Where in Argentina is the soil drying up so that BMW has enough lithium for your electric car? Where in Indonesia is the jungle being burned down so that you can have Nutella on your bread? Why can you compensate your flight with carbon credits from Brazil, even though trees are still being cut down there? How is the biomass of the German forest changing?
Hundreds of stories can be told and forensically proven with data from outer space. Vertical52 brings them back to earth. To do this, we are building a platform for searching, analyzing and visualizing satellite and radar data. For journalists, publishers, broadcasters and NGOs.
Far over 6,000 satellites orbit the earth, more than four times as many as just six years ago. For a long time, the access to and analysis of satellite data was only in the hands of intelligence agencies and the military. Whilst nowadays, satellite data offers an increasing number of civilian and commercial applications that also enrich journalistic research. This is particularly important when it comes to climate sins and environmental crimes. However, since few journalists have access to high-resolution commercial satellite imagery or the knowledge to derive complex analysis from it, nor the tools to tell stories spatially, we are developing Vertical52. We see ourselves as the first news agency from outer space and want to establish satellite journalism as a discipline of journalistic research in its own right.
The core of the platform offers editorial offices and NGOs the possibility to easily search for real-time satellite images in a resolution of up to 15cm per pixel. For that aim, we have access to all relevant satellite providers, including Airbus, Maxar and Planet Labs. Subscribers can choose from four different price packages, pick certain satellites specifically for their searches, order simple visualizations or access our own formats and researches. In addition to archive searches, we also offer tasking. This allows users to order one specific satellite for their research.
Thanks to initial support from MIZ's Media Founders program in 2022 and funding from the WPK Innovation Fund in 2023, we will bring our browser app Sky-Observer to market by summer. Since February, we have already been manually testing the demand, workflow, and payment breadth with selected editorial offices. NDR, ZDF, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Ippen Investigativ are amongst our first customers.
Got a taste for it? If you are looking for satellite images, want to observe the earth or test our beta version, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to our newsletter.