Mapping the globe and creating a better world

From disaster response and recovery to vaccine delivery, two Waterloo alumni are harnessing AI for social good.

University of Waterloo alumni Yuanming Shu (MSc ’10, PhD ’15) and Shuo Tan (MSc ’10) are changing how we map the world — by capturing more detail quickly and at less cost. They’ve co-founded Ecopia AI (Ecopia) with a vision to use artificial intelligence (AI) to digitize and label everything — every detail on Earth — and then have it constantly update in real-time.

“We want to capture as much detail of the physical world as possible so companies, humanitarian organizations, governments and citizens can better understand and interact with their environment,” Shu says. “If Google Maps is the first generation of digital mapping, we are creating the second generation.”

Ecopia’s mapping technology uses data from satellites, mobile phones, drones and air imaging sensors. The information-rich picture of our world can be used by governments and industry to better plan and power applications such as smart cities, real estate, insurance, autonomous driving, and augmented ...


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Yuanming Shu headshot

Shuo Tan Alumni, Faculty of Mathematics (MSc ’10), Co-founder and VP of Engineering, Ecopia AI

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Shuo Tan headshot

Yuanming Shu Alumni, Faculty of Environment (MSc ’10, PhD ’15), Co-founder and CEO, Ecopia AI

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