This from DigitalGlobe's blog:
We are pleased to officially announce that we have acquired crowdsourced intelligence pioneer Tomnod (www.tomnod.com.) While the transaction is not material to our financials, it does support our vision of being the indispensable source of information about our changing planet.
Tomnod has been at the forefront of innovation in the growing field of crowdsourcing of earth observation imagery analysis, combining their unique and novel algorithms with deep GIS and imagery knowledge.
We will continue offering Tomnod’s rapid information capture and validation services directly to customers. In addition, information gained by the service will increasingly act as a key data source for our in-house analytics teams, enabling them to provide more accurate insight and analysis to our customers faster.
Dr. Walter Scott, our Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer and Founder, said it best, describing the acquisition as “a valuable one for DigitalGlobe that takes us a significant step forward in achieving our long-term vision while immediately increasing our ability to help users across our industry save time, resources and lives.”
This is an innovative acquisition and moves DigitalGlobe closer to being an information and analytics provider than just a staple imagery producer. I'm intrigued by the notion of a real-time data service providing feeds of social media chatter so long as it can be filtered appropriately, which is the idea behind Tomnod's "Crowdrank" algorithm. I can see this being used by a variety of organizations to ascertain news and intelligence, and as such moves DG into the sphere as a business intelligence organization.