Posted on July 12, 2018
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: high resolution images taken from space now allow us to count cars in retailers’ parking lots, and therefore estimate quarterly earnings ahead of the street. Or this: we can use trigonometry to measure the shadows cast by floating oil tank lids and then gauge the world’s oil supply. Or this: we can monitor the vehicles coming and going from industrial facilities in China, and create a nascent China manufacturing index. Dozens of other possibilities exist, bound only by our ability to imagine what we can infer about markets based on high quality satellite imagery of the earth.
Some of the tales are becoming the stuff of legend: how RS Metrics correctly predicted strong earnings for JCPenney in Q2, 2015, and more than one hedge fund profited from it. How Descartes Labs moved the national corn market by 3% when Bloomberg wrote that its corn yield estimates were lower than the governments by 2.8%. And how infrared sensors combined with satellite images detect crop health far ahead of the USDA, which is proving to be a boon for commodities traders.
A handful of companies are just now realizing the value of their earth imagery for investment purposes. To continue reading this entire blog, click here.
RS Metrics was mentioned in a blog by Quandl on July 6th, 2016. Written by: Carrie Shaw
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