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Nearmap Expands U.S. Coverage: Operating at a Higher Level

Oct 2021

Nearmap aerial map coverage in the U.S. has expanded to bring high-quality images and geospatial data to more metro areas at greater frequency.

Oct 2021

Since bringing our aerial imagery to the U.S. in 2014, the Nearmap Survey Operations team has strategically driven where and when we capture. This core team is responsible for the capture, processing, and publishing of the content you use every day.
Each year, the team is tasked with building upon our capture program to help achieve the goal of providing greater coverage for our customers, while maintaining the high image quality that sets Nearmap apart. The team more than delivered this year by directing one of our largest coverage expansions in the U.S.
Let’s go behind the scenes with the team to see how they made our aerial coverage even better.

What is Survey Operations?

We like to think of Survey Operations as the producers of our show; working with every facet of Nearmap to make sure things run smoothly. From planning to execution, this team is paramount to the growth of the company.
Having a team dedicated to these responsibilities enables Nearmap to deliver on our promise of high-resolution, up-to-date aerial imagery — with areas surveyed, processed, and uploaded within days of capture.
More than top-down aerial imagery, Survey Operations generates oblique source photos, panoramas, 3D mesh, point cloud, true ortho, and digital surface and terrain models. These datasets enable advanced geospatial analysis through the use of detailed maps, amazing 3D modeling, and insightful AI layers.

Making Our Footprint

Survey Operations establishes the Nearmap capture footprint via complex spatial modeling that incorporates factors such as population and parcel data, vertical strategies, development and infrastructure plans, and local government area boundaries. These factors are then compared to the aerial collection and processing costs, as well as the value per square mile published to strategize where and how often areas are surveyed.
With the location and frequency set, Survey Operations begin to design our flight maps.

Planning for Flight

Developing a successful flight program requires the team to strategize against a variety of factors: weather tracking, pilot communications, prioritization of survey areas, shipping and receiving of capture data, data management, quality control, and support of our proprietary camera systems.
Executing a flight requires knowing when conditions will be optimal. Surveys are not conducted in the presence of clouds, significant smoke, fog, or snow. We won’t fly when the sun is lower than 30° above the horizon to avoid strong shadows.
Nearmap customers expect excellent quality imagery, and it’s up to Survey Operations to deploy planes at the perfect time to meet those expectations.

Coverage Expansion

Providing access to truth on the ground is the Nearmap mission, and this year has us supplying more truth than ever. Our vertical imagery will now extend to 1750 urban areas and 80% of residential parcels — covering 80% of the U.S. population.

Vertical Coverage Expansion

Oblique and 3D Coverage Expansion

We’re also expanding the areas we cover with oblique and 3D. Customers can now dive further into the details of 990 urban areas, including 73% of residential parcels and 75% of the population.

Canada Vertical, Oblique and 3D Coverage Expansion

Survey Operations doesn’t only operate in the U.S.; they also fly over 85 population centers in Canada, covering 64% of the population in vertical, oblique, and 3D.
Other highlights of our coverage update include:
  • Additional 130,608 sq mi of vertical imagery coverage (73.6% increase)
  • Over 20.9 million new parcel coverage in oblique & 3D (27.5% increase)
  • Doubled urban area — population over 50,000 people — coverage of oblique and 3D imagery (102.7% increase)
  • 231 new counties with over 80% parcel coverage in vertical imagery (61.9% increase)
  • Increased population coverage from 72% to 80% for vertical, and 63% to 75% for oblique & 3D
With production wrapped on this season’s flight plan, development is underway for next year’s coverage. Survey Operations is a strategic endeavor that’s driven by experience and data. At Nearmap, our team carefully calculates when to deploy planes so that the imagery collected meets the quality you expect from our surveys.
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