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Instant Access, High-Resolution Aerial Imagery
  • Westpark Tollway, Richmond, TX
  • Captured: Sept. 29, 2016

Case Study:
 Mike Stone Associates

Reducing Costs, Saving Time, and Improving Accuracy

Nearmap's frequently-updated, spectacularly clear imagery improves operations and provides a strategic advantage.
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Mike Stone Associates, Inc. is a property asset management and consulting firm in the Houston area, and has experienced significant growth since its founding in 2001. MSAi sought a more efficient way to gather measurements and details from field operations. The company initially tried using pubicly available satellite imagery, but quickly realized the quality was insufficient for gathering accurate information. 

MSAi turned to Nearmap to provide high-quality aerial imagery with frequent updates for use in ArcMap from Esri. Today, Nearmap saves MSAi time and money on site visits and crew dispatch for tasks such as site surveying and measurement. With Nearmap, MSAi can perform these tasks accurately from the office.

Challenge

The GIS department at MSAi was often forced to balance time between in-field measurements and actual office time to align and calculate data to meet their clients’ needs. Traditional approaches to measurement required the GIS tech to be dispatched on-site for lengthy periods of time. Additional time was spent inputting measurements into ArcGIS.

Default basemaps did not provide the level of accuracy clients needed. For example, satellite imagery was typically outdated and lacked resolution detail. New features and buildings were not represented. 

Solution

By incorporating Nearmap into their ArcMap/ArcGIS system, MSAi staff no longer needs to spend days in the field manually taking measurements or examining park amenities. With Nearmap, those assets can be quickly and easily analyzed from the comfort of the office. 

“Now I don’t have to go out into the field for measurements... I fire up Nearmap and can measure the entire community within about two hours. It’s a huge time saver. In addition, before Nearmap I wasn’t able to pick up the differences in surface materials. Now those attributes are spot-on accurate.”

—Russell Spragg, GIS Technician, Mike Stone Associates, Inc.

Because Nearmap imagery is captured approximately every six months, Spragg is able to rely on current captures. In high-growth areas like Fort Bend County, public sources of satellite imagery weren't able to keep up with changes and accurately reflect that growth. High resolution detail also allows MSAi to detect the difference between ground features that satellite simply can’t provide—all with high confidence. 

Impact

Time savings – A significant amount of time was saved by MSAi technicians who no longer need to spend excessive hours in the field, measuring, photographing and documenting asset details.  There’s no longer a need to walk every inch of sidewalk and pavement with a wheel. They have reduced the actual hours spent on site by a factor of 5 while also saving on equipment and vehicle costs. 

Efficient Work Order Communications  Nearmap also works with Cityworks software allowing work orders to include high-resolution imagery. MSAi can now include specific details in work orders which, in turn, allows them to get the job done faster. 

Improved Presentation Quality – The ability to illustrate progress on projects to board members, shareholders, clients is an important part of what MSAi does.  With Nearmap, they can now provide visuals that instantly describe both status and direction. The powerful time-slider feature of Nearmap allows a side-by-side comparison to easily illustrate a year’s progress on a project.

High-Resolution Images Reducing On-Site Visits by 5X
Mike Stone Associates

Mike Stone Associates, Inc., a full-service management consulting and planning firm located in Sugar Land, Texas, focuses on assisting government and not-for-profit agencies with sound, sustainable fiscal management practices for their assets and resources. Established in 2001 by Michael E. Stone, MSAi assists clients with construction, operations and maintenance of major facilities and assets such as roads and toll systems, storm water pump stations and drainage channels, lakes and detentions ponds, parks, and community associations. MSAi clients include the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, the Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District Number 2, Harris County Municipal Utility District Number 71, and the Sienna Plantation Residential Association.

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