April 21, 2024


French startup Kermap has developed a ‘digital twin’ of the Earth that claims to offer the most up-to-date views of our home planet. 

The programme is called Nimbo Earth Online and it is the only platform providing new satellite views of the world every month, without clouds. Google Earth refreshes its imagery every several months to years, depending on location.

AI-powered

Nimbo’s chronological views of the world rely on Sentinel 1 and 2 satellite images supplied by the EU’s Copernicus programme. The images are available to view in both 2D and 3D.

Clouds are completely removed from the photos through deep-learning techniques. Basically, AI looks for the most recent unclouded image of the same area, and replaces the clouds with that image. 

There’s one caveat though: Nimbo offers a resolution of only 10 metres per pixel. This is far less precise thanwhat is offered by Google Earth — so no spying on your neighbours. 

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But its creators say the real magic of the tool is that it allows you to see how our planet transforms month-to-month — providing unrivalled data for scientists, journalists, environmental professionals or anyone wanting to explore Mother Earth at this time of extreme global change. 

Plus the software is open access. Just create a free account and try it for yourself here or check out our quick run-through below. 

Our take

We gave the Nimbo a quick run through and we’re honestly quite impressed — even if the startup’s ‘digital twin of the Earth’ claim is a bit far-fetched. 

While the quality isn’t as good as Google Earth, it hosts several really cool features that aren’t available on the tech giant’s platform. 

This includes a split & swipe function, which allows you to compare before and after images in one single view.