Meditations

Explore posts from the Descartes Labs team.

Science Company

Descartes Labs

Jun 28, 2021 · 4 min read

Descartes Labs Achieves #40 in TOP500 with Cloud-based Supercomputing Demonstration Powered by AWS, Signaling New Era for Geospatial Data Analysis at Scale

Descartes Labs uses Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) to run a 9.95 petaflops High-Performance LINPACK (HPL) benchmark, placing it #40 in the June 2021 TOP500 ranking. The company improves on its previous AWS-based 2019 TOP500 submission (1.926 petaflops, #136) by 417% in HPL performance and 96 ranking spots in only two years.

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Consumer Goods

Descartes Labs

Jun 24, 2021 · 5 min read

Quantifying the Intuitive: How Geospatial Data Helps Forecast Commodity Prices

Vaccine rollouts and sluggish supply chains still facing pandemic-related restrictions drove increased demand in the first half of 2021 for basic commodities like soybeans, sugar, vegetable oils, meat, and dairy.

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Mining

Descartes Labs

Feb 24, 2021 · 4 min read

Planetary Scale Intelligence for the Mining Super Cycle

Sentinel-2 false color image of an area near Death Valley National Park, CA. Enhancing mineral prospecting and tailings safety with massively scalable models of the earth “Covid is ushering in a new...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Sep 9, 2020 · 5 min read

Gaze into the Future with Downscaled Climate Models

The combination of global climate models and land cover data can be used to estimate the regional effects of climate change years into the future By Sepideh Khajehei — Sepideh is an Applied Scientist...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Aug 26, 2020 · 5 min read

Seeing Through the Clouds

Predicting Vegetation Indices Using Radar Imagery By Terry Conlon — Ph.D. Student in the Sustainable Engineering Lab at Columbia University. Terry completed the following work as a Descartes Labs...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Aug 17, 2020 · 4 min read

How I Trained a GAN to Make It Snow

Non-snowy summertime imagery at left compared to synthetic snowy imagery over the same location at right. Generating realistic but synthetic images to test automated change detection algorithms By...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Jul 8, 2020 · 7 min read

Getting Back to Work with Economic Activity Signals

A three month Sentinel-1 SAR composite over Singapore with lighter colors capturing economic activity on land and at sea. Descartes Labs Economic Activity Signals uses multimodal remotely sensed data...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Apr 15, 2020 · 3 min read

Apply for Our Impact Science Program and Get Your Hands on the World’s Data

Descartes Labs opens up our second round of applications for free platform API access to individuals and small research teams The Donjek Glacier has temporarily dammed the Donjek River multiple times...

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Government

Descartes Labs

Mar 30, 2020 · 2 min read

Putting our Wildfire Detector to Work in New Mexico

The State Forestry Department will use our automated detector during the 2020 wildfire season In 2018, approximately 360,500 acres burned across our headquarters’ state of New Mexico. After a winter...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Mar 19, 2020 · 6 min read

COVID-19: The Road to Economic and Social Recovery

We will recover, but how will we know when? Updated with aggregated mobility data from Friday, June 5th, 2020 Review our aggregated mobility tracking methodology in our technical paper: Mobility...

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Products

Descartes Labs

Jan 22, 2020 · 3 min read

The Descartes Labs Platform

Geospatial data and modeling tools in one package At Descartes Labs, we’ve been working at scale for years to solve some of the world’s hardest and most important geospatial AI challenges. Our custom...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Jan 6, 2020 · 4 min read

Geospatial Data’s Next Frontier: Building Operational Forecasts in the Cloud

Creating statistical models of reservoir storage and hydropower generation using the Descartes Labs Platform Written by Julio E. Herrera Estrada, PhD

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Science

Krishna Karra

Nov 28, 2019 · 4 min read

How We Built a Machine Learning Model to Locate and Map Cranberry Bogs for National Geographic

For a fun piece to chew on during the Thanksgiving holiday, National Geographic asked Descartes Labs if we could figure out a way to map every cranberry bog in the United States. We had less than a...

