Satellite Data and Pandemics

Last May 30-31, the U.S. space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration, along with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) of France invited coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists to participate in an all-virtual, global hackathon. During a period of 48 hours, more than 15,000 participants from 150 countries created more than 2,000 virtual teams. They used Earth observation and other open data to propose solutions to one of twelve challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

40 global finalists have been selected. Among them are three teams from the Philippines answered the call to address challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic using space technologies.

Celestial Snails

SNAIL SPACE (A wordplay for Snail’s pace) is an app that provides comfort during times of social isolation by being a handy safe “space” for users. It encourages users to slow down in the midst of the fast paced world and be at their comfort (at a Snail’s pace). Just like snails that bring their safe spaces with them, the app acts as a safe space that users can bring with them. Slow down, breathe, and bring your space with you (like a snail!), be it on earth or in outer space!

Celestial Snails project page:

G.I.D.E.O.N. (Global Impact Detection from Emitted Light, Onset of Covid-19, and Nitrogen Dioxide)

Public policymakers and economic planners are challenged to come up with agile strategies to cope with the ongoing pandemic. However economic data are lagging indicators and are seldom available in time enough to power quick decisions. We turned to Earth Observations, in-country Economic Data, Human Mobility data, and global infection case counts for a holistic assessment of COVID’s impact on various countries.

GIDEON’s project page:


Sentinellium for public health was built keeping in mind that only a fraction of the Philippine population has internet. With SMS and free mobile data for Messenger, we capture more accurate user data, then integrated with official reports and NASA’s space assets on population density, urbanization, and aerosol. Being more robust, it enabled Sentinellium to form a more accurate prediction of developing epidemics to aid health authorities, and profile the users’ risk better.

Sentinellium’s project page:

Join us on July 30, as we celebrate this milestone and learn from our global finalists on how they developed projects to address COVID-19 challenges.

Link to our meetup is here:

The meetup will also be livestreamed over Facebook.