Why did you found ExoLabs and what is the goal of the company?
Our planet is everchanging. Timely information about these environmental changes are valuable but not always readily available. ExoLabs’ mission is to quantify global changes by providing novel and user-friendly Earth Observation products and services. We use machine learning algorithms in a scalable cloud computing environment to process Earth Observation data on local to global scales. Hereby, we specialized on combining data from multiple EO constellations to provide near-real time products in a high spatial and temporal resolution. We strive to be the leading company in Switzerland for high-quality products and services based on EO. In addition, we also develop in-house solutions for data processing and advanced analysis.
Can you tell us more about your products and services? What makes them unique?
Being based in Switzerland, monitoring snow is an obvious choice to start with. Our snow products are highly advanced as they combine multiple innovations under one hood. We monitor global snow cover changes on a daily basis in near-real time. Our product is based on a novel snow classification algorithm and features seamless snow cover gap free of cloud gaps. For selected mountain ranges (Alps, Rockies, Himalaya) we additionally provide snow cover in a high 20 m pixel resolution. Everyone can check out these products on our mobile app “ExoSnow”. On top, we developed a novel snow depth algorithm, that provides snow depth estimates in a 20 m resolution on a daily basis. Our PARSEC video further details our approach, which combines a high temporal resolution AND a high spatial resolution AND a very high thematic quality in a fully operational process. Next to the app, we provide direct data access (e.g. APIs, WMTS) based on our customer’s needs. Further state-of-the-art developments include a land cover and land use classification system based on deep machine learning algorithms using multimodal data inputs in a cm-scale spatial resolution for the area of Switzerland. Crucial to the success of this federal project were innovative, ready-to-use solutions for processing multiple TBs of geodata, highlighting our capabilities to extract meaningful information from diverse and extensive datasets.
What challenges did you face when starting your company? What is the biggest challenge as a young European company in the EO sector today?
Initially, we had to acquire new projects with industry partners and federal institutions to earn a reputation and co-finance our product developments. This path is not finished yet. But now, we further focus on extending our network, winning over new customers, and exploring new market opportunities. Our biggest challenge might be to make potential customers aware of the added value we can provide for them. Starting a company is a daring adventure, which we really enjoy. We consider these challenges along this path as opportunities to grow.
What are your plans for the future? Do you want to stay in the snow and ice domain or are you planning to serve also other markets?
Over the next 2-3 years, we plan to increase sales, acquire new projects and expand our EO-product offerings. Further snow products will include snow properties, forecasts, and long-term trends. In previous projects, we already provided products on global crop monitoring as well as regional land cover and land use changes. In addition, we plan to diversify our product pallet on further environmental changes based on customer needs. Transferring our processing chain with the same product characteristics of high spatial and temporal resolution to other thematic EO-products, such as forests, can be readily done. If you are interested to learn more about our products, services and capabilities, you are very welcome to contact us.