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Startup Plans to 3D Map Entire Earth Using Lidar

Nuview is developing a constellation of lidar-enabled satellites for the project

Scarlett Evans

May 5, 2023

2 Min Read

Nuview, a startup that emerged from stealth this week, has announced its plans to create a 3D map of the entire Earth’s surface using lidar.

The company has started construction of what it says is the world's first commercial lidar satellite constellation, which it says will have “endless” applications including environmental science, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry and mapping. 

A proprietary satellite will be launched initially to demonstrate the lidar, with the commercial constellation planned to be launched after this. Ultimately, the team said it’s aiming to send 20 satellites to space for the project.

"Nuview is thrilled to be leading a new era in geospatial technology to provide the first, most complete, high-resolution 3D point cloud of the Earth's surface," said Clint Graumann, Nuview’s CEO. "Our lidar satellite constellation will offer a wealth of information that has never before been available at scale, driving innovation and progress throughout numerous industries and revolutionizing the way we understand and interact with our planet.” 

Currently, global mapping satellites produce 2D images of the Earth, which Nuview said does not provide the accuracy needed to monitor and target global warming, disaster response and conservation. The company’s planned satellite constellation is expected to collect data more than 100 times faster than existing solutions.

“The technology's high-resolution 3D point cloud data will enable farmers to optimize crop yields and water usage, while city planners can create more efficient and sustainable urban environments,” the company said. “The ability to quickly gather precise data about disaster-affected areas will also help emergency responders and aid organizations to better coordinate their efforts.”

The company’s announcement was made during this year’s Geospatial World Forum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The company said it already has $1.2 billion in early adopter agreements. 

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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