Articles in “Company”

Hello, World

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As a new member of the Planet OS community, I wanted to introduce myself and explain why I’m so excited to join the team. I’ve spent the last 30 years in the computer industry creating new emerging technology for enterprises, working for both large companies like Red Hat, NetApp and Hewlett Packard, as well as a number of startups. Most recently I led the Big Data initiative at Red Hat, and it became clear to me that every industry was about to go through a digital transformation whereby data would become the new foundation for competitive advantage and business innovation.

As I reflected on what role I wanted to play in this data-driven future, it became clear to me that I should follow my personal passion to repair the environment. During my research into how data could be used to improve the environment, I discovered Planet OS and their globally accessible programmatic database of geospatial environmental data. After meeting the team, it was a good fit and so I joined in June 2016. I am honored to be part of the driven Planet OS team and enthusiastic to help our customers use geospatial and IoT data to change the way data-driven decision are made to improve the bottom line and to build a better planet.

Feel free to reach out at

Planet OS Releases OpenNEX Climate Data Access Tool

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Sept 1, 2016
Palo Alto, California

Planet OS, the world’s leading provider of online geospatial and Earth science data access, today announced the OpenNEX Climate Data Access Tool, which provides an intuitive, web-based interface to important climate datasets provided by NASA Earth Exchange (NEX). The tool requires no programming knowledge, and was developed with the intent to make large-scale climate data accessible by all potential users beyond researchers – risk modelers, software engineers, analysts, city planners, data scientists, and many others.

Due to their immense size, archive structure and file format, incorporating downscaled climate projection data into local or regional analyses can require significant technical effort. The OpenNEX Climate Data Access Tool removes these technical barriers by providing an intuitive web-based interface where users can select and access specific subsets of climate data.

Exclusive: Offshore Wind Energy Market Report 2016

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Planet OS is actively engaged in the wind energy market, with a heavy focus on offshore wind. Building wind energy related data intelligence solutions has taught us a great deal about the wind energy market, so we have decided to share the key findings with the rest of the world by preparing this report.

We gathered information about all existing and planned offshore wind farms, analyzed the data, and prepared an easy to read, but thorough overview of the offshore wind energy market. The report covers global production capacity, construction activity, market trends, the potential and challenges of offshore wind, and other highly relevant topics. It also embeds various tables and visualizations, offshore wind farm maps for different regions, and more.

For your exclusive, free access the report please see for the link below, at the end of the article.

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In 2015, renewable energy expanded at its fastest rate ever (152 GW), with global capacity reaching 1985 GW. That represents an 8% increase from the year before. Nineteen countries contributed by installing over 1 GW of renewable energy capacity. In addition, last year saw global investment in renewables rise to a new high of $329 billion, up 3% from the previous record set in 2011.

11 Regional WaveWatch III Forecasts. 6 Months of Unlimited API

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Last week we significantly expanded our wave forecast coverage with 11 regional WaveWatch III datasets, including the North Pacific and North Atlantic Hurricane wave models.

NOAA WaveWatch III Regional Wave Models
The regional WaveWatch III forecasts are updated every six hours and provide 180 hour forecasts (126 hour for Hurricane products) containing wind, wave, and swell data.

The Hurricane wave model uses a blend of GFS winds and hurricane winds at 10 meters above Mean Sea Level (MSL) as forcing conditions, while the Global wave model uses just the GFS forcings and is run side by side with the GFS forcing.

Coverage includes the East and West coasts of the U.S., Alaska, Arctic, North Atlantic, North Pacific, and East Pacific regions, with varying spatial resolution per region.



Our friends at Geoawesomeness are celebrating their 5th birthday with a special Giveaway Campaign. We agreed to participate and will give out six months of unlimited API calls in Planet OS Datahub!

Offshore Wind – Leading The Way To A Sustainable Future

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During 1991, a year that saw the end of the First Gulf War and the end of the Soviet Union, you might have missed another key event: the installation of the world’s first offshore wind farm, off the coast of Denmark. In the 25 years since, offshore wind power has evolved into a major component of Europe’s energy mix. And, as technology improves, and costs continue to fall, offshore wind power is catching on in other regions too.

