Geospatial Data Analysis: DigitalGlobe Goes All-In on AWS


DigitalGlobe has gone all-in on AWS and is leveraging AWS machine learning technologies to drive deeper insights and improved responsiveness for applications such as defense and intelligence, public safety, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, and navigation.

DigitalGlobe, a business unit of Maxar Technologies, has migrated its entire 100-petabyte imagery library to AWS, which will give its customers instant access to its vast library of geospatial images, eliminating the need to wait for tapes and disks to be retrieved for content.

DigitalGlobe, its sister division Radiant Solutions, and its partner ecosystem also leverage AWS’s frameworks and tools to build machine learning applications that allow their customers to incorporate valuable geospatial information extracted from commercial satellite imagery into their work flows, enabling decisions to be made with confidence.

DigitalGlobe is leveraging AWS’s suite of machine learning capabilities, including the newly released Amazon SageMaker to easily build, train, and deploy machine learning applications. By using Amazon SageMaker’s highly scalable machine learning algorithms, DigitalGlobe can predict what images customers will request next based on their usage patterns and, as a result, intelligently tier its image library, to keep relevant imagery readily accessible in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and the remainder of its library in AWS’s lower-priced archival service, Amazon Glacier.

In addition to optimizing storage costs, DigitalGlobe’s customers gain faster access to the right images needed to extract actionable intelligence at a global scale. To enable this, DigitalGlobe built its Geospatial Big Data platform, called GBDX, on AWS to provide data curation, analysis, and delivery that helps customers answer their most challenging questions.

DigitalGlobe’s new product, GBDX Notebooks, will integrate Amazon SageMaker to make it easier for customers to build and deploy machine learning models that extract data from DigitalGlobe’s vast satellite imagery library for detailed business insights.

“Adopting AWS as our foundational storage and analytics infrastructure is allowing us to solve big data challenges for our customers,” said Dr. Walter Scott, Chief Technology Officer of Maxar Technologies and founder of DigitalGlobe. “We’ve gained speed, agility, and resiliency from the cloud, and our teams, partners, and customers can now innovate faster than ever before with our entire library at their fingertips. By leveraging an array of AWS machine learning services, we are able to put the world’s most important images into our customer’s hands, allowing them to better understand our changing planet and save lives, resources, and time.”

“Few companies work with the sheer volume of data that DigitalGlobe does. When working at this volume, it’s nearly impossible to scale and rapidly innovate without the cloud,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector Sales at AWS. “DigitalGlobe was the first customer to use AWS Snowmobile – AWS’s Exabyte-scale data transfer service that uses a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container pulled by a semi-trailer truck – to move their massive image library to AWS. Ever since, they have been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with large data sets. We’ve worked in lock-step with DigitalGlobe over the last three years, listening to their challenges and collaborating with them to build an environment in the cloud where their business can thrive. ”