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Businesses Turn to Precision Beyond the Best Satellite Maps

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KSL.com explains why Nearmap's high-resolution PhotoMaps™ are capturing the attention of commercial businesses and local governments. 

Most people with an internet connection regularly use satellite imagery such as Google Earth or Bing Maps to find important details about a location. Recent satellite images continue to be a key element in global collaboration and productivity, but today's businesses require imagery that is clearer, more accurate, and up-to-date. In her recent article entitled "Is aerial imagery company in South Jordan the new Google Earth?", KSL editor Liesl Nielsen explains how Nearmap is filling that need:

Nearmap has created an immense, cloud-based library of updated and high-resolution aerial imagery that anyone — from realtors to solar companies — can use with a subscription customized to their usage. While high-resolution imagery has historically been available to government or military only, Nearmap wants to give other companies and individuals access to the same data and technology.

Nearmap captures nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population on a regular basis by flying overhead and taking thousands of high-resolution photos, then stitching them together into a seamless mosaic. Unlike the latest satellite maps, Nearmap flies frequently, publishing aerial views of metros like Salt Lake City up to three times a year. Nearmap's patented image processing allows large amounts of data to be rapidly published and streamed through a cloud-based service — typically within days of capture. 

Nearmap PhotoMaps showing installation of solar panels on Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Move the slider to see change from Aug. 2016 to  Mar. 2017.
Aerial photo of Vivint Smart Home Arena - Salt Lake City, UT - Aug. 2016 Aerial photo of Vivint Smart Home Arena - Salt Lake City, UT - Mar. 2017

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Neilsen cites some of the common uses for aerial imagery in commercial business and municipal government. For example, Nearmap recently captured aerial photos of the destruction in Houston and Florida following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. High-res imagery of these areas helps first responders, law enforcement and disaster relief agencies identify critical needs in impacted cities. Insurance underwriters and adjusters use high-res photos of properties to validate claims. Solar installers rely on rooftop views to qualify prospective buyers without on-site visits. Tyler Soukup, director of analytics for Auric Solar, explains:

There’s definitely a lot of times where ... maybe on an older Google or Bing map image, there’s a tree right next to a house or right behind a house, so we’re thinking, ‘Well OK we can’t do this.’ But then on Nearmap, we see maybe they’ve cut down the tree within the last six months and so it will actually qualify people (for solar) that we previously thought were not qualified.

The sheer volume of use cases for current, high-resolution aerial imagery is driving demand for Nearmap at an accelerated pace. The company is seizing the opportunity and will be introducing new forms of location content, including 3-D imagery in the next few months. Patrick Quigley, Nearmap's senior vice president and general manager of North America, said:

The wave of the future is in what we call 4-D, but it’s 3-D plus time. 3-D imagery is (where) you can create a virtual world with all those pixels in the ground, and you derive that based off all the photos you’ve taken.

Read the full article on KSL.com.

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