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Science

Clyde Wheeler

Nov 26, 2019 · 4 min read

The Satellites Hunting for Megafires

Descartes Labs has built an operational wildfire detector using satellite imagery which enabled the Los Angeles Times to release the first public report of the Kincade Fire.

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Products

Descartes Labs

Oct 23, 2019 · 4 min read

Scaling Spatial Analysis with The Trust for Public Land

Cities across the northeast regularly experience warmer temperatures than rural areas in this MODIS land surface temperature visualization by Descartes Labs. The Descartes Labs Platform supercharges...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Oct 11, 2019 · 2 min read

Descartes Labs Raises $20 Million to Accelerate Our Mission and Welcomes Phil Fraher as CFO

There’s never a dull moment over here at Descartes Labs. Between hosting the 2030 Governor’s Energy and Environmental Technology Summit with Governor Lujan Grisham, building our new methane...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Oct 1, 2019 · 3 min read

Government

Descartes Labs

Sep 19, 2019 · 4 min read

Monitoring Methane in Our Home State — A Bold New Plan for New Mexico

Today we’re excited to announce that Descartes Labs will create mapping and modeling capabilities to monitor methane emissions in New Mexico, starting in the Permian Basin. This announcement is not...

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Science

Tim Wallace

Sep 12, 2019 · 4 min read

Sharpening The Focus on Methane Emissions

The European Space Agency’s launch of the Sentinel-5P satellite in October of 2017 ushered in a new era of atmospheric monitoring from space. The instrument provides near-daily global measurements of...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Sep 11, 2019 · 1 min read

Accelerating Research with the Impact Science Program

Descartes Labs applied scientist Dr. Kyle Story demonstrating the programmatic power of the Python API Descartes Labs aims to improve science around the world with free Platform API access for...

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Science

Simone Fobi

Sep 9, 2019 · 5 min read

Blurry no more?! Using Deep Learning to Harmonize Satellite Imagery Across Resolutions

If you’ve ever gone online to find your favorite spot on a map and, upon zooming in, you were left disappointed because the images were blurry, pixelated, or otherwise not up to par, then keep...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Aug 27, 2019 · 2 min read

Iridium COO Suzi McBride joins as Descartes Labs’ newest board member

Suzi McBride, Descartes Labs newest board member We are thrilled to welcome Suzi McBride as our first independent director. Descartes Labs has an ambitious goal of understanding global natural...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Jul 22, 2019 · 3 min read

A Photo Love Letter to Santa Fe

Running after work, Lake Peak, Santa Fe National Forest, May 31, 2018 | Ryan Keisler, Applied Science 40 Snapshots of the Region Descartes Labs Calls Home If you’ve never been to the city of Santa...

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Science

Alex Diamond

Jun 26, 2019 · 6 min read

Measuring Sustainability from Space

Digital supply chain transformations require “decision-useful” data to monitor and measure environmental and societal impacts. Space-based sensors and AI-derived data models help de-risk these...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Jun 19, 2019 · 4 min read

Thunder from the Cloud: 40,000 Cores Running in Concert on AWS

Screenshot of Descartes Labs’ Linpack Benchmark score of 1.926 petaflops using publicly available cloud resources on Amazon Web Services. Descartes Labs builds one of the world’s TOP500 fastest...

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Science

Dylan Rich

Jun 5, 2019 · 3 min read

Extraordinary Views of Earth from a Frankly Wacky Satellite

Earth as a blue marble rolling around in space, made possible with unique observations by DSCOVR EPIC. In February of 2015, after years of delays (including seven that saw the project literally...

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Company

Descartes Labs

May 30, 2019 · 3 min read

Gary Lang Joins Descartes Labs to run Engineering

Descartes Labs team As Descartes Labs grows rapidly, we’re constantly adding to the executive team to support our continued success. That’s why we’re proud to announce Gary Lang, as our new Head of...

