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  1. #1
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    [EN] Google joga a toalha da Terra Bella (Beta)



    Google realized Planet’s small team were doing a better job than they were at managing satellites. So they sold their $300 million satellite company, Terra Bella together with their seven high-res SkySat satellites in orbit to Planet in return for shares and a long-term licensing deal for all Planet’s images.


    Roger James Hamilton
    17 mins ·

    How big are you thinking? Will Marshall is thinking so big, he’s thinking out of this world. Literally. He’s just bought all of Google’s satellites with his 6-year old start-up, Planet Labs.

    Paradoxically, Will can now think bigger because he began by thinking smaller.

    In 2010 he asked himself “Why are most satellite images years old, and satellites so expensive?” (The NASA satellites launched at the time cost $850 million to build and launch).

    The lightbulb moment came when NASA Director of Engineering gave a talk and pulled out his smartphone, saying it had a faster processor and better sensors than many satellites, at a fraction of the price.

    That’s when Will, who was at the talk, said “Pete, don’t put that back in your pocket. We’re going to make that into a satellite”.

    Will then launched Planet Labs with two NASA scientists with the mission "To use space to help life" and the goal “To image the entire planet, every day.” Their first goal? To launch a “phonesat” into orbit,and send back photos of earth in real time.

    Three years later, the first three were launched for just $7,000 each. Will called them “Alexander, Graham and Bell”.

    The team came up with the phrase “Agile Aerospace” where they improved their “flock”, which became known as “Doves”. In 2014, 28 Doves were released from the International Space Station. Each even sent a “Tweet” via Twitter once they turned on.

    By 2016, Will said "We have launched 133 satellites to date, which is the largest constellation in human history… We can track deforestation, we can track the ice caps melting. We can help people respond to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.”

    And that’s Will’s big dream - to save the environment by being able to prevent the damage before it happens. For example, with the Amazon: "If you wait until the end of the year to take a picture - which is the typical rate - at the end of the year you have a big hole in the Amazon. If you take it every day, you can catch people in the act who are logging in the wrong place and send the co-ordinates to the response team who go and stop them."

    So how did Will end up buying Google’s satellites? Google realized Planet’s small team were doing a better job than they were at managing satellites. So they sold their $300 million satellite company, Terra Bella together with their seven high-res SkySat satellites in orbit to Planet in return for shares and a long-term licensing deal for all Planet’s images.

    So while many startups dream one day of being bought by Google, Will has done the opposite and bought from Google.

    Are you thinking big enough?

    What would you do different if you were thinking 100x bigger?

    When asked what advice he would give startup entrepreneurs, Will said “Check that the idea can be 100x better (/lower cost etc) than anything out there - there will be all sorts of practical reasons you've not thought of and if it's only a 10x that will be eaten up.”

    In the meantime, Will isn’t resting after his big buy. He has another 88 satellites being launched this Valentine’s Day. When your business is in space, the sky’s no longer the limit.

    "If people aren't calling you crazy, you aren't thinking big enough." ~ Richard Branson

    bit.ly/2kvUJ4W

  2. #2
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    Planet to Acquire Terra Bella from Google, Sign Multi-Year Data Contract

    Will Marshall
    February 3, 2017

    Planet Labs is thrilled to announce that we have entered into an agreement with Google, wherein Planet will acquire the Terra Bella business including the SkySat constellation of satellites, and Google upon closing, will enter into a multi-year contract to purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet.

    I can speak for everyone at Planet when I say that we’re incredibly excited about this opportunity. We’ve long admired what the team at Terra Bella has achieved and we think the SkySat constellation of 7 high resolution satellites is highly complementary to Planet’s existing medium resolution 60-satellite fleet. The former enable regular, rapidly updated snapshots of select areas of the globe at sub-meter resolution; the latter regular, global coverage at 3-5 meter resolution. The two systems under one roof will be truly unique and will enable valuable new capabilities.

    Planet will distribute SkySat data through Planet’s suite of geospatial offerings. Planet’s global medium-resolution imagery has proven to be of great value in the commercial market, enabling us to exceed our revenue goals in 2016. With Terra Bella, Planet will diversify its available data and solutions and be able to serve new customers and markets.

    As part of this agreement, a number of Terra Bella employees will join Planet to continue their great work within our combined organization. We’re honoured and pleased to welcome Terra Bella to the Planet family and look forward to working with the Google team.

    “When we thought about a company that shares Terra Bella’s passion and strengths in high frequency satellite imaging, Planet was a natural home,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of Product and Engineering, Google. “Terra Bella has accomplished a lot in the past two years—including the design and launch of five more satellites. We’re excited to see what’s ahead for Terra Bella, and look forward to being a long-term customer.”

