VentureBeat does a nice job getting at DigitalGlobe's new effort at providing immediately valuable information to its customers. For perhaps too many years the company and its peers delivered raw imagery. While some organizations, notably the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), had the staff and knowledge to turn the data into information, too many others didn't and do not. Hence DigtialGlobe is working to do that analysis itself and turn the final product over to clients.
“This year we started developing comprehensive country-by-country datasets that include anything that touches human existence on this planet,” Kearns said in an interview. “Our ultimate goal is to become the authoritative, indispensable source of information on our rapidly changing planet.”
Africa is the first region, or “microsite,” that DigitalGlobe is looking at. Based on data collected from the satellites, a team of geospatial analysts gleans insights about geographic patterns, infrastructure, illegal activity, humanitarian crises, economics, demographics, food and water security, weather, major events, and even ethnic tribal boundaries. They built an interactive map where you can see that oil theft is a major threat in Nigeria or that the Lord’s Resistance Army is causing population displacement in Central Africa.
Per the site itself:
Please take a few minutes to explore this site and get a better idea of DigitalGlobe’s capabilities beyond our exceptional satellite capacity.
Said another way: Please don't think of us as a data company, but as an information company.
Fast Company covered the same material a few days earlier.