Descartes Labs goes all-in on AWS

Leading geospatial intelligence company relies on AWS infrastructure, high performance computing, and analytics to give customers timely, actionable insights to expand their geospatial data applications.

  • 9 months ago Posted in

Descartes Labs, a leading space and geospatial intelligence company, is migrating its core information technology (IT) infrastructure, including its geoprocessing and analytics platforms, to AWS. By going all-in on AWS, Descartes Labs will provide commercial and public sector customers with insights that support timely decisions regarding some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including mitigating the effects of climate change, enhancing food security, protecting people, and safeguarding natural resources.

Descartes Labs is migrating its cloud-based platform to AWS to rapidly analyze geospatial data, including images that depict the locations and characteristics of natural and constructed features of the Earth's surface, remote sensing from satellites and aircraft, and other data sources. Using AWS’s proven infrastructure and breadth and depth of services, the company can store, process, and rapidly analyze these huge volumes of geospatial data. Customers can then use this analysis to derive insights from these specialized datasets to make timely decisions. To optimize storage costs for its 20 petabyte data library, Descartes Labs is using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) Intelligent-Tiering, a service that automatically moves customers’ data to the most cost-effective storage tier. It also uses Amazon OpenSearch Service, a fully managed search and analytics suite, to allow customers to search its vast archives of imagery and locate the precise pixels they need to answer business questions.

The geospatial imaging company is also using cloud capabilities to help its customers address their own environmental goals. Descartes Labs’ Carbon Analytics API Service, which runs on AWS, provides carbon measurement, reporting, and verification for customers in the consumer packaged goods (CPG), forestry, and mining industries. The service helps CPG companies assess the carbon footprint of their supply chains, which is critical for tracking greenhouse-gas emissions. For forestry companies, the service provides a robust reporting system for carbon monitoring of forest management techniques. Mining companies use the service to monitor carbon and biodiversity losses and gains for the entire mining life cycle from site discovery to closure. In addition, Descartes Labs uses the Registry of Open Data on AWS (datasets available via AWS resources) to host, store, and offer several of its massive datasets to companies, government agencies, and academia to better analyze greenhouse-gas emissions and collaborate on sustainability solutions.

“AWS gives us the performance and scale we need to help organizations objectively measure and understand their impact on the world so they can continuously improve operations and meet their complex missions,” said Richard Davis, CEO of Descartes Labs. “AWS’s proven infrastructure and capabilities, along with a dedicated team that understands our unique challenges in the satellite and space industry, help us provide customers with actionable intelligence powered by geospatial data, backed by science, and available at planetary scale.”

Descartes Labs is building its own cloud-based supercomputing capabilities on AWS’s infrastructure and was ranked 40th in the TOP500 rankings of the most powerful commercially available computer systems. The company will use AWS to continually enhance its computing capabilities to handle increasingly complex datasets and help customers predict and address concerns specific to their industries. Customers in agriculture, mining, defense, intelligence, and consumer goods industries can use these capabilities to collaborate with suppliers to help verify their impact on the environment. For example, a CPG company can use Descartes Labs’ platform to perform enhanced modeling, simulation, and machine learning inference to monitor and reduce deforestation.

As part of its growing portfolio, earlier this year, Descartes Labs also introduced its Enterprise Accelerator product in AWS Marketplace (a digital catalog to find, buy, deploy, and manage third-party software, data, and services). Enterprise Accelerator simplifies the exploration and analysis of geospatial data to answer key questions about the world. For example, its streamlined interface provides access to petabytes of analysis-ready Earth Observation data that can help the world’s 570 million farmers and growers boost yields and lower input costs. Making the product available in AWS Marketplace allows AWS customers to easily deploy geospatial applications at scale, create production-ready data processing pipelines, and derive insights that drive informed decisions.

“With AWS, Descartes Labs can process geospatial data quickly and deliver more powerful insights to help its customers innovate smarter, more sustainable ways to live and work on Earth,” said Max Peterson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector for Amazon Web Services. “AWS’s global infrastructure, deep capabilities, and pace of innovation help customers better model complex systems, gain a comprehensive view of global operations, and uncover meaningful insights to better understand how their activities affect our people and our planet.”

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