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Science

Louis Vernon

May 20, 2019 · 3 min read

Custom Kubernetes Scaling via Envoy Metrics

A selection of data products returned from our Raster service   The Descartes Labs Platform runs on Kubernetes and scales from hundreds to tens of thousands of cores in response to customer traffic.

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Science

Krishna Karra

May 1, 2019 · 5 min read

Texas Reigns Supreme in U.S. Energy Production (and McCamey Shows Us How)

This eight-mile-across image of McCamey, Texas sits in a part of the state with a seemingly endless network of oil and gas infrastructure, but it also features the giant Upton 2 solar farm (which...

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Science

Tim Wallace

Apr 24, 2019 · 9 min read

Science

Descartes Labs

Apr 17, 2019 · 2 min read

Creating Actionable Intelligence for the Oil & Gas Sector by Fusing Commercial and Proprietary Data

The probability output of a deep learning computer vision model which detects and segments well pads in the Permian Basin. Creating Actionable Intelligence for the Oil & Gas Sector by Fusing...

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Agriculture

Descartes Labs

Mar 19, 2019 · 2 min read

Understanding the changing face of agriculture with global sensors

Fields in Vietnam At Descartes Labs, we got our start modeling agricultural yields using data from satellites. Along the way, our scientists secured multiple patents around creating field boundary...

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Science

Tim Wallace

Feb 15, 2019 · 3 min read

What We Burn Creates an Eerily Navigable Map of Earth

Nikhil Sharma at Descartes Labs created a global composite of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO₂) over August and September of 2018. Here, the highest levels of NO₂ are shown first and the rest fade in slowly....

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Science

Tim Wallace

Dec 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Science

Bora Beran

Nov 16, 2018 · 2 min read

If you’re looking for a data prep challenge, look no further than satellite imagery

As some of you might know, in January I joined Descartes Labs. As a company, one of our goals is to make spatial data more readily available and to make it easier to go from observations to...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Nov 1, 2018 · 2 min read

2018 Summer Internship Report

Celebrating National Intern Day on July 26th with our intern team at the Violet Crown in Santa FE We had our first summer internship program at Descartes Labs this summer, and wow, were we impressed....

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Company

Louis Vernon

Oct 23, 2018 · 2 min read

Agriculture

Descartes Labs

Sep 24, 2018 · 3 min read

How tech startup Descartes Labs is helping Cargill unlock the future of data

(This article has been reposted from www.cargill.com) What brought together a 153-year-old grain trader and a tech startup in an office full of bean bag chairs? Corn, naturally.

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Science

Descartes Labs

Sep 12, 2018 · 2 min read

Building a Geospatial Analytics Marketplace with DARPA

Comparison of standard optical RGB imagery (left) and SAR (right) demonstrates how data from various sensors on the Descartes Labs platform may be used to detect illegal fishing. (Source: Descartes...

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Products

Descartes Labs

Aug 15, 2018 · 3 min read

Descartes Labs Platform Emerges from Beta with First Non-Satellite Data Set and Airbus Partnership

About 15 months ago, Descartes Labs entered beta to gather feedback from customers on our progress toward developing an advanced platform for global-scale predictive analytics. Getting at that scale...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Jul 18, 2018 · 2 min read

@WildfireSignal Tracking System Now Live on Twitter

Fire over Durango, Colorado, seen in RGB on the left, and NIR on the right Our Wildfire Watch System, @WildfireSignal, went live on Twitter today. Our applied science team is experimenting with new...

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Science

James Orsulak

Jun 14, 2018 · 4 min read

Rise of the Living Supply Chain

Synthetic Aperture Radar image of the the Port of Shanghai: the busiest port in the world and ground zero for most of the world’s supply chains   Supply chain is an interesting term. What is it? It...

