COVID-19 Global Data

Monitoring the Pandemic’s Impact From Space

Challenge + Strategy

Mission North started its partnership with Orbital Insight in January 2020, just as COVID-19 began to appear in headlines. We quickly identified the coronavirus pandemic as a story that would dominate the news cycle for the next few months and sought relevant ways to break through in what would soon become an unprecedented media landscape. With a literal view of the entire planet, Orbital Insight’s proprietary data was a huge advantage but required careful analysis to identify which specific insights would stand out among endless coronavirus coverage. And in a reality where every reporter was covering COVID-19 in one way or another, identifying the right media for the stories we could tell added to the challenge.

Mission North developed a media narrative and outreach strategy that offered a unique perspective on global economics by illustrating the pandemic’s consequences for supply chain, commodities, human social behavior and more through objective technology. 

We made geospatial data a key feature of the narrative, translating numbers into trends and change-over-time visuals. To avoid falling behind the news cycle, we examined phenomena in locations that would stay relevant even as the pandemic unfolded — for example, shipping from the Port of Shanghai, increased weekend shifts at Purell and 3M factories making hand sanitizer and masks in the US, and heat maps of foot traffic patterns across San Francisco and New York City. As Orbital Insight’s analysis centered on the movement of people and goods, we focused outreach efforts on economic and business reporters at national business publications. 

Execution + Results

Mission North successfully established Orbital Insight as an anytime, anywhere data resource for reporters. Resulting traction has included over 20 top-tier press briefings as well as broadcast appearances on Bloomberg Daybreak Americas, Yahoo! Finance and NBC Bay Area News. Mission North secured features in Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Quartz, Business Insider, San Francisco Chronicle, Protocol, CNBC and Recode, and these reporters (and more) continue to return to Orbital Insight to supplement further reporting.

Orbital Insight is the geospatial analytics company that helps organizations understand what’s happening on and to the Earth. Orbital Insight’s GO platform uses AI to answer complex questions about supply chains, global commodities, geopolitical events, demographics and national security using multiple sources of geospatial data — including satellite images, mobile location, connected cars and other IoT data.

Orbital Insight is the geospatial analytics company that helps organizations understand what’s happening on and to the Earth. Orbital Insight’s GO platform uses AI to answer complex questions about supply chains, global commodities, geopolitical events, demographics and national security using multiple sources of geospatial data — including satellite images, mobile location, connected cars and other IoT data.

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