Digital Geography

6. March 2014

Skybox and UrtheCast: earthstreams and the question of usage

Do you remember the great game SimCity 2000? When you see the new video from SkyBox Imaging you will see some parallels.

skybox screenshot with SimCity style

Skybox

Skybox is one of many companies which are starting some real-time video streaming from space down to earth. But the new video they have released will blow your mind. check it out:

What is most surprising: Skybox is capable of sidelooks and therefore enhances its usage scenarios by enabling longer lasting monitoring sequenses to certain spots on our lovely planet. But besides this ass-kicking video, let’s be clear: the usage scenarios are endless, like the possibility to use it in an “unorthodox” way.

UrtheCast

UrtheCast is the other major player in the stream-my-planet business but the have one problem at the moment: every material they capture of Russian territory belongs to the Russian government:

“Under the deal with the Russians, the space agency agreed to pay for the launch, installation and maintenance of UrtheCast’s cameras. Russia gets pictures of its own territory and UrtheCast gets the right to use – and sell – any other images the cameras produce.” (from Bloomberg.com)

It will be interesting to see the Ukrainian war in this context and the role of private companies and their way into space.