Transforming financial decision making

Leveraging space technology and data science

Managing risk, opportunity, and impact

Spatial Finance

‘Spatial finance’ is the integration of geospatial data and analysis into financial theory and practice. Earth observation and remote sensing combined with machine learning have the potential to transform the availability of information in our financial system. It will allow financial markets to better measure and manage climate-related risks, as well as a vast range of other factors that affect risk and return in different asset classes.

Within this article, Dr Ben Caldecott outlines how the integration of geospatial analysis into financial decision making will have significant implications for information markets, financial products, and risk management.


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The Initiative

The Spatial Finance Initiative has been established to bring together research capabilities in space, data science, and financial services to make them greater than the sum of their parts. The Initiative is designed to be a funnel, undertaking and coordinating world-leading academic research and channeling these into real-world finance-related applications.

The research will be translated into practical and pre-operational products and services by working closely with the finance community and geospatial and financial services providers. The Initiative has been established by the Alan Turing Institute, Green Finance Institute, Satellite Applications Catapult, and the University of Oxford.

Mission and objectives

The Spatial Finance Initiative aims to mainstream geospatial capabilities enabled by space technology and data science into financial decision-making globally.

To achieve our mission we are pursuing three inter-related objectives:

  1. Turning research and innovation into spatial finance applications
  2. Promoting the adoption of spatial finance
  3. Globally significant academic research on spatial finance
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How does it work?

The Spatial Finance Initiatives and its partners are leveraging their expertise and networks across technology providers, academia and the finance industry to address current data challenges within the financial sector and translate those into practical solutions.

  • We engage with financial institutions, organisations and professionals to define data challenges and needs
  • We bring together world class researchers to answer these challenges based on the latest developments in satellite sensors and data science
  • We bring in organisations with the capabilities and ambition to translate these answers into operational solutions for the financial services industry

Innovation and research topics include:

Asset-level geospatial data and machine learning to support financial decision making
Spatial finance for the implementation of TCFD recommendations
‘Spatial reporting’ to complement traditional and integrated financial reporting
Geospatial data for investor engagement and active ownership
Applications in non-financial objectives and impact investing
Implications for traditional theories of finance and economic geography
Future of financial analysis and use of geospatial data in testing hypotheses
Building skills and capacity for financial analysts


The Alan Turing Institute

The Alan Turing Institute

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Green Finance Institute


Satellite Applications Catapult


Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme

Get involved:

We want to work with finance industry organisations and professionals to address real and current data challenges. Get in touch to help shape and prioritise our focus areas and be amongst the first beneficiaries of spatial finance driven solutions and applications.