Satellite imagery is put to good use by the startup of this former


“It was incredibly personal for us to find a way to help the country as a whole,” said Richardson, a longtime entrepreneur, “but also the people we work and talk to every day and who we care about. care deeply since we have a significant number of our engineering staff who are in Ukraine or who are Ukrainian.

It was not the first time that Astrée – a UVA Licensing & Ventures Group Seed Fund Portfolio Company – used his incredible technology for good.

Among many efforts, Astraea has helped a global nonprofit conservation company measure environmental impact across millions of square miles over more than 10 years; helped a carbon credit start-up by monitoring timber acreage; and helped the US solar industry determine its growth rate and ability to scale.

“Because satellite imagery covers such a large geographic scale and repeats that coverage every few days or even every day in some cases, you can do things – survey, search, measure, track – on a scale that would be impossible or prohibitively expensive from the ground,” Richardson explained.

Similar to Google Earth, The Astrée platform allows users to view images from any location on the planet. But what makes Astraea more powerful than its competitors, according to Richardson and co-founder Daniel Bailey, is its ability to show all the images captured over a given area – as recently as yesterday and in some cases, recovering footage from as far back as 15 years. And more importantly, all of this imaging data can be analyzed with machine learning and computer vision techniques.

That’s what has tech insiders, business leaders and environmentalists so excited – evidenced by the fact that Astraea was oversubscribed in its last investment round, according to Bob Creeden, chief executive of the Licensing & Ventures Group Seed Fund.

Recently, the group’s communications office caught up with Richardson – a Pittsburgh native who has been involved in early-stage ventures as a venture capitalist, angel investor, board member and entrepreneur for more than 25 years. – to learn more about Astraea, as well as her passion for teaching several courses at the McIntire School of Commerce at UVA.

Q. What types of information can someone who is not technically savvy glean using the platform?

A. It’s not as simple as Google Earth, but it’s much more powerful. For example, using only free satellite images and register With just an email at no cost to the user, one can draw a box around any location on Earth and instantly see all publicly available satellite imagery from as recently as yesterday and going back in time to at 15, in some cases.


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