Building a Data Refinery to Model the Earth
Dr. Caitlin Kontgis
Applied Scientist Lead
Abstract: In recent years, there has been an explosion of satellite imagery available to scientists thanks to the proliferation of commercial vendors as well as a growing archive of data from government sensors. Descartes Labs is building a cloud-based data refinery to bring together these disparate sources of geospatial data in an effort to create a living model of the Earth. Using scalable computing resources, petabytes of imagery can be processed in a matter of hours, allowing for rapid iteration of models. This talk will provide an overview of the Descartes Labs platform, an interactive demonstration of our tools, and a presentation of some of our recent projects.
Biography: Caitlin joined Descartes Labs after completing her dissertation at the University of Wisconsin, which focused on remote sensing of urban and agricultural changes in southern Vietnam. During her PhD program, Caitlin avoided midwestern winters by spending time in the Mekong Delta, collecting ground-truth points and meeting with rice paddy farmers. Her work at Descartes applies the background in agronomy, mapping, and landscape change that she has been building since her undergraduate years at University of California, Santa Barbara. She is also an enthusiastic traveler, reader, and hiker.