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SMBC Launches New Geospatial Data Service Powered by Orbital Insight

The Japanese bank will help customers understand key social and economic activities using Orbital Insight’s combination of satellite imagery, location data and artificial intelligence

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) announced that it is partnering with Orbital Insight, the geospatial analytics company, to offer customers access to new data sources for better business decisions.

SMBC will use Orbital Insight’s GO platform to launch an analytics service that visualizes social and economic activities in near real-time by combining satellite imagery, anonymized location data and artificial intelligence. The service will initially focus on understanding macro trends like how people are shifting daily activities amidst current remote work requirements. SMBC has already piloted Orbital Insight’s data for its proof of concept projects and confirmed its effectiveness.

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“When it comes to business risk, geospatial analytics and AI can make the invisible visible,” said Katsunori Tanizaki, Senior Managing Executive Officer at SMBC. “The uncertainty of the pandemic makes that an even more important need for our customers, who are often managing global assets. Working with Orbital Insight on this new service combines SMBC’s business insights as a financial institution with Silicon Valley’s cutting-edge technology to help customers navigate the right decisions. Access to daily trends on thousands of global locations will be extremely valuable, especially across the construction, finance, retail and maritime sectors.”

Orbital Insight’s GO platform uses AI to process geospatial data—including satellite images, mobile location and other IoT data—and answer questions about supply chains, global commodities, specific sites, aggregate activity trends and more. Over the past six months, the platform has seen a large uptick in interest from companies needing to remotely monitor areas in the face of COVID-19 restrictions.

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“Understanding trends at all scales has taken on new urgency during the pandemic, and AI can make that a less daunting task,” said James Crawford, CEO of Orbital Insight. “SMBC is leaning into innovation and adding proactive value to its customers with this new service. We’re honored to power these analytics and contribute to smarter business decision-making by revealing hidden changes faster.”

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