SEATTLE — Some of the world’s most influential billionaire philanthropists plan to launch a powerful digital platform to harness the avalanche of data sent from satellites and make it freely available for humanitarian and environmental causes. Bill and Melinda Gates, who are also custodians of legendary investor Warren Buffet’s billions, have joined forces with Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, to fund the Radiant Earth project, a repository and archive of the world’s satellite, aerial and drone imagery. The project, expected to cost "multimillions" of dollars, aims to find ways to combine and analyse Earth data and imagery and offer it free of charge in formats that do not require specific expertise to understand. Radiant CEO Anne Hale Miglarese said the world is now awash in data but for nonspecialists, finding it and creating ways to use it practically can be both difficult and expensive. "(Radiant) will help build the ‘who, what, where when or why’ for the planning and management...

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