    “From the start, Planet and Terra Bella have shared similar visions and approached aerospace technology from a like-minded position, and while our on-orbit assets and data are different, together we bring unique and valuable capabilities to users,” said Terra Bella Co-Founder John Fenwick. “Planet and Terra Bella together enables the continuation of our mission and makes for an ever-stronger business.”

    With this acquisition, rapid business growth, and the largest launches yet for both Terra Bella and Planet scheduled for this year, this will no doubt be Planet’s most impactful year yet!

    The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US.

    https://www.planet.com/pulse/planet-...a-from-google/

  3. #3
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    Why Google Sold Satellite Imaging Unit Terra Bella To Planet Labs

    Google has sold off its satellite imaging business as the company pulls back on its grand plan to offer internet access across the globe.

    David Kaplan
    Feb 6, 2017

    Alphabet, Google's parent, wants to focus more on the essentials of location and marketing, and satellite imaging is strictly peripheral.

    The deal involves the sale of the Terra Bella unit to Planet Labs, a startup that offers satellite mapping and imaging to businesses and government entities operating in fields such as agriculture, energy, forestry, and defense intelligence.

    The sum of the deal was not disclosed. In a blog post, Planet Labs co-founder and CEO Will Marshall said that his company and Google will enter into a multi-year contract to that will allow Google Earth paid access to imaging data from Planet Labs.

    An undisclosed number of Terra Bella staffers will join Planet Labs. Terra Bella was formed following Google’s purchase of Skybox Imaging for $500 million three years ago.

    The unit operates seven relatively small satellites. Google’s initial interest in owning a satellite operation was that it would enable the company to enhance its own mapping capabilities by providing wider internet access via its own orbiting spacecraft.

    But over the last year, Google has rethought that ambitious project. For one thing, it was always going to be peripheral to its core mapping business. So in that sense, it would be more cost effective to simply sell Terra Bella off and just lease the information that emanates from it.

    “When we thought about a company that shares Terra Bella’s passion and strengths in high frequency satellite imaging, Planet was a natural home,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of Product and Engineering, Google. “Terra Bella has accomplished a lot in the past two years—including the design and launch of five more satellites. We’re excited to see what’s ahead for Terra Bella, and look forward to being a long-term customer.”

    http://www.geomarketing.com/why-goog...to-planet-labs

  4. #4
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    Para os maldosos que sentiram um cheiro de fritura do Maps .... o campinho lucrativo sempre foi da Here (ex-Nokia; atual Audi, BMW, Daimler, Intel)
    Última edição por 5ms; 09-02-2017 às 15:53.

  5. #5
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    Google Remakes the Satellite Business, by Leaving It

    Robinson Meyer
    Feb 7, 2017

    Last week, Google pushed one of the most interesting sectors in Silicon Valley toward maturity—and brought a milestone in cartography closer to reality. It accomplished all that, paradoxically, by getting out of the market.

    From a business standpoint, here’s the news: Google sold its in-house satellite business, known as Terra Bella, to Planet, Inc. Planet is a startup based in San Francisco that already operates a fleet of 60 orbiting cameras the size of shoeboxes. With the acquisition, Planet is now the de facto leader in the small-satellite space, and it will add Terra Bella’s seven high-resolution satellites to its own constellation of medium-resolution craft.

    As part of the deal, Planet will give Google access to its growing archive of imagery for at least the next few years.

    But the more interesting development has less to do with acquisitions and more with technological capacity. Planet also announced that it will deploy 88 small satellites later this month, as part of a rocket launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in southeastern India on February 14. Assuming that most of the spacecraft make it to orbit intact, these satellites should become fully operational by the summer.

    When that happens, Planet will be the first to hit a long-discussed milestone in the industry: It will photograph every place on the entire planet every day. Every park, every rice paddy, every patch of pine and permafrost: all will be imaged anew, daily, at medium resolution.

    Planet says that the India launch will break the record for most satellites deployed on a single rocket. Launches remain one of the most costly aspects of the space business, and the company has gotten burned for its frugality before. Its leaders know, from firsthand experience, that not its satellites all will survive the journey to space. In October 2014, Planet became the first company ever to lose 26 satellites at once when an Antares rocket exploded on the tarmac. Nine months later, it lost another eight spacecraft when a SpaceX rocket failed before it left the atmosphere.

