Year of Formation and Background to Founding:
PhotoSat was founded in 1993 by Gerry Mitchell, a Professional Geophysicist and Professional Geoscientist.
Before stepping out as an entrepreneur, Gerry gained professional experience at a senior technical level in both mining and hydrocarbon exploration. In a career spanning two decades, Gerry held several positions at BP, including Senior Mining Geophysicist for Canada and Senior Seismic Specialist for West Canada Basin Oil and Gas Exploration. Later he relocated to London, England, where he continued his career with BP as a Remote Sensing Specialist for Frontier and International Oil and Gas Exploration.
It was in these technical roles that Gerry saw the need for better survey data. In 1993, Gerry moved back to Canada and founded PhotoSat. In the following years, he fostered a creative team of professionals, growing the company into a global provider of engineering-grade survey data.
Today, PhotoSat counts geophysicists, data analysts, geologists, engineers, and business professionals among its ranks.
Company Mission, Products & Services:
From our experience surveying mine sites and tailings facilities around the world, we know that quality survey data is fundamental for safe and efficient project management. As a company, it is our mission to provide better data for better decisions.
In 2009, PhotoSat brought satellite-based elevation surveying to the industry. A unique technology, the earliest iteration was based on seismic data processing. In 2018, the technology took another leap forward with the introduction of deep learning algorithms to our data processing methods.
Satellite photos can capture hundreds of square kilometers in an instant. With these site-wide snapshots, we produce robust elevation data sets that are time-stamped and highly accurate. From monitoring tailings beaches to monthly volume reconciliation, countless applications exist for high quality survey data.
PhotoSat’s elevation surveys are engineering-grade, and they are trusted by mining companies and engineering consultants from around the world. Since 2005, we have delivered more than 1 300 mine site surveys in over 75 countries.
Number of People Employed: 37
Greatest Corporate Achievement:
In the early days of satellite surveying, PhotoSat found success by producing surveys for inaccessible sites in the Middle East. Other survey providers required ground access; satellites did not.
Over the past decade, PhotoSat has continued to deliver surveys for some of the toughest sites on Earth—massive oil sands projects in Canada, high-altitude sites in Peru and Chile, fly-in-fly-out locations in Australia, and many more.
Hope for the Future:
Safety and sustainability for everyone.
The resource development industry is evolving. Now more than ever, there is a heightened focus on community safety, operational security, and environmental stewardship. We will continue to offer innovative solutions that enable mine operators and engineers to follow best practices and make better decisions, moving toward a safer and more sustainable future.