WESTMINSTER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 11, 2017--
This year, the DigitalGlobe Foundation (DGF) celebrates its 10th
anniversary—marking a decade devoted to advancing the use of geospatial
imagery to address local and global challenges and championing the
education of the next-generation of geospatial leaders. The foundation
is the 501(c)(3) organization underwritten by DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE:
DGI), a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution Earth
observation satellite imagery and advanced geospatial solutions.
The DigitalGlobe Foundation was established in 2007 with a clear
purpose: to promote innovation in the geospatial field, and develop
tradecraft and expertise for the rapidly growing industry. To do that,
the foundation makes DigitalGlobe’s unique space-based technology and
resources available pro bono for academic research, and ensures
academics, scientists and students obtain the necessary training to map,
monitor and measure the Earth for an ever-expanding number of uses.
Founder Mark Brender, a pioneer in high-resolution Earth observation,
saw the need to catalyze innovation and innovators by providing access
to satellite imagery to both fast track the development of unique
applications and enable training of new users. “In 2007, we saw the
opportunity to put our imagery into the hands of students to develop
capacity in the workforce, and hopefully develop new ideas for how
satellite imagery can solve real world problems,” Brender says.
Today, the foundation, led by a board of directors made up of industry
experts and Board President Kumar Navulur, Senior Director Global
Strategic Programs at DigitalGlobe, remains committed to providing
imagery grants—access to DigitalGlobe’s powerful image library,
expertise and tools—to researchers at U.S. and global educational
institutions seeking to study and address issues that impact the Earth
and all its inhabitants.
More than 3,000 imagery grants and services delivering hundreds of
millions of square kilometers of the Earth valued at more than $14
million have been awarded over 10 years.
Groundbreaking research has ranged from measuring the effects of climate
change on the landscape, to understanding animal populations and
biodiversity, identifying as yet undiscovered archeological sites, and
determining how to best provide humanitarian assistance and disaster
“The DigitalGlobe Foundation plays a critical role in getting geospatial
imagery, information and training to those doing scientific research
about our changing planet,” Navulur says. “Through our grants,
researchers and the global community gain perspective, insights and data
to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”
Two standout successes, early recipients of DigitalGlobe Foundation
grants, are Dr. Albert Lin and Dr. Sarah Parcak—both renowned innovators
and recognized as Explorers of the National Geographic Society.
Dr. Lin received a DigitalGlobe Foundation imagery grant to fuel his
search for the tomb of Genghis
Khan. Dr. Lin, now a DGF board member, went on to co-found Tomnod, a
crowdsourcing platform that uses the collective contributions of
individuals to analyze vast amounts of satellite data. In 2013,
DigitalGlobe acquired Tomnod, which now engages thousands of volunteers
to help map areas in need of search and rescue efforts, humanitarian
assistance and environmental monitoring.
Dr. Parcak was the recipient of a DigitalGlobe Foundation imagery grant
to support “space archeology”—her innovative approach to finding
unexplored archeological sites with satellite imagery, and the subject
of her prize-winning TED Talk. She recently launched the GlobalXplorer®
project, an online platform for a growing community of volunteer
space archeologists to search and tag satellite imagery.
Current recipients of DigitalGlobe Foundation grants include:
Michelle LaRue, a research ecologist at the University of Minnesota,
is studying Weddell
seals in the Antarctic, integrating citizen science with GIS and
remote sensing, ecology and climatology.
Dan Shugar, assistant professor of geoscience at University of
Washington, is investigating how climate change has rerouted the Yukon
Michael Canilao, a graduate student in anthropology at the University
of Illinois Chicago, is researching ancient
gold trading trails in the island of Luzon, Philippines.
Eli Dollarhide, a graduate student in anthropological archaeology at
NYU, is doing a Mapping
Magan Archeological Project, surveying archeological remains near
Bat, Oman to understand the area’s political structure during the
The DigitalGlobe Foundation has also awarded more than 25 financial
scholarships over 10 years to undergraduate and graduate students in
geospatial and geography majors at George Mason University and
University of Colorado as part of the foundation’s commitment to the
next generation of geospatial leaders. Some scholarship recipients have
gone on to serve the company as interns and fulltime employees, another
example of how the foundation is investing in the future of the industry.
“DigitalGlobe is committed to supporting the advancement of the
Earth-imaging industry, and encouraging innovative uses of our imagery,
our technology and our tools,” says Nancy Coleman, Vice President of
Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at
DigitalGlobe, and long-time member of the DigitalGlobe Foundation board.
“We are unwavering in our dedication to building capabilities, enabling
critical insights for our imagery and data, and inspiring future
For more about the DigitalGlobe Foundation, go to http://www.digitalglobefoundation.org/.
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Edelman for DigitalGlobe
Matt Flannery, 212-729-2153