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SLU Partners with Planet Labs to Provide Research Data on Food Security, Defense and Intelligence at the Taylor Geospatial Institute

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Maggie Rotermund
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ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis University has entered into a multi-year contract with Planet Labs PBC, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, in support of the Taylor Geospatial Institute (TGI), a leading geospatial research collaborative. 

The partnership is Planet’s largest ever direct university engagement and offers TGI member institutions access to Planet’s satellite data through the company’s Education and Research Program

Bringing together eight Midwestern universities and research centers, TGI aims to harness innovation in geospatial science and make scientific discoveries that address global challenges. With access to Planet’s data, TGI aims to enable researchers to explore critical issues surrounding global food security, core geospatial science and computation, geospatial health, and national security. 

The members of the TGI consortium are Saint Louis University, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Harris-Stowe State University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Washington University in St. Louis. Collectively, these institutions encompass more than 5,000 faculty and 100,000 students. 

“This consortium enables the Taylor Geospatial Institute to tap into the incredibly talented and diverse user community in the St. Louis region as they seek solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. We look forward to seeing the countless ways these students and researchers will leverage Planet’s satellite data to help us ensure security and well-being globally,” said Robert Cardillo, Planet Federal Chief Strategist.  

The partnership also includes funding the Taylor Geospatial Institute Planet Fellowship program, which will help improve the dissertation research work of TGI students and promote the use of Planet datasets to address grand societal challenges, develop the next generation of scientific leaders, and catalyze regional collaboration to accelerate the St. Louis region’s development as a global geospatial center of excellence. 

Planet fellows will be expected to develop new geospatial tools that advance geospatial science; design and develop sensors or robotic platforms to generate new data; or use location-aware datasets to address societal and scientific challenges. The deadline to apply for the inaugural round of funding is Oct. 1. 

Apply to Be a Planet Fellow

“With Planet’s unique satellite capabilities and archive, the Taylor Geospatial Institute can further its goal of leading innovation and impact through cutting-edge geospatial technologies. We also see access to Planet’s data as vital for developing future leaders in geospatial science. By harnessing time-stamped satellite big data from across the planet, our students and researchers can go on to bring advanced data analytics, AI, and geospatial insights to grand societal challenges related to food, water, human insecurity, and caring for our planet,” said Vasit Sagan, Ph.D, associate professor at Saint Louis University and acting director of the Taylor Geospatial Institute. 

About Planet Labs PBC

Planet is a leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing over 30 TB of data per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 800 customers, comprising the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery. Planet is a public benefit corporation trading on the New York Stock Exchange as PL. To learn more visit and follow us on Twitter.

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 15,200 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.