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Identify and map water resources
in developing countries

Understanding the availability of water within the developing world is critical to both sustainable population growth and health. In order to do this accurately, we need you to create a detailed map of the different types of water bodies and its change over time, with a focus on countries in the African and South East Asian regions. Your work will enable more impactful global development planning and help humanitarian aid organizations more efficiently allocate resources.

Identify urban change to help mitigate
social and environmental risk

Cities are growing at an astonishing rate in developing countries, but not necessarily in a sustainable way. The challenge here is to not only identify change, but understand it; we need to extract enough information to help civil governments and supporting organisations in Africa & South East Asia to better prepare for or mitigate potential safety and economic risks.

Qualifying submissions will receive free access to GBDX Notebooks
where you will develop and run your project.

Help us see a better world and win up to €5,000!



April 10 - May 22

Application window is open

Select your Challenge and apply as an Individual or Team


May 29 - July 15

30 applications will be selected and receive
access to challenge platform


July 20 - July 25

Top 5 applications will advance to final evaluation


July 30

3 winners will be announced

1st Prize


2nd Prize


3rd Prize


All selected applicants can apply for ESA Business Application support to help commercialise their solutions including zero-equity funding, access to networks of investors, incubators, national organisations and dedicated project management support for commercial and technical development.

Prizes for Challenge Winners


Bill Greer

Product Manager,
GBDX Notebooks


Camille Cassidy

Senior Manager,
Product Marketing


Azam Butt



Beatrice Barresi

Remote Sensing Engineer

European Space Agency

Mentors will only be available to those submissions that have qualified for step two.

DigitalGlobe Library & ESA Sentinel 2 Data

  • Access the world’s largest Earth imagery library -100+ petabytes spanning 17 years with image resolution up to 30cm per pixel and super-spectral imaging.
  • Access SENTINEL-2 data consisting of a wide-swath, high-resolution, multi-spectral imaging, supporting Copernicus Land Monitoring studies. 13 spectral bands: four bands at 10 metres, six bands at 20 metres and three bands at 60 metres spatial resolution.

During the selection process for submissions, preference will be given to those who leverage both data sets in addressing the selected challenge.

Access Content

Access Tools

DigitalGlobe's GBDX Notebooks Platform

  • Access to DigitalGlobe's powerful cloud-based platform to develop and run spatial algorithms at scale 
  • A single deploy button will automatically convert your notebook into a GBDX task.
  • Move from local prototyping to mass-scale analysis in one application, plus track your tasks, logs, and output within one application.

GBDX University is a set of comprehensive Guides to help you get the most out of the GBDX platform. You'll find our overview documentation, tutorials, and API reference material in one location: 

GBDX on Github:

Who can apply?

The Competition is open to both individuals and teams who are residents of countries located in Europe.

While we believe good ideas can come from anywhere – and you are welcome to apply as an individual - we recommend you recruit teammates with some of these skills:

Development/Software Engineering
with Python, Hadoop, Cassandra and/or Apache experience

Data Science/Analysis
with Jupyter, NumPy, SciPy and/or Matplotlib experience

with basic knowledge of geospatial

Apply by May 22

Submit this form to receive your challenge application and submission details.

If you have any additional questions about the challenge, please email


About DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe is the global leader in commercial high-resolution satellite imagery used by decision makers to better understand our changing planet in order to save lives, resources and time. Sourced from the world's leading constellation, our imagery solutions deliver unmatched coverage and capacity to meet our customers' most demanding mission requirements. Each day customers in defense and intelligence, public safety, civil agencies, map making and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas exploration, infrastructure management, navigation technology, and providers of location-based services depend on DigitalGlobe data, information, technology and expertise to gain actionable insight. DigitalGlobe is a business unit of Maxar Technologies, a U.S. operating company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR).

About ESA

ESA Business Applications offers funding and support to businesses from any sector who intend to use space (satellite navigation, earth observation, satellite telecommunication, space weather, space technologies) to develop new commercial services. ESA Business Applications is the mark of Europe’s best commercial ventures powered by Space. We are the commercial arm of the European Space Agency and our mission is to prove that space is open for business and has the power to improve the everyday lives for everyone on Earth. We do this by enabling and supporting companies to apply space data and technology in commercial services. So far we have invested more than €190M in over 500 businesses and our portfolio continues to grow. 

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