Near Space Labs launches Imagery Grant program

Near space labsthe leading geospatial data and Earth imagery company, today announced the launch of its Community Resilience & Innovation Earth Imagery Grant program which will make its 10cm ultra-high resolution imagery available free of charge to the available to non-profit organizations, researchers and universities, among others. .

Given the ever-changing urban landscape, Near Space Labs (NSL) will provide images of the most populated US cities for a 12-month period to program participants. The goal is to provide highly up-to-date, high-quality imagery data to those who otherwise could not access it due to budget or accessibility restrictions. Grant participants will be able to implement the imagery data in key studies to create innovative models, research new hypotheses, and identify innovative solutions in urban areas. Images will be available through NSL’s recently launched XYZ Tile API and participants will have the option to renew their participation after 12 months on a case-by-case basis.

“On this very day, five years ago, we launched Near Space Labs with a mission to make high-quality Earth imagery accessible to everyone to enable better decisions and inspire new solutions,” said Rema Matevosyan, co-founder and CEO of Near Space Labs. “We want to provide the latest, high-quality data in the market not only to our corporate clients, but also to those who do equally important work for the betterment of our society as a whole. We hope that our ability to extend access to our imagery database to a broader set of researchers and those on a limited budget will allow them to gain a more complete understanding of their analyzes as they work. to identify key issues and develop solutions to the challenges we face every day in our cities, suburbs and rural areas.

Ideal candidates for the program are those working in academia, urban researchers, students studying geospatial data, terrestrial data analysts, and nonprofit organizations, to name a few. To be eligible, applicants must be based in the United States and require imagery from areas covered by NSL’s current flight paths in the lower 48 US states. Grant applicants should require imagery datasets with the following characteristics: high volume, ultra-high resolution, and high recency (90-day annual refresh). Ideal projects will seek to develop a coherent understanding of urban change and its impact on society as a whole and the specific needs of local communities.

The selection process involves a detailed questionnaire and application, as well as project and organizational verification. To view and complete the application, please visit

University student Maria Alba participated in the Community Resilience & Innovation Earth Imagery Grant pilot program, using NSL imagery data to build a road detection model for her undergraduate thesis.

“Access to Near Space Labs data allowed me to create a model that could reliably detect various types of road surfaces and be used to improve potential use cases for mobility, infrastructure, and urbanism,” said Maria Alba. A blog post about Maria’s project can be read here.

The program’s public rollout follows the company’s launch of its advanced fleet of Swifty 3 stratospheric imaging robots. Using high-altitude weather balloons and proprietary sensors and software, the Swifty 3 robots reach altitudes two times that of commercial flights, capturing incredibly high-resolution, high-frequency images of landscapes, man-made structures, and changes occurring on the planet. The company works with planners and decision makers across many industries and use cases, including:

  • Insurance Claims Assessments and Risk Assessments
  • Natural Disaster Response and Recovery
  • Infrastructure monitoring including roads, bridges and critical facilities
  • Environment, conservation and pollution monitoring

Ryan H. Bowman