Shedding Light on Earth: Innovations in Satellite Measurements for Social Science
Impacting Science Speaker Series
Past Talk
Ran Goldblatt
Chief Scientist, New Light Technologies
Tuesday
Oct 12, 2021
Watch video
11:30 am
177 Huntington Ave
Online
11th floor
Join Talk (Zoom)Register for Workshop

Register for the talk here. This talk is hosted by the Social Design Lab.

The invention of computerized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the 1960s revolutionized how we collect, map and analyze spatial data and understand how Earth is evolving. With significant technological advances, increased computer processing power and data storage, advances in the accessibility to the internet and the use of mobile “smart” phones, the volume, velocity and variety of geo-data we generate are growing exponentially. Since the 1970s, millions of snapshots of Earth have been captured by sensors on board satellites that image Earth in various spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions. In the past, expensive satellite imagery and limited computational power only allowed analysis of small geographical areas, for example, counting building footprints in a small neighborhood or the volume of live vegetation in a single agriculture field. This model is being replaced thanks to the availability of publicly available and free satellite data that capture every location on earth every few days and in a spatial resolution of up to a few meters. These satellites capture many of the physical, economic and social characteristics of Earth, providing a unique asset for social scientists who seek to understand social processes – also in areas where traditional data is less available. In this talk I will discuss the concept of geospatial data science and will highlight some of the new advancements in the use of big geodata, in general, and satellite imagery in particular for social science. I will demonstrate the potential of recent innovations in remotely sensed observations and data analysis for understanding some of the most fundamental social and economic processes on Earth.

About the speaker
About the speaker
Ran Goldblatt, Ph.D., is a Chief Scientist and a Senior Consultant at New Light Technologies. He is a remote sensing scientist, with extensive experience in geospatial analysis and image processing. Ran’s work supports disaster response through the development of innovative methods for data fusion, image processing, management and consolidation of multi-sources imagery, at FEMA, as well as other NLT clients. As a chief scientist in the company, he’s establishing relationship with leading universities and academic institutions such as UCSD and General Assembly, has organized and chaired international conferences and initiated a summer internship program in partnership with the School of Global Policy and Strategy, UCSD. He is also developing academic courses, curricula and training in the geospatial science domain, for academic institutions and international organization. Over the years, Ran has been involved in several research projects in developing countries, and is actively seeking new opportunities for NLT to support the geospatial caof.
Ran Goldblatt, Ph.D., is a Chief Scientist and a Senior Consultant at New Light Technologies. He is a remote sensing scientist, with extensive experience in geospatial analysis and image processing. Ran’s work supports disaster response through the development of innovative methods for data fusion, image processing, management and consolidation of multi-sources imagery, at FEMA, as well as other NLT clients. As a chief scientist in the company, he’s establishing relationship with leading universities and academic institutions such as UCSD and General Assembly, has organized and chaired international conferences and initiated a summer internship program in partnership with the School of Global Policy and Strategy, UCSD. He is also developing academic courses, curricula and training in the geospatial science domain, for academic institutions and international organization. Over the years, Ran has been involved in several research projects in developing countries, and is actively seeking new opportunities for NLT to support the geospatial caof.