At Planet Labs, Will Marshall is helping share near-real-time images of our planet, from a constellation of earth-observing satellites.

Why you should listen

In his Twitter bio, William Marshall calls himself a "quantum physicist cum space scientist in search of world peace and harmony." And when you hear about his job, it falls into place: He and his cofounders at Planet Labs want to show the earth what it looks like, in almost real time, via a new network of compact, capable satellites. They hope that up-to-date images will inform future humanitarian and commercial projects all over our planet and will help to enable people to make the best decisions for earth.

Before cofounding Planet Labs, Marshall was a scientist at NASA/USRA, where he helped to formulate the Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center. He worked on lunar orbiter mission LADEE, lunar impactor mission LCROSS and the groundbreaking PhoneSat project, building satellites out of consumer parts.

What others say

“By giving people a view of the Earth in near real-time, we intend to spur people, companies, and governments to action.” — Will Marshall

More news and ideas from Will Marshall

Live from TED2018

Announced at TED2018: Explore satellite images with Planet Stories

April 13, 2018

Back in 2014, Will Marshall took the TED stage to introduce us to his company, Planet, and their proposed fleet of tiny satellites. The goal: to image the planet every day, showing us how Earth changes in near-real time. In 2018, that vision has come good: Every day, a fleet of about 200 small satellites […]

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Live from TED2018

Short talks, big energy: Notes from TED Unplugged at TED2018

April 11, 2018

“This is a little different than the mainstage at TED, in a sense that this is a little more relaxed,” says our host, the poet and TED speaker Clint Smith. “These are speakers who have not been selected specifically for the mainstage, but they’re just as talented, just as brilliant, and just as important.” A […]

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Live from TED

Taking pictures of the entire planet, every day: Will Marshall at TED2014

March 20, 2014

“We’re on spaceship Earth,” begins Will Marshall during Session 9 of TED2014. “It’s fragile and finite — and we need to take care of it.” He shows a satellite image of Earth. Yes, it’s beautiful, says Marshall, but it’s outdated. The information is old, and he says, “We can’t fix what we can’t see.” Satellite […]

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