As a student of innovation and disciple of the teachings of Clayton Christensen and Geoffrey Moore, I feel really fortunate to be a participant in the market disruption occurring through the application of crowdsourcing to the GEOINT industry. Today we have over 1 million members of our Tomnod community who routinely volunteer their time to identify objects and activity in DigitalGlobe satellite imagery to support emergency response. The speed and scale we have been able to achieve in extracting high quality geospatial information from DigitalGlobe satellite imagery is truly stunning. For example after the earthquake in Nepal over 60,000 volunteers discovered over 1 million objects in the form of damaged buildings, roads, bridges, and IDP settlements in a period of a few weeks.
In some ways more impressive than the end result of these volunteer campaigns is the fact that crowdsourcing is exposing our industry to entirely new audiences. I wrote a blog post in June about our USGIF GEOINT Hackathon. We had 8 teams compete for a $15,000 cash prize. My most interesting observation in judging the event was that very few teams had deep industry expertise. In fact the winners “Team Interns” were rising college juniors and seniors. Similarly Andre Kearns on my team at DigitalGlobe shared how crowdsourced mapping enabled experiential learning in his son’s 6th grade geography class.
My role at DigitalGlobe is to apply our capabilities to meet the unique mission requirements of our U.S. Government customer. Each day DigitalGlobe is collecting 70 TBs of new imagery across our constellation at incredible spatial and spectral resolution. We want to harness the power of automation and crowdsourcing to convert our raw imagery into actionable observations that help the U.S. Government and its allies to protect our national security interests.
To achieve this vision we are establishing GeoHIVE™, a new DigitalGlobe crowdsourcing community. We are seeking U.S. citizens interested in participating in paid campaigns to rapidly analyze DigitalGlobe satellite imagery in response to trending global events. Think of it as Uber for imagery analysis. Members of GeoHIVE will be able to respond to opportunities to discover and validate points of interest, draw territorial boundaries, and monitor activity over areas of interest.
The tools to participate are easy to use and members of the HIVE can work whenever, wherever they want. In addition to getting paid for successfully completed tasks, members of the GeoHIVE community will receive cool swag like t-shirts, mugs, lanyards, and DigitalGlobe imagery based screen savers. Additionally GeoHIVE community members will receive virtual coaching from geospatial experts from DigitalGlobe Intelligence Solutions supporting critical analytic missions across the military and first responder community.
Ultimately I see this as a terrific way to onboard new talent into our industry. If you can think of individuals who are interested in earning money to hone their geospatial skills while contributing to efforts to solve real world problems, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for more information via this web form. You can also receive regular updates on GeoHIVE by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.
Join GeoHIVE to understand the buzz over crowdsourcing!