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Science

Descartes Labs

May 17, 2018 · 3 min read

Measuring Volcanic Earth Displacement Using Interferometric SAR

Figure 1: An interferogram from a pair of collections made during descending passes. The fringes to the left are surface deformations centered to the east of the Kilauea summit and lava lake. The...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Apr 20, 2018 · 4 min read

Global-scale water monitoring in the cloud

The many shapes and colors of water, from a silt-laden river in Louisiana to Lake Mead, Nevada to the Great Salt Lake, Utah. All images from the Sentinel-2 satellite. Water plays many roles in our...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Oct 19, 2017 · 3 min read

Assessing the damage of California’s wildfires

Over the past week, we’ve watched in horror as wildfires tore across Northern California. With a deep data archive of satellite imagery and expertise in remote sensing, we also wondered what we could...

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Science

Mark Mathis

Sep 22, 2017 · 2 min read

Multi-dimensional Choropleth Maps using PostGIS, GeoServer, and Google Earth

A choropleth map is a “thematic map in which areas are shaded or patterned in proportion to the measurement of the statistical variable being displayed on the map, such as population density or...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Aug 24, 2017 · 5 min read

Announcing our $30M Series B

Today, we’re excited to announce Descartes Labs $30M Series B round of financing led by March Capital, an LA-based venture capital fund. Our seed round was led by Crosslink Capital and our Series A...

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Science

Descartes Labs

May 24, 2017 · 8 min read

Fighting Wildfires Using a Cloud-based Supercomputer

In the wake of yet another season of significant wildfire activity across the US and in particular California, our drought-weary states brace for the start of a new wildfire season that will once...

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Science

Descartes Labs

May 1, 2017 · 9 min read

Mapping the land from space (in the Cloud)

There are at the very least six separate global land cover mapping efforts. The European Space Agency (ESA) just released an unprecedented 24 annual global land cover maps as a part of the Climate...

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Agriculture

Descartes Labs

Apr 24, 2017 · 2 min read

Descartes Labs Platform Now in Closed Beta with Los Alamos National Laboratory as an Inaugural…

Starting today, Descartes Labs is accepting applications for Beta access to the most advanced Platform for extracting information from satellite imagery on a global scale.

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Products

Descartes Labs

Apr 21, 2017 · 2 min read

Microservice Usage Logging with Openresty and Google BigQuery

Here at Descartes Labs, we have been using the microservice architecture in building out our platform. If you are unfamiliar with microservices, they are a collection of independent services often...

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Company

Descartes Labs

Mar 28, 2017 · 2 min read

Hacking Food Security from Space

Does widespread hunger caused by food shortages contribute to conditions that lead to regional instability? If potential food shortages could be detected early and humanitarian action could be taken...

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Science

Ryan Keisler

Mar 7, 2017 · 3 min read

Products

Descartes Labs

Mar 7, 2017 · 3 min read

Searching the World Wide World

Today, we’re unveiling a technology demonstration of machine learning at global scale, which we call GeoVisual Search. This release makes the global composite images we released last month a bit...

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Science

Descartes Labs

Feb 6, 2017 · 3 min read

Using Petabytes of Pixels with Python to Create 3 New Images of the Earth

Today we’re excited to share three new satellite imagery-based maps of the earth, made here at Descartes Labs. These are global composite images constructed using data from the Landsat 8,...

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Agriculture

Descartes Labs

Sep 8, 2016 · 2 min read

Advancing the science of soy forecasting

Descartes Labs’ weekly forecast for U.S. corn and soy yields Last month, we were excited to unveil our 2016 U.S. Corn Yield Forecast. Today, we’re adding soybeans to our weekly production forecasts.

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Agriculture

Descartes Labs

Aug 10, 2016 · 4 min read

Advancing the science of corn forecasting

Corn yields by county, updated weekly on www.descarteslabs.com Today, Descartes Labs is releasing our 2016 U.S. Corn Yield Forecast. Not only is this year’s corn model vastly improved over last...

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