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by | Jul 12, 2022

Calling all GIS professionals: BlackSky tasking for ArcGIS online

Explained by Karl Terrey

The BlackSky team is ready to make a splash at The Esri User Conference this year – not only in San Diego, but in our introduction of BlackSky Tasking for ArcGIS Online and the expanded partnership between BlackSky and Esri. Here to dive into the details is our senior director of strategic Partnerships Karl Terrey.

Tell us a little about your background. What made you decide to join BlackSky?

I spent about 10 years in the military overseas in the UK and Australia and then I worked with Esri for 20 years as a Product Manager. I spent the last three years with Nearmap, a North American and Australian aerial imagery company before joining BlackSky. I was drawn to BlackSky’s global, hourly, dawn-to-dusk collection capabilities and the opportunity to create partnerships with a fast-growing company in the space industry.

What is BlackSky Tasking for ArcGIS Online?

BlackSky Tasking for ArcGIS Online is a browser-based app that lets users task a BlackSky satellite, have that imagery captured, and delivered directly into their Esri ArcGIS Online organization very rapidly and throughout the day. Our constellation and underlying Spectra AI platform power our API integration, which is now available in the ArcGIS marketplace. This is the first time that satellite tasking is available in ArcGIS Online, and we are thrilled to make BlackSky’s dynamic, on-demand satellite imagery available for Esri’s millions of users. Once you have a contract with BlackSky and ArcGIS Online, the app can be initiated from within your ArcGIS Online account, and you can even task a satellite from your cell phone!

What specifically makes BlackSky data integration into ArcGIS so powerful?

  1. It’s current. Our app improves GIS workflows with the ability to augment old, out-of-date content, with new satellite images, on-demand at a frequency you control. Many customers around the world don’t have current, or sometimes, any, imagery and we can help solve those problems.
  2. It’s fast. You’ll be able to receive your tasked images quickly, usually within a matter of hours.
  3. It is cloud-based. After receiving your images, they can be seamlessly transferred to in the cloud to ArcGIS Online, where they can also be used by other Esri apps such as ArcGIS Pro.
  4. It’s easy to use. If you already know your way around ArcGIS Online, our User Interface (UI)is intuitive. We worked very closely with Esri to make sure it works and uses the latest Esri imagery technology.
  5. You don’t need people on the ground. You can task for an image for anywhere. Maybe you’re a mining company and want to see an accurate image of your assets in Africa, or you need to respond to a disaster in Central Asia, or monitor a large infrastructure project in South America, you can safely do that remotely from where you are and get the images you need.

Which industries can benefit most?

Everything from construction, transportation, airport and port monitoring, mining and utilities, oil, gas, and utilities, public safety, disaster response, and of course government at all levels, and more. Industries that need dynamic site monitoring of locations close to home, and those around the globe, will benefit from our integrated product.

What value do you see coming out of the Esri User Conference this year?  

There are many conversations to be had with the 15,000+ that are registered to be here! I’m excited to share just how easy it is for BlackSky’s satellite imagery to be embedded into your team’s projects. This is the first time ArcGIS Online users have on-demand access to real-time satellite tasking, and that’s going to produce critical insights.

To learn more about the early adopter program for BlackSky Tasking for ArcGIS Online, request information.