Earth Lens, a Microsoft Garage project, is an open source project for iPad that identifies, tracks, and analyzes objects in aerial imagery to assist in disaster relief and environmental conservation.

The app offers a host of features that humanitarians and environmental researchers can leverage to accelerate their analyses in agricultural, environmental, or disaster relief scenarios:

  • Automatically identify, classify, and label objects in satellite images, encircling like objects in color-coded bounding boxes
  • Count and aggregate objects identified by the machine learning model
  • Toggle classes on/off to focus in on specific objects
  • View images over time alongside a data visualization chart to identify trends and patterns in a Time Series mode
  • Use the app remotely, without an internet connection

Interested in trying Earth Lens? Check out the source code on GitHub, where you can also find instructions on how to build the iPad application and leverage the machine learning model that powers the project. You can learn more or provide feedback via GitHub.

Meet the team

Garage Internship
"We make it easier for sustainability researchers to extract important insights."
Team Earth Lens

Garage Team

Alex Jordache, Elsie Ju, Kelin Kaardal, Michelle Chen, Nelani Skantharajah, Seara Chen, and Yuchong Pan


Coaches: Andrii Kalinichenko, Hailey Musselman, Siddhant Mehta, and Tejbir Sodhana

Garage Internship

Vancouver, BC


Earth Lens was designed and built by Garage interns and sponsored by the AI for Earth team at Microsoft. The Garage Internship in Vancouver gives interns a unique, startup style internship in which they work in teams of 5 to 6 to respond to a sponsor’s challenge. The AI for Earth team tasked the interns with using AI to better equip environmentalists and humanitarians to achieve more. Using a trained machine learning model provided by the sponsor, the intern team crafted an app inspired by recent advancements in disaster relief efforts leveraging satellite imagery to accelerate and organize aid. The team hopes that they will inspire others to see how they can employ AI to make a difference. Earth Lens releases on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement to commit $40 Million over a period of 5 years to use AI for humanitarian efforts.