitoring and alert system, use the imagery to manage and conserve forest landscapes. United Nations organizations are using imagery from UrtheCast’s cameras to show the impact of clearing tropical forests for rubber plantations, the destruction of a UNESCO world heritage site, and the growth of Syrian refugee camps.

UrtheCast currently operates four Earth Observation sensors, including two cameras aboard the International Space Station and two satellites, Deimos-1 and Deimos-2. Imagery and data captured by these sensors is downlinked to ground stations across the planet and displayed on UrtheCast’s cloud-based web platform, or distributed directly to partners and customers. The company is also developing, and anticipates launching, the world’s first fully integrated constellation of multispectral optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites, called OptiSAR™, which the company believes will revolutionize monitoring of the planet with high-quality, high-resolution, and high-revisit imagery in all weather conditions, any time of day.

Apps from UrtheCast and independent developers allow organizations and individuals to monitor the environment, manage natural resources and humanitarian relief efforts, organize social events and much more. Rendering imagery data in hours or days with UrtheCast’s filters eliminates the usual need to order satellite feeds by email, wait for orders to be fulfilled and then download large files by FTP, or waiting for physical hard drive deliveries.

UrtheCast is developing applications for its new satellite constellations, which they anticipate will be launched in 2020. Teamed with British Columbia researchers at 3V Geomatics and the universities of British Columbia and Victoria, as well as the Canadian Forest Service, C-Core remote sensing and Agriculture Canada, the company’s growing services will help businesses and organizations study extreme ice conditions, forestry, plant yields, mining and many other fields.

The company markets its services to customers worldwide; selling the knowledge and technology that it has developed with British Columbia’s outstanding scientists and business leaders. British Columbia is home to thousands of dynamic companies at the leading edge of the information and communications technology and wireless (ICT/W) sector. Researchers and developers throughout the province are creating, commercializing and marketing new developments in information technology and design.

The Ministry of International Trade helps investors and buyers work with British Columbia businesses to grow in key markets around the world. We offer contacts and support through a growing network of Trade and Investment Representatives offices, as well as our established services in Vancouver

Posted on: August 22, 2016

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