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Gov’t to sell satellite data platform to private sector

  • October 26, 2019
  • , Nikkei , p. 5
  • JMH Translation

The government plans to sell a data platform that collects image data taken by government satellites to the private sector by 2021. The administration has spent more than 1 billion yen a year in project expenses for the platform. Satellite images are being used more and more overseas to predict traffic volume and to support the agriculture and fishing industries. The government intends to have the private sector take the lead in expanding businesses that use satellite images.


In February this year, the government started to allow public use of “Tellus,” which uses the cloud on the Internet. Tellus is a platform that allows users to analyze satellite data owned by the government. Use of the satellite images is free of charge. In August, the government made available to the public some of the data gathered by meteorological satellite “Himawari.”


As in the past, companies that buy the data platform Tellus can release data free of charge at government request. They will also be able to make a profit by selling on Tellus various kinds of software for processing and analyzing the satellite data. These companies are apparently aiming to build a marketplace on Tellus for buying and selling software. Going forward, the government will make a cost estimate for selling the data platform. To have companies continue providing satellite data free of charge after privatization of the platform, the government will consider providing financial support to the companies for the immediate future.


If meteorological data from Himawari is combined with big data on the movement of people in cities, it could create a service that predicts demand for taxis.

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