Live from TED2018

Announced at TED2018: Explore satellite images with Planet Stories

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Will Marshall and his company, Planet, has launched a fleet of small satellites to image the Earth every day, watching over changes both natural and human-made. At TED this week, he announced a way for all of us to play with this rich data set — 500 or so images of every location on Earth over time. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Back in 2014, Will Marshall took the TED stage to introduce us to his company, Planet, and their proposed fleet of tiny satellites. The goal: to image the planet every day, showing us how Earth changes in near-real time. In 2018, that vision has come good: Every day, a fleet of about 200 small satellites pictures every inch of the planet, taking 1.5 million 29mp images every day (about 6T of data daily), gathering data on changes both natural and human-made. The images are used by businesses, academics and other professionals to monitor our lovely planet.

This week at TED, Marshall announced a consumer version of Planet, called Planet Stories, to let ordinary people play with these images too. You can compare satellite images over time, at any location you choose, and produce time-lapse images that show change and movement. Watch a new neighborhood rise, see slow but dramatic¬†changes in the environment, or watch the tides in a¬†before-and-after comparison of seasonal change. It’s just a little bit addictive.

Two simple tutorials will get you started for two weeks of exploring this data set. Create an account on Planet Stories and start playing >>