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Aerial Mapping Tool Bolsters Natural Disaster Recovery


Jan 2023

Nearmap provides high quality, city-scale location data within days of major natural catastrophes to support community recovery efforts and expedite claims.

Jan 2023

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Nearmap ImpactResponse provides high quality, city-scale aerial imagery and location data within days of major natural catastrophes to better support community recovery efforts, and expedite insurance claims
Nearmap is the first and only aerial imagery and location analytics provider in Australia with a dedicated capture program for natural disasters
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (15 Sep 2021) — Communities and organisations that are often overwhelmed and overstretched following natural disasters and weather catastrophes, and facing barriers including limited ground and road access, can now access a powerful tool: Nearmap ImpactResponse. The product is available ahead of the peak bushfire season in Australia.
The Nearmap ImpactResponse product includes aerial imagery, location data and geospatial tools to enable organisations to better assess damage, plan a disaster response, and manage rebuilding and recovery efforts. Insurers are also equipped with the best possible property data and intelligence to deliver a quick and effective claims response, to support customers when they need it most.
Leading aerial imagery and location intelligence company Nearmap has announced that it will aim to capture aerial imagery following every major natural disaster in Australia that has a significant impact on property, infrastructure, and communities. So far in 2021, Nearmap has captured >6,200 square kilometres of disaster-affected land, including the NSW floods, the Perth Hills fires, and Cyclone Seoja (WA).
Dr Rob Newman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nearmap said: “Our customers have told us aerial imagery, location intelligence and geospatial tools enable them to rapidly assess and understand the situation on the ground following natural disasters, at a time when ground access is limited, and inspection resources are stretched. At these critical times, Nearmap ImpactResponse equips organisations with another powerful first line of response following natural disasters.
“Nearmap teams work hard to provide the largest post-catastrophe coverage footprint in Australia. Nearmap has committed to cover an extra ~15,000 sq km of disaster-affected territory outside and above our regularly scheduled capture program which covers more than 90% of the Australian population.”
Nearmap ImpactResponse was developed with input from emergency relief and disaster planning organisations including Disaster Relief Australia. The need for this type of technology grew following the devastating Black Summer bushfires in 2019-2020, and more recently, the NSW floods.
Brent Hoade, National Aerial Damage Assessment Team Manager, Disaster Relief Australia, stressed the importance of access to fast, accurate and consistent data for organisations like his, particularly as Australia heads into bushfire season.
“Australia is a country prone to severe weather events, with conditions exacerbated by climate change. The 2020 bushfires were a prime example of this, wreaking havoc on communities and wildlife, and creating significant economic fallout. In 2020 alone, catastrophe-related losses were estimated at $5.4 billion – double the amount estimated in 2019,” Mr Hoade said.
“As natural disasters become more complex, unpredictable, and difficult to manage, we must take advantage of every available tool to help us plan for catastrophes and support those impacted. Nearmap ImpactResponse allows Disaster Relief Australia to survey large areas in post-catastrophe situations and gain the clearest possible idea of what’s required for our disaster relief efforts. By accessing the location tools and data from Nearmap, we have the solutions we need to maximise our resources and deliver the greatest benefit to our communities."
Nearmap has been capturing natural disasters in Australia on a best-effort basis since 2011 and is the only organisation in Australia with a library of post-catastrophe aerial imagery going back to 2011.
Features of Nearmap ImpactResponse include:
  • Nearmap aims to be one of the first organisations to fly and capture aerial imagery of communities affected by natural disasters, providing access to this powerful city-wide data within days of each event – with speed, accuracy, and consistent quality – to better support recovery efforts
  • Major weather and catastrophic events Nearmap captures include: bushfires, cyclones, monsoons, tropical storms (including extreme wind), hail, earthquake, and flood (tsunamis, inundation, and coastal erosion)
  • New post-catastrophe imagery will be available exclusively for 30 days to customers of Nearmap ImpactResponse, allowing them to promptly and remotely inspect affected areas to understand the extent of damage and carry out response and recovery efforts. After this time, the content is made more widely available to other customers with a general Nearmap subscription
  • Customers will also be able to access general and historical aerial imagery, covering ~450,000 square kilometres across Australia. The combination of imagery allows organisations to gauge the true scope and severity of damage
  • General aerial imagery is refreshed up to six times each year to ensure access to current content
As part of Nearmap ImpactResponse, in years when Nearmap has budget and resources remaining from the program, it will use these resources to capture areas likely to be affected by future catastrophic events, including coastal erosion, climate change, fire risk, and other potential hazards.