WSI Maxar Community Resilience from Space Challenge, SDG 11WSI

Design a solution using satellite imagery and other geospatial data to help communities become more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

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SDG 11 calls for making plans and taking action to improve life in cities and human settlements. This goal seeks to make communities safer and healthier, more inclusive, more environmentally sustainable, and more resilient in the face of natural or man-made disasters – and it's increasingly evident that data from space can play an important role in protecting the quality of life on earth.

Satellite imagery and various types of remote sensing gives us the ability to monitor changing conditions on earth so we can detect threats, predict risks, mitigate impacts, and track our progress making improvements in the built environment and implementing protections for the natural world. Analyzing patterns of human activity, land use, and natural phenomena that can be observed or sensed from satellites in space orbit may be the key to achieving many of the SDG targets.

Your challenge is to think of a way that geospatial data can be leveraged to help a community you care about.

In the U.S. alone, there were 22 extreme weather events last year. Dealing with the losses and damage in the wake of these events had a cumulative price tag of more than $100B. The public sector is making investment to respond to this accelerating trend with the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which commits over $150B of U.S. taxpayer dollars to making communities safer and instructure more resilient.

We’re already beginning to see ways that geospatial data can be used to help protect lives and critical infrastructure from the consequences of climate change, such as extreme weather events. There are exciting applications for emergency management and disaster response as well as post-event damage assessment. Geospatial applications are emerging in a host of other fields, too. Advances in mapping science that allow us to generate visualizations of conditions on the ground can help enhance urban life, prevent conflict, improve transportation networks, aid vulnerable populations, preserve cultural heritage sites, protect fragile ecosystems, and even drive policy debates.

Mapping techniques, especially those that give a temporal dimension to data, can not only improve disaster management and  infectious disease response but also inform efforts to expose inequities and mitigate social inequalities. Geospatial data analysis is fueling environmental justice and climate justice initiatives as well as a wide range of social justice, health equity, and transportation equity initiatives, from the movement for equitable shade in cities to the expansion of bikeshare programs. With increased access to large-scale datasets and mapping tools, we're seeing more holistic approaches to urban planning, such as the linkage of transportation and public health, and there is growing recognition of the concept of spatial justice.

 Not sure how to dig into this challenge? You might start by choosing a specific area of geospatial data application to focus on. Here are just a few:

  • Emergency management
  • Social, environmental and climate justice
  • Infectious disease, public health, and health equity
  • Transportation planning and transportation equity
  • Architecture, urban planning, and livable cities
  • Farming, fishing, forestry, and land use
  • Natural resource management and conservation

 Your solution might leverage one or more of the following technologies: a geographical information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), digital elevation model (DEM), digital line graph (DLG), geographical coordinate system, remote sensing (RS) data, and spatial analysis.


Maxar is a trusted partner and innovator in Earth Intelligence and Space Infrastructure. We deliver disruptive value to government and commercial customers to help them monitor, understand and navigate our changing planet; deliver global broadband communications; and explore and advance the use of space. Our unique approach combines decades of deep mission understanding and a proven commercial and defense foundation to deploy solutions and deliver insights with unrivaled speed, scale and cost-effectiveness. Maxar’s 4,400 team members in over 20 global locations are inspired to harness the potential of space to help our customers create a better world. Maxar trades on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange as MAXR. For more information, visit

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"Critical infrastructure is at risk in communities around the world. But every day emerging entrepreneurs are discovering new ways to leverage satellite imagery and powerful geospatial analytics to protect our homes and our lives. Innovation is helping us build resilience to face extreme weather events and the impacts of climate change. Maxar is delighted to support NFTE entrepreneurship education and NFTE programs such as the World Series because inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators is vital to the planet."

Tony Frazier / Maxar's Executive Vice President of Global Field Operations

I see solutions in space!

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