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GeoEye Establishes Philanthropic Organization to Advance Geospatial Technologies, Humanitarian Causes and Environmental and Climate Change Research


GeoEye, a leading producer of satellite, aerial and geospatial information , today announced it has formed the GeoEye Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to advance excellence in university teaching of geospatial information technologies (GIS), aid humanitarian and environmental research studies including climate change, and to foster the innovation and growth of the next-generation of geospatial technology professionals.

GeoEye’s satellite imagery archive of more than 278 million square kilometers of map-accurate imagery will be an important data source for GeoEye’s beneficiaries.

The Foundation is managed by an outside advisory Board of Directors and a committee comprised of key GeoEye employees. Requests for archive satellite imagery are reviewed by the Foundation’s Employee Advisory Committee. Applicants are generally students and faculty at select educational institutions or analysts or researchers at non-governmental organizations. Each potential applicant for an imagery award is required to submit an application outlining their research goals and objectives. Imagery is provided to support targeted research or environmental projects over specific areas on the Earth. It is anticipated that most awards will consist of a few hundred square kilometers and will be made on a case-by-case basis.

“One of the biggest challenges facing our rapidly growing industry is attracting new employees fast enough,” said Matt O’Connell, GeoEye’s chief executive officer. “The company has long donated archive imagery for important causes, but the Foundation will help leading geospatial departments educate students. At the same time, it will help GeoEye form ongoing relationships with university geospatial programs and research institutions. We’re looking forward to seeing the exciting and groundbreaking work that will arise from GeoEye Foundation’s partnership with universities and institutes.”

The GeoEye Foundation has already begun providing satellite imagery to support students and faculty studying urban sprawl in Mexico, land-use planning for Jerusalem and a polar ice study in Antarctica to better understand the impact of climate change.

Mark Brender, GeoEye’s vice president for communications and marketing, will lead the effort.

Brender said, “In addition to offering universities imagery from our archive, the GeoEye Foundation will offer imagery from GeoEye-1, the satellite we’re launching later this year that will be the world’s highest resolution commercial imaging system.”

GeoEye’s IKONOS satellite has often been called upon to support humanitarian efforts such as emergency response or natural disaster relief efforts. For example, the company donated more than 40,000 square kilometers of Gulf Coast imagery that was distributed through federal agencies and contractors to support relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. The company joined forces with its regional affiliate in Singapore to widely disseminate “before and after” imagery in the days following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

“The applications of satellite imagery are increasing faster than we can count them,” said O’Connell. “By establishing the GeoEye Foundation, we can promote and harness some of the great work being done at educational institutions in the field of geospatial technology. Our technologies may be of great benefit in addressing humanitarian and environmental issues, such as climate change, and we’re eager to expand these efforts.”

For more information on the GeoEye Foundation, please contact Mark Brender (


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