Ecopia Tech raises $6.5m to digitally map sub-Saharan Africa

 Ecopia Tech raises $6.5m to digitally map sub-Saharan Africa

Ecopia Tech from Toronto, Canada, has received $6.5 million to digitally map sub-Saharan Africa by converting high-resolution images of the real earth into HD vector maps for decision-making.

With support from SDTC, Ecopia Tech will map an estimated 342 million buildings, 3.8 million linear kilometers of roads and 582 million hectares of forests in a move to help governments, NGOs, and businesses make better on-the-ground decisions. Such decisions may include where to build new roads, where to build new schools or where to distribute vaccines and renewable energy infrastructure.

Jon Lipinski, president and co-founder of Ecopia, in a statement, said, “This project will not only showcase Canadian technology on the world stage, but also stands to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions by empowering better data-driven decisions to be made surrounding the environment, economy, and societies of Africa.”

Ecopia Tech Corp., aims to create accurate, HD linear data maps from satellite and aerial imagery to help organizations integrate these maps into their own geographic information systems for further analysis.

Unlike individuals, companies, governments and NGOs need accurate, customized maps of buildings, roads, waterways or other features for decision making. Ecopia Tech also extracts data from satellite imagery for its clients as the process is time-consuming and expensive.

“Our unique selling point is both accuracy across any terrain and high capacity, which enables us to do continental-scale mapping,” says Emily Jackson, Ecopia’s vice president of communications.

Founded by young scientists Yuanming Shu, Jon Lipinski and Shuo Tan, the firm serves clients in insurance, telecom, oil and gas, and other sectors, and works with partners such as DigitalGlobe, to do large-scale, international projects.

Ecopia leverages AI to convert pixels into high-definition vector maps. In 2018, the firm produced over 13.6 million square kilometres of vectors spanning over 22 countries across the globe including Tanzania, the United States and Australia.

Using insight from geospatial big data, Ecopia digitizes the world using AI, providing foundational information for critical decision-making; improving the welfare of societies, efficiency of economies, and health of environments.