As the coronavirus pandemic leads to anxiety over the strength of the world’s food supply chains, everyone from governments to banks are turning to the skies for help. The coronavirus outbreak has triggered a fresh surge in demand for alternative data to shed light on how the pandemic is impacting industries and trade across the globe. That’s especially important as multiple government lockdowns and tighter restrictions on the movement of people and goods upend supply chains and logistics everywhere from Asia to Europe and the Americas.
Orbital Insight, a California-based Big Data company that uses satellites, drones, balloons and cell phone geolocation data to track what’s happening on Earth, has seen inquiries about monitoring food supplies double in the past two months. Orbital customers have been asking for data such as when cargo ships leave ports, when plants close, and the number of passengers traveling through airports.
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