In our tech-rich modern age, we learn about events happening anywhere around the globe in a matter of minutes through the power of the internet. Making the best satellite imagery truly accessible to everyone supports Bird.i's belief in making the world a more connected place.
According to Euroconsult, between 2007 and 2016, 181 earth observation satellites were launched into space. Data insights can be extracted from the images, which can then be analysed to provide valuable business information.
If a country is preparing for a large sports event, for example, The World Cup, we can observe the building of its stadiums and venues with images taken from above. With the close analysis of satellite images over a single location over time, we can track detailed construction changes. Sitting in an office anywhere in the world, we can view the building progress of stadiums on the other side of the planet.
Most of us receive news about the construction developments of sporting events through articles and stories we access online. But how do journalists get this information? Reporters usually rely on comments from official bodies and businesses involved in the event’s development.
As you can imagine, if venue construction is not progressing as planned, officials would want to reduce media attention and backlash. This is where up to date satellite imagery is useful. Unlike verbal information, a satellite image does not lie.
A prime example of satellite imagery uncovering truths can be observed with the preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Tracking the construction progress of the Qatar World Cup stadiums
Qatar authorized the building of 8 brand new stadiums to host the numerous football matches of the competition. Satellite image analysis has provided us with visual confirmation that the Khalifa International Stadium was completed in the early months of 2017.
Khalifa International Stadium on the 16 October 2017, Image © 2017 DigitalGlobe, Inc.
In June of 2017, countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, who received trade bans. Officials were very quick to comment that construction of the World Cup stadiums would progress as usual, however, our satellite image analysis provided a reporter from Business Insider with proof that this blockade had impacted the progress of construction. Key materials were prevented from reaching sites, which slowed progress.
Looking at recent satellite imagery of the 8 world cup stadiums, we can see that 2 of these stadiums, Lusail Iconic Stadium and Al Rayyan Stadium, are both still in their foundation stages. The location of one of the stadiums is also still uncertain, suggesting that its construction has not even begun.
But so what? The Qatar World Cup won't be held until 2022, which still gives time for the stadiums to be constructed. Al Rayyan Stadium is scheduled for completion by the first half of 2019; having the stadium completed by this time seems rather doubtful. The gigantic 80,000 seat Lusail Stadium, which is to be the showpiece of the World Cup stadiums, is scheduled for 2020.
Images © 2017 DigitalGlobe, Inc.
The Bird.i Construction Tracker has detected marginal progress in the building of the Lusail Iconic Stadium after June 2017, before resuming in December 2017.
Granted, it is possible for these stadiums to be built in time for the World Cup to begin on time. However, when construction projects run over their allotted building times, they can vastly exceed their budgets: with added staff and equipment costs.
At Bird.i we have built a Construction Progress Tracker that helps organisations keep up to date with the development of their construction projects. Staying well informed about any hold ups to construction progress helps companies keep to their building schedules and budgets.
In terms of the construction for the Qatar World Cup stadiums, the global population should be provided with the knowledge that it will be ready to host this vastly popular event, which connects communities across the globe.
We think that providing people with the means to stay up to date with world events, through the latest satellite imagery, is of great importance. What do you think?