Raster Foundry: A Cloud-Based Platform for High-Resolution Imagery Management

Period of Performance: 02/17/2015 - 11/16/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Azavea Inc
340 N 12th Street, Suite 402
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


Statement of Problem to be Addressed (1-3 sentences): Advances in small satellite and sensor technology are revolutionizing the Earth observation industry, but the development of new raster processing tools to harness this growing stream of nearly real-time data has not kept pace. Storing and processing such data is currently cumbersome or even impossible for many individuals and organizations that could otherwise benefit from its use. The proposed research will address this need by combining advanced user interface design and distributed computing techniques in a groundbreaking new software application the Raster Foundry that will support greater access and use of Earth observation image data by government, academic, commercial, and nonprofit organizations around the world. Phase I Proposal Objectives (2-4 sentences): The objective of this research is to provide powerful raster data processing capabilities that will make it possible to access, analyze, edit, and visualize Earth observation data in transformative new ways without years of specialized training or huge investments in proprietary software and technology infrastructure. The resulting increase in processing power will enable an entirely new type of user experience that will make raster processing capabilities available not only to GIS analysts and other trained geospatial professionals, but also to non-technical users in organizations ranging from local governments and humanitarian groups to financial and utility firms. Phase I Activities (3-4 sentences): Prototype software tools will be iteratively developed in Phase I and assessed for performance, accuracy, and ease of use. An intuitive user interface and high performance computing platform will be designed to walk users through the process of uploading and processing raster data in any of several supported formats. The Raster Foundry will be designed as both a standalone, subscription-based tool and for integration with other, existing geospatial software applications that want to provide fast-low-latency spatial data processing for an established client base. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The Raster Foundry will support greater utility of frequent, high-resolution Earth observation imagery and accelerate public and private sector activities ranging from agricultural monitoring and tactical deployment to risk assessment and humanitarian response. End users include government agencies, commercial enterprises, homeland security and defense, forestry and agriculture, and energy sectors. Key Words: Satellites, Satellite Imagery, Raster Data, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, geospatial data, geoprocessing, analysis, visualization, Hadoop, GeoTrellis. Summary for Members of Congress (2 sentences/50 words Laymans terms): Small satellites have the potential to support real-time monitoring of global change, but storing and processing this data is currently cumbersome or even impossible for many constituent communities that could otherwise benefit from its use. The Raster Foundry will address this need and support informed planning and development activities.