From smart speakers to facial recognition, artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly part of our daily lives. Maxar co-founded SpaceNet with IQT Labs’ CosmiQ Works five years ago to harness open-source innovations in emerging computer vision technology to accelerate complex analysis of satellite imagery. Today, we are excited to announce a leadership transition of the SpaceNet project to Maxar.

SpaceNet is dedicated to accelerating open-source, AI-applied research for geospatial applications, specifically foundational mapping (i.e., building footprint and road network detection). Under CosmiQ Works' leadership, SpaceNet completed seven challenges, developed 36 open-sourced algorithms, had participation from more than 80 countries and released about 67,000 sq km of high-resolution satellite imagery, from which 11 million labeled building footprints and 20,000 km of road labels were mapped.

Maxar commends the significant contributions of the CosmiQ Works team for managing this project for the past five years, and we’re grateful for the collaboration. We look forward to continuing SpaceNet’s impressive track record of open innovation as the geospatial community takes on new mission challenges. We are pleased to share that we plan to host SpaceNet 8 in the second half of 2021; we will share details when possible. We’re excited to explore the application of AI to new sources of imagery, 3D data and other sources of geospatial data that can help us better understand our planet. During this planning period, rest assured that all existing SpaceNet resources, including training datasets, tools and algorithms, will remain available.

”SpaceNet has become the gold standard for geospatial computer vision reference datasets and has fostered open innovation for algorithms to automate the extraction of foundation mapping features,” said Tony Frazier, Executive Vice President of Global Field Operations at Maxar. “We are grateful for IQT Labs’ outstanding leadership of SpaceNet, and Maxar is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the next phase of innovation. Maxar believes that AI enables huge benefits for the speed and scale at which we can serve important missions, such as rapid mapping after natural disasters, maintaining updated maps globally and understanding our changing planet.”

Maxar continues to engage the SpaceNet partners to plan the next phase of the project and future challenges. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for updates.

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