ServiceNow Research

A General-Purpose Neural Architecture for Geospatial Systems


Geospatial Information Systems are used by researchers and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) practitioners to support a wide variety of important applications. However, collaboration between these actors is difficult due to the heterogeneous nature of geospatial data modalities (e.g., multi-spectral images of various resolutions, timeseries, weather data) and diversity of tasks (e.g., regression of human activity indicators or detecting forest fires). In this work, we present a roadmap towards the construction of a general-purpose neural architecture (GPNA) with a geospatial inductive bias, pre-trained on large amounts of unlabelled earth observation data in a self-supervised manner. We envision how such a model may facilitate cooperation between members of the community. We show preliminary results on the first step of the roadmap, where we instantiate an architecture that can process a wide variety of geospatial data modalities and demonstrate that it can achieve competitive performance with domain-specific architectures on tasks relating to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Workshop at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS)
Alexandre Lacoste
Alexandre Lacoste
Research Scientist

Research Scientist at Human Decision Support located at Montreal, QC, Canada.