GEO - Project Roxburgh: Global Events Observer

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Objectives of the service

Image credit: Global Events Observer, Project: Roxburgh

The GEO service goal is to deliver actionable insight to teams working at every stage of managing risks at insurers.  Currently, insurers select risks, price them, store them and respond to them with little to no insight as to the situation on the ground surrounding those risks.  They are reactive in their analysis, oversight and reaction to those risks, which creates inefficiencies for them and time delays for their policyholders in mitigation or claims response.

GEO’s objective is to remove the siloed approach to data and risk analysis and provide a holistic approach to mapping, storing and responding to events across the world. 

GEO will provide a dynamic technological solution to improving the efficiency of the Insurance industry, with the potential to save billions.  By accurately mapping and storing location details, risks can be better understood before they are accepted.  Once written, an array of space and ground based data sources will provide rich, timely insight into the situation on the ground.  Opportunities to take action and mitigate risks based on GEO’s data, as well as rapid and targeted response to global weather, geopolitical and industrial events means costs and inefficiencies are reduced and policyholder service is enhanced.

Users and their needs

The target user communities for GEO are several different teams within insurers, businesses aligned to insurers i.e. brokers, and the disaster relief and humanitarian sectors. 

These users are truly global, though since MIS are renowned within the £34bn Lloyd’s Insurance Marketplace in London, having been their exclusive geospatial data and imagery analysis provider since 2016, UK insurers will be targeted initially alongside US and Australasian parent companies and insurers.

Claim Teams:

  • Early insight into damage post event to enable the payment of claims or posting of accurate reserves
  • An understanding of the exposure to their accounts as well as at individual location level
  • Precise time and date stamped information to ascertain time and cause of loss
  • Ingestion of data to automate the triggering of a claim and subsequent payment

Insurance exposure management team:

  • Ingestible data detailing exposure to events mapped against their risk portfolio for early and accurate intelligence about their exposure

Underwriters and risk engineers

  • Data to accurately understand the risk factors affecting a particular location
  • Data provided accurately and promptly to enable risk mitigation to be undertaken once a peril is identified

Humanitarian and NGOs:

  • Swift insight into affected areas and damage to infrastructure

Service/ system concept

GEO automatically harvests data from a wide range of space and ground network sources, processing and standardising as it goes, so that the user has access to near real-time event information around the world. Within minutes of an event being defined, a report will be made available on the platform, users will be informed, and spatial data will be available for integrating with the user’s system, assisting with mitigating action and alerts.  Analysis within GEO is integrated with Machine Learning, interpreting likely exposure under policies, locating and identifying damage that policies should respond to, and analysing possible business interruption.

The new platform gives users more power over what they can do, see, and act on. Through the company-user system, companies have the power to manage, query and act on their own policy data, filter event and location notifications, and task both their colleagues and third party experts with actions spanning the whole life-cycle of a risk.

GEO is hugely extensible through its microservice architecture, allowing new or third party data sources to be added effortlessly. It is an all-in-one solution for managing risk, exposure and claim data through a combination of space, aerial, ground and IoT data.

Image credit: McKenzie Intelligence 2020 

Space Added Value

Space based data is at the heart of MIS Intel’s mission, and emerging data and imagery sources that will enhance the capability of GEO will be constantly scanned.  The system is also designed to be future proofed so that as more cutting-edge space data sources become available, these can be incorporated. 

High resolution imagery is essential for customers to understand the situation on the ground and for the GEO service to perform analysis on. Between 1 Gbyte and 4 Gbyte of EO data is required per event supplied by Maxar. 

This data is supplemented with ESA Sentinel -1 for Radar data and Sentinel-2 for 12 Band imagery. Dependant on the task, this can be a single tile at 1Gb or multiples depending on the area to be covered. LANDSAT-8 from USGS (United States Geological Survey), and ICEYE for SAR imagery is also used.

Current Status

Image credit : McKenzie Intelligence Services

  • Kick-off meeting has been performed remotely and the first phase of the project has been concluded
  • The customer requirements have been gathered and confirmed with Lloyd’s following an extensive (remote) consultation across their 54 Managing Agency members that the needs of the marketplace going forward are captured and how they expect the service to evolve.
  • An element of the co funding has been derived from the “Future at Lloyd’s” programme (a 5-year multimillion industry transformation programme).  This is providing unique insight to accurately steer the User Requirements. 
  • It was agreed with a parametric weather underwriter launching in the Caribbean that they will pilot the service.
  • several new team members were recruited to work on the GEO project team including a Data Scientist and a Remote Sensing Expert. 
  • Following the successful conclusion of the Baseline Design Review (BDR), the development phase of the project begins in September 2020.
  • The CDR milestone review meeting has been successfully performed remotely.
  • Detailed design in relation to the system architecture has been completed and approved as part of this process.
  • The back-end build of GEO therefore has now commenced, which is on track to be completed by May 2021.
  • The wind event harvesting element of GEO has been completed, as well as some of the validators, cleaners and converters, this has resulted in the project currently being ahead of schedule. Owing to this work has now commenced on the wildfire event harvesters.
  • In the next few weeks, we will be starting development of  the GEO Platform front-end, which incorporates a number of mapping and interface products. This will allow for elements of the system to be in a position to be demonstrated to selected end users at the end of February 2021.


Status Date

Updated: 26 February 2021 - Created: 07 September 2020