The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 SDGs are integrated—they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others and that development must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
At Blue Sky, we have been tirelessly working to build datasets that would help in achieving these SDGs. In 2021, we built the tech infrastructure - our very own 'Geospatial Data Refinery’, that has enabled us to develop a myriad of climate datasets. With the refinery in motion, we will swiftly churn out climate datasets in 2022. We are extremely proud to share that the upcoming datasets will help in achieving 11 out of the 17 SDGs. Here is a glimpse of what’s in store this year:
1. Fire Predictions
“Predicting the behaviour of wildland fires—among nature’s most potent forces—can save lives, money, and natural resources.” Frank Albini.
Since late 2019, there has been a global shift toward a “new normal” of more wildfires with increased ferocity. It started when towering blazes laid waste to bushland, forests, and wildlife in Australia and Brazil. According to the IPCC report, this trend is likely to continue with wildfire weather becoming more frequent and striking more regions – even where extreme heat and fires have been less common.
Wildfire management will become increasingly challenging under a changing climate, creating a need for better predictive modelling and tools. To address this need, we have developed a dataset that predicts the location of potential fire incidents for up to 7 days in the future. Various organizations can use this dataset to assess wildfire risk for a diverse set of use cases like insurance and banking.
|Daily||10 km||Next 7 days||Predicted fire counts|
2. Electrification Mapping
According to a report by Our World in Data, access to electricity is directly proportional to income. Poor energy access is strongly tied to having a low income.
Monitoring access to electricity is crucial for businesses and governments alike. Companies can make informed decisions to better target newer markets, while governments can use this data for better distribution of resources.
To address this need, our electrification dataset continuously monitors lit and unlit areas while also estimating the proportion of the population having access to electricity.
|Daily||500 meter||Since 2015||Lit and unlit area, Electrified population|
3. Surface Water Quality Monitoring
Sustainable Development Goal target 6.1 calls for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 785 million people globally lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 144 million people dependent on surface water.
This makes surface water quality monitoring a matter of utmost importance. Water quality monitoring can answer questions like the condition of our water bodies and resources, as well as whether that water is safe enough to swim in, fish from, use for consumption, or irrigation purposes. Monitoring water quality in the 21st century has become an even bigger challenge because of the large number of chemicals used in our everyday lives and in commerce that can make their way into our waters.
To address this need, we have developed a dataset that continuously monitors surface water quality to provide comprehensive insights which can be used by governments and businesses for reporting as well as decision making.
|15 days||30 meter||Since 2018||Water colour, Turbidity, Chlorophyll, Dissolved organic carbon, Color dissolved organic matter|
4. Surface Water Quantification
According to UNICEF, over two billion people live in countries where the water supply is inadequate. In fact, WHO forecasts that by as early as 2025, half of the world’s population could be living in areas facing water scarcity. Accordingly, effective and sustainable water management becomes critical.
For effective and sustainable water management, it is essential to monitor various surface water bodies continuously. For example, a reduction in dam water can directly impact the agriculture sector.
We are developing a dataset to monitor all surface groundwater bodies from ponds, lagoons, river tributaries, etc., to detect changes in surface areas.
|Every 15 days||30 meter||Since 2018||Water surface area, Shape|
5. Flood Mapping
Floods are among the most common natural disasters and can cause widespread devastation, resulting in loss of life and damage to personal property and critical public health infrastructure.
According to WHO, between 1998-2017, floods affected more than 2 billion people worldwide. Moreover, an IPCC report has concluded that climate change “has detectably influenced” several variables such as rainfall and snowmelt that contribute to floods. Accordingly, with the changing climate, it will be critical for businesses and governments to understand their flood risk better and take timely action.
To address this need, we have developed flood maps that use SAR data to forecast damage-prone areas, endangered vegetation, and the population that would be affected by floods.
6. Sea Level Monitoring
The global sea level has been rising in the last two decades. It has risen 8–9 inches since 1880 while setting a new record high — 3.6 inches above 1993 levels. The rate of sea-level rise is also accelerating: it has more than doubled from 0.06 inches per year throughout most of the twentieth century to 0.14 inches per year from 2006–2015.
According to the U.N. Atlas of the Oceans, 8 of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast. The threat attributable to sea-level rise hence becomes grave due to its potential risk to the infrastructure, marine ecosystems, and human lives.
We are developing a dataset that will forecast the sea-level rise using elevation data for the next 10, 30 and 50 years.
These products are just a trailer of all the exciting things happening at Blue Sky this year. We believe that with the expanding team and constantly evolving technology, we will be able to achieve much more and add many more attributes to each dataset!
The dream of becoming a one-stop solution for all your data needs is closer than ever. You can also monitor our progress here.