We’re partnering with Thales to help modern militaries adapt to a changing world

LuxCarta formalized our partnership with Thales in early 2023. Learn what this collaboration means for military planners.


In February 2023, we announced a partnership with major defense contractor Thales. Learn how this collaboration will support modern military planning.

At a glance:

  • Modern warfare requires responsive, up-to-date cartography
  • Our new partnership combines our AI solutions with Thales’ mapping expertise
  • Learn why modern militaries need advanced cartography
  • Find out about the benefits and potential use cases of this partnership

Modern militaries are engaging in a more complex world than ever before. And this makes planning for operations and training combatants much more challenging.

One major challenger here is the rapid pace of change in topography. Over the past few decades, human beings have transformed our world to an unprecedented degree, rapidly adding countless miles of road, railways, buildings, and entire cities across the planet. We have also converted swathes of wilderness to farmland, industrial parks, ports, and other infrastructure. All this development poses serious challenges to military planners today. What may have been open fields just a few years ago, could be a brand-new town today – so keeping military maps up to date is vital.  

Another major complexity is the general shift in the form of armed conflict. Warfare is increasingly urban and asymmetrical. Modern armies must negotiate highly complex situations in towns and cities, where the enemy are not always easy to identify.

This combination of rapidly changing geography and new types of warfare means that accurate, up-to-date maps are of paramount importance. And this is how our partnership with French multinational defense contractor Thales began.

Thales has been working for many years with the French military and other partners to create digital GIS maps to support the armed forces. Thales engaged with LuxCarta to incorporate our artificial intelligence-powered BrightEarth technology into their solution. BrightEarth employs AI to recognize building footprints from the latest satellite images. It also identifies vegetation, roads, and other information from these images. These elements are then transformed into vectors. Alternatively, they are extruded into a 3D map.

This partnership will mean that Thales’ customers can now benefit from AI technology that helps create accurate maps even faster.

How LuxCarta supports Thales

We have been collaborating with Thales for several years, but we formalized the partnership in 2023 to offer ongoing support to this leading defense contractor. Thales has been engaged by the French military on a major digital upgrade of their cartography – known as the Geomaps project. Airbus’s Pléiades satellites provide images for Thales. Thales is preparing maps for the French armed forces. They are also identifying information ‘on the ground’. This information can assist military planners and combatants. It helps them understand the terrain.

Thales engaged with LuxCarta to benefit from our artificial intelligence solutions that can map out buildings, vegetation, infrastructure, and other topographic features based on satellite image data. Rather than having to identify buildings and other information on a satellite image and create vectors manually, Thales can now use our solution to automatically identify building footprints and other features, and therefore generate their maps much faster.

This is especially useful in the military context. For example, if the army wanted to engage in an operation in a specific town, they could use our mapping technology to identify new buildings that have recently been constructed. It could also identify structures that have been destroyed in fighting. This information would help plan routes through the conflict zone, and mean soldiers are not surprised by unexpected obstacles.

Bringing artificial intelligence to military mapping

By utilizing BrightEarth and its artificial intelligence solutions, Thales is now able to provide even more advanced maps to its military customers. This collaboration between our two companies means:

    • Greater operational intelligence: Military planners and soldiers can plan detailed routes, and logistics, or prepare for conflict situations without ever having to go in ‘blind’. This could significantly reduce the risk of casualties or failed operations.
    • Preparation for disaster relief: Modern armies are often called upon to support disaster relief programmes, helping to respond to floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Automated map production makes it easier to detect changes between two states and quickly generate differential maps.
  • Save time: Because BrightEarth’s AI identifies building footprints and other information and automatically turns them into vectors, Thales’ teams save thousands of hours creating 3D maps. 

Supporting a world leader in defense

Our collaboration with Thales represents an exciting opportunity for LuxCarta to support a major defense contractor and their military customers. Through this collaboration, we will be able to further train our artificial intelligence technology on real-world challenges, including active operations for the armed forces. This will only improve our technology, making it even more calibrated to military, intelligence, and defense needs.

At LuxCarta, we are always looking to collaborate with like-minded organizations in the defense, aerospace, training simulation, and cartography industries. So, please get in touch to learn how we can work with you to meet your mapping needs.


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