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Orbital Insight

Analyzes aerial imagery to find actionable information.

Data Scientist
Mountain View, CA, US
Job Description / Skills Required

Our mission is to understand the Earth, including all of the economic and social trends impacting us. To do that we are building the best data science team in the world to generate actionable intelligence from millions of satellite and aerial images. Current members come from backgrounds including evolutionary biology, geophysics, neuroscience and astrophysics.

We are data detectives and the job is difficult because although we have Big Data, we exist in a persistent state of spatio-temporal data starvation. The work is fast-paced, highly iterative, and continuously trading off between what works and what’s best. Before we even start analyzing real world data we typically build simulations to inform our models and approaches. The actual data analysis typically goes from computer vision to mathematical modeling to validation with rigorous testing at every step of the way.

Along with our team of data scientists, you’ll work with product managers, sales, and engineers to build data-driven products and solutions. If you enjoy working with data to build products and solve hard problems in creative ways, you will fit right in.

The world is a very big place. With a single photograph of Earth, like the famous “Blue Marble” from Apollo 17, the entire world can fit on a computer screen. However, with this image you would not be able to see much detail. To see the Earth and all of its rich features, you would need a lot more images. In fact it would take over 500 million images just to observe the land area of Earth at 1 meter pixel resolution.

In order to see detail and work at scale, we use computer vision and machine learning. Using convolutional neural networks, we have counted over 3 billion cars across global roads and parking lots, analyzing commercial patterns as well as city growth and development. Our global energy product uses computer vision to map floating roof oil tanks and measure the global volumes of crude oil. With this product, we were able to show that China has 200 million barrels of oil storage capacity that was unknown even to the trading community. Other projects include tracking rates of deforestation, measuring poverty levels around the globe, monitoring construction rates of new roads and buildings, and predicting crop yields. This is still the beginning of our mission to understand the Earth.

This position will be based in our Mountain View, CA office.

Job Purpose

Owning the exploration and application of any data and approach that will help us build products that represent actual value to our customers.

Job Duties

Research and model real world systems and behavior based on actual observations
Help develop (large-scale) simulations to assess a new product’s complexity, yield, and feasibility
Conceive of and implement experiments to test hypotheses regarding (statistical) behavior of data/models/productsHelp develop training and cross­-validation data sets for machine learning algorithms
Translate product management, engineering, and business constraints and queries into tractable data science questions
Iterate rapidly on everything; all of the above happens in a relatively fast paced business driven environment, you must be comfortable with that.
Develop and evangelize our data science knowledge base
Skills & Qualifications

PhD, or equivalent experience in Statistics, Machine Learning, Economics, Econometrics or fields with heavy focus on these disciplines.
Minimum three years of demonstrable practical experience working with large and noisy datasets that are nevertheless sparse in some way.
Superb communication skills. This is often added to job requirements as an afterthought. We actually mean it. You’ll need to be able to explain yourself and your methods both within the company and with customers.
Excellent data analysis & visualization skills in Python or R, preferably both.
Strong Unix/Linux skills
We are backed by marquee investors such as Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, In-Q-Tel, and Bloomberg Beta, Orbital Insight is rapidly expanding its commercial and public sector capabilities. Come join us if you are unafraid to try new approaches and relentlessly seek to push the state of the art, taking projects all the way from prototype to production-ready.


– Stock Options

– Competitive Salaries

– Paid time off

– Medical, dental, and vision insurance

– Life & disability coverage

– 401k

– Flexible Spending Accounts

– Apple equipment

– Twice a week catered lunches

– Monthly happy hour in office

– Stocked kitchen with healthy snacks, coffee, tea, etc.

– Easy commute via Caltrain, with company sponsored Go Pass