As the Wall Street Journal explains, Orbital Insight is part of a new “coterie of entrepreneurs selling analysis of obscure data sets to traders in search of even the smallest edges.” In many cases, these “obscure data sets” are explicitly spatial:
Take the changing shadows of Chinese buildings, which Mr. Just-in-Case Informatics
[Image: A screen grab from the homepage of Orbital Insight]. Crawford’s company, Orbital Insight Inc., is analyzing satellite images of construction sites in 30 Chinese cities, with the goal of giving traders independent data so they don’t need to rely on government statistics. and Home Depot Inc.” [Image: A screen grab from the homepage of Orbital Insight]. The notion that there are fortunes to be made given advance notice of even the tiniest spatial details of the world is both astonishing and sadly predictable—that something as intangible as the slowly elongating shadows of construction sites in China could be turned into a proprietary data point, an informational product sold to insatiable investors. Everything has a price—including the knowledge of how many cars are currently parked outside Home Depot. Read more at the Wall Street Journal. Crawford [of Orbital Insight] says can provide a glimpse into whether that country’s construction boom is speeding up or slowing down. Mr.