SkyWatch expands agricultural customer base with AgIntegrated collaboration

Satellites play an important role in agriculture. Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

SkyWatch bills itself as an agnostic data provider looking to provide data to whatever vertical needs Earth Observation (EO) data. Today the company announced a new collaboration with AgIntegrated that will expand their customer base in the agricultural sector.

SpaceQ spoke with Graham Stickler, the Chief Marketing Officer of SkyWatch about the new collaboration.

Stickler said the collaboration “gives us a route into a vertical without us having to understand the nuances of that vertical. So it allows us to make EO data available to the agricultural industry in a way that if you like, simplifies it even further from the data perspective, because it’s going to be flowing through a platform, that is actually targeted entirely agriculture.”

And that’s a key point for SkyWatch. They aren’t agricultural data specialists. They’re EO data aggregators who provide an application programming interface (API) that allows customers to pull the data they need from dozens of sources and at an attractive price point.

In fact, SkyWatch says by going through their system, customers can save money on data buys as they’ve negotiated deals with EO providers that allows them to buy data without larger minimum buys and drill down to smaller geographic areas. Their largest EO data provider by volume is Planet Labs.

While SkyWatch has US customers, the collaboration with AgIntegrated allows their data to reach a much wider audience in the US. AgIntegrated is widely regarded as a leader in providing agricultural data not only in the US but internationally as well.

AgIntegrated provides its customer a Field Data Exchange which currently hosts multiple agricultural related APIs including MyJD, Climate Fieldview, AgLeader, Farmobile, AGCO, CNH, CLAAS, Stara, AgBridge, Raven, and Valley Irrigation.

AgIntegrated contacted SkyWatch about the collaboration early this year. Not being overly familiar with AgIntegrated, SkyWatch did some additional research on the company and definitely wanted to talk them. As Stickler put it, chuckling, “I got in the car and drove to Pennsylvania.” The drive from SkyWatch in Waterloo to AgIntegrated offices in Pennsylvania was about a six hour drive. It was worth the drive.

Stickler said after the first meeting both sides quickly realized that working together would be mutually beneficial. For AgIntegrated, SkyWatch would provide them with EO data through their EarthCache API that they didn’t have. For SkyWatch, it allows them to focus on their data and platform without having to go out and find customers from the agricultural sector. At this point any new agricultural customers that contact SKyWatch will be referred to AgIntegrated.

AgIntegrated customers won’t event know about the SkyWatch connection. That’s the beauty of the collaboration. It’s a seamless data integration using the SkyWatch API connect to AgIntegrated’s systems.

SkyWatch will continue to focus on the data and their platform without having to go out and find customers for the agricultural vertical. Stickler said the companies realized they had to move quickly to integrate the SkyWatch data so that customers would have access to the new data as soon as possible.

SkyWatch stated in a press release that beyond the imagery data their providing AgIntegrated, they plan to offer new datasets to “Aerial and Drone providers as well as groups that deal specifically with data analytics.”

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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