Offshore wind power remains a European technology, mostly. The vast majority (91%) of offshore installations are still found off the coasts of eleven European countries. The remaining 9% are located in Asia, off the shores of China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. The reason for this is simple: Europe has been at the forefront of offshore wind technology for a long time. The two largest offshore turbine manufacturers, Siemens and Vestas, are based in Northern Europe, where shallow seas and strong winds have created ideal sites for harvesting energy from offshore wind.

European offshore wind farms, summer 2016.

Half-Hourly Precipitation Data Now Available


Last week we introduced real-time observations from the NDBC network of stations and we received some great feedback on our station API. Thanks to everyone who shared their insights!

This week we’re making it rain! Many of our users involved in flood analysis and crop forecasting have expressed interest in precipitation data, so we’ve added three Integrated Multi-satelliE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) datasets to Datahub.


Integrated Multi-SatellitE Retrievals For GPM (IMERG) – Day 1 Half-Hourly Products

IMERG is the unified U.S. algorithm that provides the Day-1 multi-satellite precipitation product for the U.S. Global Precipitation Measurement team. Precipitation estimates from the GPM constellation are computed, gridded, intercalibrated and combined into half-hourly 0.1 x 0.1 degree fields.

The IMERG system is run twice in near-real time, producing an “Early” multi-satellite product ~4 hours after observation time and a “Late” multi-satellite product ~12 hours after observation time. A third run is performed using monthly gauge analysis, producing a “Final” satellite-gauge product ~2 months after the observation month.

Each of these half-hourly products are now available on Datahub:

IMERG – Day 1 Early Run Half-Hourly Product
IMERG – Day 1 Late Run Half-Hourly Product
IMERG – Day 1 Final Run Half-Hourly Product


Above: IMERG data showing tropical storm Darby’s cumulative precipitation over the Hawaiian Islands, July 19-26. Intro: IMERG data showing rainfall across western Europe, May 22 – June 6. Images by Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC).


Wind Energy, the Wunderkind of Industrial IoT
Data-driven decisions have caused a qualitative jump in wind energy. Industrial IoT initiatives are expected to boost utilities’ revenues by 15–19% over the next three years.

I spend my time writing about the economy, but the climate data hits me right in the gut
Last week it was announced that June was the warmest June on record – making it the 14th consecutive month of a record being set. The temperature data is now at such a point that it requires absurd levels of conspiracy theory to suggest climate change is not occurring.

Offshore Wind Investments Already Beating 2015
Investment hit a record 14B euros ($15.4B) in the first six months of 2016, exceeding the 13.3B euros invested in 2015, WindEurope reports.

Wind Energy, The Wunderkind Of Industrial IoT


From the first person who put a sail to the wind while aboard a small boat, to the first people who used wind-powered machines to grind grain, today’s wind energy industry is the culmination of millennia of innovative human thought, discoveries and cooperation. In our modern world, governments worldwide see today’s wind energy technology as a renewable energy solution that will provide a sorely-needed transition to the low-carbon economy and environment that our planet needs. In fact, almost 200 countries signed up to the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, acknowledging the need for change and committing to using more renewable energy than they ever have before.

When governments say they will use more renewable energy, how much energy will actually come from renewable sources? In the EU, by 2030, at least 27% of total energy will be generated from renewables, with national targets ranging from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. In the US, President Obama has announced the US target: 20% of US electricity will come from renewables. China and India have also joined this initiative, setting renewable energy targets of 30% and 40%, respectively.

Hundreds of NDBC Stations Now Available

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This week we’ve added marine observational data from over 800 stations collected by NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) to Planet OS Datahub. In addition to the new datasets, we’ve also launched a new API endpoint for making station based queries.


NDBC Standard Meteorological Data
This dataset includes temperature, wind, wave, sea level pressure, dewpoint, station visibility, and tidal data from over 800 individual stations. Stations typically report on an hourly basis, however some stations may report more frequently.

NDBC MMS Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Data
This dataset contains water current velocity and direction for 35 stations located in coastal U.S. waters and lakes. Some stations provide only surface current data, while others provide current data at multiple depths.

