UrtheCast is thrilled to announce its recent win at Digital Alberta‘s second annual Digital Alberta Awards. Honouring innovative professionals, the awards ceremony was held at Calgary’s Hotel Arts on June 4, 2012, where UrtheCast was awarded the trophy for ‘Best Digital Startup’.
UrtheCast operates under a singular vision: to provide an interactive Earth video platform for internet users, app developers, educators, media outlets, government bodies, humanitarian relief organizations, and environmental monitoring services. In 2010, UrtheCast began the process of developing, launching, installing and operating two cameras aboard the International Space Station, in order to provide this high-resolution video of Earth. UrtheCast’s open-source interactive platform will allow users to view this video for free.
Hosted by CTV Anchor Camilla Digiuseppe, the Digital Alberta awards incorporated a playful theme — Retro Space and Sci-Fi Vintage. The ceremony received an opening address from Alberta’s Minister of Culture, The Honourable Heather Klimchuk, who acknowledged the impact of Alberta’s technology industry upon innovation and creativity in the province.
“UrtheCast is delighted to have won this year’s title of ‘Best Digital Startup’,” says UrtheCast co-founder Cameron Chell. “Alberta is filled with impressive innovators and we’re proud to be a part of that community.”
UrtheCast was one of 46 finalists selected from among the 90 nominees that entered this year’s competition. The 16 awards categories ranged from philanthropic innovation to animation and special effects. Category nominees included companies, entrepreneurs, government organizations, not-for-profit organizations, students, education leaders, and new media trailblazers.
In early 2013, UrtheCast’s two UK-built cameras will be mounted to the underside of the ISS. The imagery and video from these cameras will be downlinked to ground stations across the globe. Once on Earth, this data will be processed into HD video, which will then be streamed to users on the world-wide-web and on smartphone networks. The cameras will provide high-resolution, colour image strips of Earth, up to 40 km wide, with a ground pixel size (ground sampling distance) of up to 1.1 meters.
When the UrtheCast cameras are launched later this year, image data will be offered by means of a consumer-centric web platform. This platform will be open- source, allowing users to create applications for sale on the UrtheCast website. As the Space Station passes over a particular geographic location, video data and imagery will be collected of that area, thus providing the opportunity for awareness of current events across the globe. As another layer of interactivity, users will be able to track the Space Station along its orbital path.
UrtheCast’s cameras are scheduled for launch in early 2013. The beta version of UrtheCast’s interactive platform will be made available this summer, 2012. To become a beta subscriber, please visit the Urthecast web site..