Canadian Startup Helps Produce World’s First Selfie from Space

Canada’s UrtheCast, the startup that won the T-Systems Challenge of the Copernicus Masters 2011, has been one of the pioneers in leveraging the commercial synergies between satellite data and the instruments on board the ISS. The company’s own ultra-HD cameras have been installed on the ISS, where they see use in monitoring environmental protection efforts, humanitarian aid, social events, agriculture, and many other areas.

The resulting high-resolution images and videos are also provided to developers along with analytical tools. Recently, UrtheCast announced its acquisition of the Earth observation business Deimos, which included the Deimos-1 and -2 satellites. For the premiere of the new James Bond film Spectre, Heineken® also used UrtheCast’s cameras to take the world’s first selfie from space as part of an advertising campaign.


UrtheCast’s team aims at bringing the world a powerful perspective on our evolving planet. The company consists of ground segment operators, software developers, designers, map lovers, GIS experts, functional support experts, and space geeks. UrtheCast provides cloud-based APIs, services, and tools to power applications and derive answers from geospatial data. Thereby it enables more efficient monitoring of the Earth for its clients.


Copernicus Masters
Take your chance to write your own chapter of the Copernicus Masters success story. Geared towards entrants from all over the world, the sixth edition of the biggest international competition in the commercial use of Earth observation data is on the hunt for outstanding ideas, applications, and business concepts that use such information in everyday life. Renowned partners are sponsoring prizes in seven topic-specific challenges. Along with cash prizes, the winners will receive access to a leading international network, corresponding data, startup funding, and other support valued at more than EUR 300,000 in total. The submission phase is scheduled to end on 18 July 2016 at


Do you have a pioneering idea that tackles challenges of society using Earth observation data? Then submit your solution for the Copernicus Masters and turn it into a success story!

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