Earth Blox brings new planetary mapping software to tackle the world’s biggest environmental challenges

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Genevieve Patenaude of Earth Box, from University of Edinburgh, Winner Converge challenge 2020

UNIVERSITY of Edinburgh start-up Quosient Ltd. (trading as Earth Blox) has capped a remarkable two months. Building on its initial success in the Financial sector where, it emerged triumphant at both The 2020 Converge and Scottish EDGE16 Awards and was invited by Google to present at the technology giant’s 9th Annual Geo4Good Summit, a conference that aims to make a greater positive impact on the world through use of Earth Observation data from satellites.

Earth Blox, architects of a code-free, cloud-based mapping software which simplifies access to planetary scale satellite analysis, attracted strong interest from the Geo4Good global community of 1600 delegates from over 100 countries made up of large enterprises, non-profit organisations, sustainability champions and the scientific community, who gathered online for this year’s summit.

Earth Blox led two virtual meet up sessions with CEO Genevieve Patenaude also invited to present at a third, attracting interest across the Geo4Good pool of participants, including the hosts, Google, and the UN.

For these organisations, Earth Blox can ease access to planetary scale climate analyses, environmental impacts, environmental law compliance and enforcement, capacity development, and project evaluation.

Participating in such a prestigious event followed on from Earth Blox becoming the first company in Scotland to win both the coveted Converge Challenge and Scottish Edge Award in the same year.

It took first prize in the flagship ‘Challenge’ category at the 2020 Converge Awards Scotland’s premier academic company creation programme and swiftly followed this up with success at the Scottish EDGE16 Awards. Similar to Converge, Scottish Edge supports Scotland’s future entrepreneurs. Both offer significant cash prizes and in-kind support packages which will push Earth Blox forward into a trail-blazing 2021.

Earth Blox was co-founded by Dr Genevieve Patenaude, Iain Woodhouse, both from the School of Geosciences at The University of Edinburgh, and Sam Fleming. It was established on the belief that coding can be a real barrier to accessing and analysing planetary scale satellite imagery.

Genevieve comments,

“Earth Blox democratises access to planetary scale satellite intelligence by removing the need for coding skills and expertise in satellite data. With Earth Blox, anyone can create their own satellite data application. Being cloud-based means that it can be used anywhere and requires low bandwidth. As an example, with Earth Blox, one can easily examine and quantify the reach and spread of the recent forest fires in California, or flooding in the Caribbean caused by Tropical Storms Eta and Zeta, for impact assessment and disaster relief. ,

“We see this as a vital resource for any organisations involved in natural resource management, environmental monitoring, disaster mapping and mitigation and adaptation to climate change (such as WWF, Greenpeace, UNEP).

“For many of these organisations, satellite imagery represents a fundamental source of insight anywhere on the globe, yet they may not have extensive teams to provide this intelligence on the ground. With Earth Blox, distributed teams around the world, can now easily work together to benefit from using satellite imagery, whereas before this would require complex tools and extensive expertise .’’

Whilst Earth Blox continues its work with notable global organisations such as Google, The GEO Secretariat, The European Space Agency, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it will also extend its reach to help all those organisations that need to further their understanding of the profound global impact and concerns around climate change, deforestation, urban expansion, and large-scale disaster mapping – helping to face down some of the biggest challenges facing humankind.