Australian mapping startup company Soar has developed a platform that combines the power of blockchain technology with satellite, aerial and top-down drone imagery, in a highly innovative approach that has revolutionised the geospatial industry.
Soar has democratised high-resolution mapping to the market on a global scale; in-turn creating the world's first living super-map that dynamically changes as new content is added.
By re-using the-almost 80% of all satellite, aerial and top-down drone imagery that is used only once, Soar has developed a solution that includes a two-sided marketplace for the acquisition of new imagery, as well as an aggregator and repository for imagery analysis from various vendors from across the globe.02
IT & Business Challenges
Soar’s revolutionary mapping technology works in a number of ways around the world; the benefits of which are only just beginning to be realised even as the platform continues to build in popularity.
From measuring the catastrophic effects of a natural disaster to local townsite planning and infrastructure, Soar providers users with rich data to make important decisions that only aerial mapping and imagery can provide.
For this reason, leveraging the best technology was vital to delivering the best service possible for Soar’s users, particularly when it came to off-chain storage and processing solutions for the large volumes of data that comes with creating the super-map.03
Why Alibaba Cloud?
With data streams from high-resolution satellites, aerial imagery providers, and drone operators globally, Soar’s living super-map is fast becoming the ultimate platform and marketplace for global mapping needs. Achieving this required a world-class partner for delivering all types of mapping content to end users, a solution which the Alibaba Cloud provides to the Soar platform.
Soar sought out Alibaba Cloud not only because of its global service offering, but also its roadmap for bringing state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing to the masses. As part of its plan for a “mapping app store” for image processing and analysis in the cloud, Soar will also be exploring the opportunities of AI and computer machine learning to analyse drone imagery using on-demand services. This means there are many possible uses of one image in multiple end-use applications.
“Let’s use the example of drone imagery taken by a regular person,” says Soar CEO Amir Farhand. “Usually, they would either upload it onto Facebook or Instagram. That may be good for a few likes or comments, but what does value does it really add? By leveraging the power of the Alibaba Cloud, the same image uploaded to Soar sees an explosion of otherwise hidden data to become apparent. The fidelity of the imagery, but more important its sharing, makes the imagery more useful for new applications for a variety of possible end-users.”04
Soar are leveraging function compute (FC), storage (OSS) and table store (OTS) from Alibaba Cloud to help power the business and run the day-to-day operations of the platform. Initial results for the service operating on Alibaba Cloud have been very positive with elastic compute (ECS) and Kubernetes container service (ACK).05
After the Soar global demonstration roadshow in late 2018, Soar went on to release its v1.0 marketplace in April 2019, which allows drone operators to monetise their uploaded content.
The Stage 2 global super-map is scheduled to be launched in August 2019 which will give users access to extremely high resolution and dynamic maps at the click of a button.
For Soar, the future will have challenges, but with a clearly defined innovative approach will enable them to hopefully go onto to build what many are calling, the next evolution of Google Earth.