NDBC Continuous Winds Data
Continuous wind measurements are six 10-minute average values of wind speed and direction reported each hour. These measurements provide wind data for users who need better temporal resolution, such as for micro-scale studies of air quality and sea breeze effects.

NDBC Spectral Wave Density Data With Direction
Spectral wave data is generated by processing raw accelerometer observations on board the station. The output includes the separation frequency, the spectral wave density, the spectral wave direction, and the directional wave spectrum.

Regional Data And Matlab Code. Come Say Hello In Tallinn


This week we published several regional datasets based on the feedback from our users. Three European coastal datasets are now available in Planet OS Datahub, including forecast data for the Mediterranean and Baltic seas. For Matlab users, we’ve created an example on GitHub that highlights how to plot WaveWatch III data using the Planet OS REST API. See below for more details.


The Western Mediterranean Operational Forecasting System (WMOP)
WMOP provides daily, high-resolution (2.2km grid) data about currents, salinity and temperature at 32 distinct vertical levels. In addition to current conditions, a forecast of the same parameters over the next 72 hours is also provided.

The Baltic Sea Biogeochemistry Analysis And Forecast
This dataset provides local, high-resolution (2km grid) data about oxygen, nitrate, chlorophyll and phosphate concentrations in the Baltic Sea. It is updated twice daily, covers depths up to 400 meters, and also includes a 48-hour forecast.

Near Real-Time Surface Current Data In The Ibiza Channel
This surface current dataset is available with at least an hourly update frequency. It is a local, small-area dataset with 0.05-degree resolution that is based on high-frequency radar located on the Ibiza island coast. Due to its high accuracy, this data is useful for shipping and also the validation of model data.

Planet OS Announces Powerboard to Improve Wind Farm Performance


Planet OS, the world’s leading provider of online geospatial environmental data, today announced Powerboard, a data intelligence solution that helps wind farm operators and renewable energy service providers to boost power output by up to 30%. Powerboard provides wind farm operators with a rich, easy-to-use data visualization experience that allows them to significantly streamline daily operations and maintenance, leading to increased profitability and safety.

The solution combines real-time operational and industrial data with a growing programmatic catalog of open and commercial data from external data providers into a single cloud-based solution. The result is a visually rich, interactive analysis tool that permits detailed optimization of a wind farm that replaces rooms full of distracting monitors that are not integrated at a software level. Furthermore, Powerboard allows stakeholders from operators, technicians to managers regardless of location to collaborate in planning and operating a wind farm to great effect.

German energy giant RWE has joined forces with Planet OS as the launch partner for Powerboard. RWE International SE, one of the world’s large offshore wind farm operators, plans to use Powerboard on a number of wind farms in their portfolio. “Powerboard provides us with the potential for optimizing operations and increasing renewable energy production from our wind farms,” said Peter Terium, the CEO at RWE Group. “We are currently using Powerboard at Gwynt y Môr, our largest offshore wind farm, to help increase our power output and improve operational efficiency. As we deploy Powerboard to other renewable energy sites, we hope to further improve our competitive position.”


Powerboard is built on the cloud-based Planet OS data infrastructure, which can process all major geospatial and Earth Observation data types and formats, in addition to supporting conventional industrial sensor data.  Planet OS is also on a mission to deliver relevant external data by syndicating the world’s largest programmatic database of geospatial environmental data so clients can access a growing catalog of over 800 parameters via one consistent API. The company is a member of the NOAA Big Data Project and the White House Open Data Roundtable to make open data more accessible for everyone.

“Uniting the right tools and relevant content together significantly reduces the effort needed by renewable energy companies to compete with coal, and natural gas” said Rainer Sternfeld, the CEO at Planet OS. “Customers like RWE can leverage Powerboard to have a truly distributed, responsive and aggregated view of all operations on a single screen. Using our products allows renewable energy providers to see deep patterns and monitor performance in a way that allows them to better optimize operations, schedule maintenance and feed timely data to energy traders to perform without delay.”

Planet OS Powerboard is available now to customers around the world, starting with a proof-of-concept and value analysis to validate the implementation for both parties before engaging in a multi-year contractual relationship based on benefits gain-share. Learn more about Planet OS Powerboard, and/or contact to schedule a demo.