Planet Celebrates One Year Anniversary of NICFI Satellite Data Program Delivering High Resolution Data for Tropical Forest Management | 2021-10-27 | Press releases


Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about the earth, celebrates the one-year anniversary of the NICFI satellite data program, a partnership with Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI), Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) and Airbus to advance scientific advancement Discovery and support of the sustainable management of the global tropical forests. NICFI satellite data program participants use planetary data to reduce and reverse the loss of tropical forests through government action, takeover by the private sector, and coordination by NGOs.

In September 2020, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment awarded KSAT its first global contract to combat deforestation. Since then, it has worked with Planet and Airbus to provide full access to high-resolution satellite surveillance of the tropics to reduce tropical deforestation and combat climate change.

Last year, the NICFI satellite data program registered over 9,000 users from 130 countries around the world. Planet Tropical Basemaps make up over two-thirds of Global Forest Watch’s basemap selection, a number that is growing by 25% every quarter. Over 15 million tiles of the Planet Tropical basemaps were streamed from the Planet platform, and 70% of NICFI users surveyed said the NICFI data is now their primary source of images.

The program has established working relationships with a number of key partners across its three levels of access. These include the purpose allies who bring visual basemaps into local and global communities, the platform and tool partners who enable technical workflows on the analysis-ready basemaps, and the general partners who apply the data at the scene level.

In the past quarter, the NICFI satellite data program launched a number of new, consistent partnerships, including a new partnership with Google Earth Engine that made the NICFI Planet Tropical Basemaps available for analysis in the Google Earth Engine computing platform and CloseCurlyQuote. Users can access the data directly in their GEE catalog without having to save or move data. In the first month of the solution, over 1,100 NICFI users began analyzing the tropical basemaps in Google Earth Engine.

The NICFI satellite data program also announced new partnerships to enable visual and storytelling use cases. Mapbox has released a number of demo tools designed to help NICFI users translate the high-resolution data into visual storytelling tools more easily. This includes providing templates for users to view Planet NICFI basemaps on a Mapbox interactive web map, allowing them to choose from multiple time periods to compare changes over time, and to allow them to choose Create swipe interaction to display two sets of Planet NICFI image pages – on side for easy comparison. The program team, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, also hosted a training webinar to help journalists use the data for environmental reporting.

To date, the NICFI satellite data program has collected over 300 user stories. This quarter, many users shared their stories on Planet Explore, Planet’s annual user conference:

  • The European Space Agency and Gisat presented how their team combines the NICFI-Planet Basemaps with Sentinel-1’s SAR band to improve deforestation detection and carbon mapping in the Amazon.
  • The government of Uganda shared how their team, working with the United Nations, is using the NICFI planet base maps to improve its measurement, reporting and verification under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • PepsiCo discussed how it is using the NICFI Planet basemaps through Global Forest Watch Pro to incorporate satellite monitoring into its environmental impact assessments in sourcing regions.
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Council for Protected Areas in Guatemala showed how they are using the Planet NICFI data to detect and intervene in illegal deforestation in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve. The main cause of deforestation on the reserve is livestock, and the high-resolution planet data enables them to understand the ranch infrastructure and illegal conversion to pastureland.

In the second year of the program, Planet looks forward to seeing partners and users continue to innovate to use high resolution satellite surveillance to reduce and reverse tropical forest loss and combat climate change.

About Planet:

Planet is the leading provider of global daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by the mission to get a picture of the world every day and to make changes visible, accessible and actionable. Planet was founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists and develops, builds and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites that collect and compile data from over 3 million images per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, including the world’s leading companies in agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance, and government imaging. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE: DMYQ), a special-purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly traded company later this year. To find out more, visit and follow us on Twitter at @planet.


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