    But if even a minority of the satellites make it into orbit, Planet will operate the largest private satellite constellation ever built. The Iridium Communications constellation, which encompasses 72 satellites, holds that title now (though Iridium’s satellites are more expensive than Planet’s and they orbit farther from Earth).

    This constellation will have two components. A standard Planet satellite, which it calls a “dove,” is cheaply made. It is essentially an extra-large Cubesat, a widely used standard for building small spacecraft. It captures pixels that are three meters to a side. Each of the seven Terra Bella satellites, on the other hand, is about the size of a dorm-room fridge. A Terra Bella satellite detects pixels that are 90 centimeters to a side under good conditions.

    “You can use the medium-resolution constellation to scan the planet every day, and then—say you see a plane crash or a flood in a town—you can use the high-resolution satellites to snap those changes,” says Will Marshall, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Planet.

    He said the dual-layered constellation opened up new capabilities for the company. “If we see a change in the middle of Siberia, in some field, we won’t point the high-resolution satellite at that,” he told me. “But if we detect some change in downtown Kiev, it might be good to have a high-resolution image. ”

    The sale and acquisition caps off half a decade of growth and turmoil in the sector. When I first wrote about the small-satellite industry three years ago, it seemed a rare locus of hardware innovation in a software- and services-obsessed technology industry. Earth-observing satellites require, at minimum, high-quality image sensors and reliable radio antennas. The smartphone boom had transformed both: Thanks to economies of scale and foreign electronics manufacturing, the bare technological components of a satellite had become both cheap and nearly industrial-grade.

    Taken together, this allowed companies to build much cheaper satellites. Unlike legacy players in the business, which build a single satellite worth tens of millions of dollars over the course of years, a startup could build lots of small satellites fast and hurl them into orbit. Losing a satellite during launch, which was once cause to ready a company’s obituary (or at least its legal team), would now become a point of pride. “If you never lose a satellite, you’re not pushing the envelope,” Marshall told me at the time.

    The two frontrunners in the industry were firms called Skybox Imaging and Planet Labs. Skybox planned to build a small fleet of medium-sized satellites that could capture high-definition video of Earth. Planet Labs, on the other hand, wanted to flood the lowest reaches of orbit with shoebox-sized cubesats.

    You might be able to figure out where this is going. In June 2014, Google purchased Skybox for $500 million. It relocated the company closer to its campus, then rechristened it Terra Bella in March 2016. Meanwhile, Planet Labs bought the German satellite company BlackBridge. It kept sending rounds of new Cubesats into the sky. Eventually, it dropped the “Labs” from its name.

    Planet and Terra Bella—the two firms that, under different names, defined the industry three years ago—are now one organization. Planet is now the obvious front runner, and the sector is its to define.

    Not that the game is over. DigitalGlobe, a $700-million public company that provides much of the base imagery for the U.S. government and Google Maps, remains the juggernaut in the remote-sensing space. Its newest WorldView satellites have nine-times the resolution of the best Terra Bella craft. They are also the size of small trucks. Last year, the company signed a deal with the technology accelerator for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to build a private constellation of Earth-observing small satellites. It’s possible to imagine a future where DigitalGlobe takes its own small-satellite, medium-resolution image of Earth everyday—except that it will be augmented by the military-grade imagery of the WorldView constellation.

    There are smaller competitors as well. BlackSky—which, in an industry built by spooks, somehow still has far and away the spookiest name—released the first images from its first satellite in November. It says 59 more satellites will follow by the close of the decade. Another startup, Spire, offers global weather forecasts through an orbiting Cubesat network. And no matter who “wins” in the space, other companies will clamor around the victors. Orbital Insight and Descartes Labs are two startups that sell computer-generated reports based on Planet’s satellite imagery. Their chief customers are financial firms, insurance companies, and farmers.

    A complete image of Earth’s surface, updated daily—this has long been the promise of the small-satellite industry. When it’s finally achieved, it will be critical that it help not only Goldman Sachs and Monsanto, but also humanitarians, climate scientists, and land-rights groups. But it will also be crucial that people appreciate all the exquisite specificity of the image.

    Planet is already photographing one-third of the world everyday. Marshall said that the most impressive part of the archive is how much it changes. “We have this psychology that the Earth is static-ish,” he told me. “But I think that has a lot to do with maps we were brought up with, and the fact that the satellite maps we see online are static.”

    He continued. “When we get an image down, whenever we compare it to the previous image we took of that same place a couple of days before—every time, we see changes. Either a tree has been taken down, a building has been added, a truck or a ship moves, and sometimes a river moves and you don’t notice it. A field is tilled. Things change every day in every picture we get.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...siness/515841/

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