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Aleph: The story behind the name

Discover the meaning and purpose behind our geospatial access platform

It’s arguable that despite the challenges of designing and manufacturing spacecraft and ground stations, the most difficult obstacles in achieving Earth Observation’s true potential are user adoption and price. We can develop the greatest geospatial technology in the world, but if only few can afford it or understand how to use it, its impact will remain marginal.

Creating a searchable Earth

Our mission of democratizing access to critical Earth Observation data aims to solve this dilemma by enabling more organizations across all sectors and continents to access, use, and benefit from critical geospatial information. We developed a simplified user interface (API integrations also available) that puts a living catalog of the planet in your hands; a searchable Earth for answers, insight, and global transparency.

We call it Aleph. Here’s why:

Aleph, Alif, and Alpha are variations of the first letter of three common alphabets (Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek),  signifying the beginning. And this is the beginning of a new era in Earth Observation. As we continue to grow our constellation of satellites (currently 17 in orbit, 60+ by 2023, 200+ by 2025*) we will reach weekly and then daily global remaps of the entire world–enabling unprecedented frequency and scale for the most up-to-date analysis.

Perhaps more interestingly, Aleph is also the subject of a short story published in 1945 by Jorge Luis Borges titled El Aleph. It describes the Aleph as a brilliant sphere that fits in the palm of a hand through which the narrator can see across the universe. Everything from every angle, all at once. Borges drew inspiration from some legendary objects described as having similar abilities: a single point at which all other points converge.

A statue of Borges sits outside the National Library of Argentina in Buenos Aires.

Our Aleph platform is just that: your single point of access to see everything that is happening around the world; a myriad of perspectives across all your areas of interest. It is a powerful asset to support better decisions, enabling our customers to become effective leaders and change agents for a more sustainable future.

Borges was fascinated by maps and the difficult relationship between the map and the territory. In another short story, he tried to explore the gap between reality and representation by imagining the futile task of old cartographers attempting to draw a map of the entire world, built on a 1:1 scale. . However, thanks to our constellation of satellites collecting high-resolution data at high frequency, and with today’s mapping technology aided by automated algorithms and AI, we are creating an always up to date picture of the entire Earth, accessible in the palm of your hand on laptops or phones. 

A true Aleph.

Tying it all together, Aleph represents a foundation to start accessing and understanding our ever-evolving and expanding world–all the little changes and the complete picture. 

Through Aleph, our vision of simplified access to accurate and timely Earth Observation data is realized. Customers will gain a dynamic perspective of their AOIs to better assess ground conditions, monitor change, and inform critical decisions quickly and more effectively. It is, as its name suggests, a point where all other points converge; a foundation and a dynamic medium that makes it possible to keep up with emerging demands as our world evolves.

Explore our Aleph platform

*Our 2022 projection has been adjusted due to planned enhancements of our satellites, enabling us to achieve our capacity goal for daily global coverage with fewer satellites.