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Back to BlogCan Your Map Do That?

Nov 2021

At Nearmap, our aerial maps can measure, go back in time, and have hundreds of data layers. If your map can’t do that, it's time for another option.

Nov 2021

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Neighborhood development in Ontario, California, U.S. | 2014-2021
What’s a map? Most would say that it is a directional device that guides us from A to B. At Nearmap, we’re shaping a new definition of a map by transforming it from a guide to something much more. Now, thanks to the fusion of aerial imagery and geographic information system (GIS) intelligence, maps get an upgrade from showing you how to get to a location to instantly transporting you there.
Nearmap started out offering vertical imagery, giving users a flat view of the world. This allowed them to interpret depth and height, but they weren’t able to actually measure it. As our imagery evolved, so too did our mapping capabilities. With the introduction of Nearmap AI, oblique, and 3D textured mesh — and later point cloud, true ortho, digital surface model (DSM), and digital terrain and elevation models (DTM/DEM) — users can now fully immerse themselves into an actionable 3D environment.
Exploring the world with Nearmap enables you to see it in a different way. Rotate, tilt, and change your viewing perspective to see an area from every angle. Ask how tall a building is and get the answer with accurate measurement tools. Discover what an environment would look like without the current landscape of structures and foliage. This is all made possible by fusing every dimension of location intelligence into one central hub.
Nearmap users are leveraging our location intelligence to better their understanding of the world. From planning the U.S. Open to designing the future of one of the nation’s busiest airports, our mapping technology gives users access to the information needed to make confident decisions. Can your map do that?

Can Your Map Plan the U.S. Open?

The United States Golf Association (USGA) is tasked with logistical planning for the U.S Open each year. Unlike most major golfing events, the U.S. Open is unique in that it changes location yearly. This presents the challenge of transforming a golf course into a stadium that’s capable of hosting 40,000 to 50,000 attendees per day.
"The ability for us to see that infrastructure with constant aerial imagery updates is critical to our ability to plan accurately."
~Tim Loyd, Director of Operations, USGA
The team at the USGA works internally to plan for transportation, public safety, emergency services, and more to get the course ready for an event that averages an on-site attendance of up to 200,000 guests throughout the week. Creating a stadium environment capable of accommodating such a crowd involves building admission gates, concession stands, hospitality areas, grand stands, security, etc.
Plan for food and beverage area at Torrey Pines Golf Course for U.S. Open 2020
"Prior to Nearmap, we’d be guessing and drawing in freehand to understand how buildings impacted logistical planning."
~Tim Loyd, Director of Operations, USGA
With so much to plan for, the USGA gets started on the U.S. Open up to four years before the event. However, the USGA team isn’t the only one strategizing, as the host courses are also underway developing additions to greet the expected influx of visitors. Dealing with this challenge requires continual site updates, which Nearmap provides thanks to multi-year surveys. “From construction to completion, we could see exactly what a course update looked like and plan accordingly,” says Tim Loyd, director of operations at the USGA.
Winged Foot Golf Club updates their maintenance facility
Being able to see the course as is allows Tim and his team to accomplish tasks such as sight-line studies, operations planning, geospatial site and facility design, and even plan for the U.S. Open in 2020 when COVID restrictions fluctuated month to month.
Further, the USGA uses Nearmap tools to help customize golf courses to present better challenges to the pros. At the Los Angeles Country Club, host of the 2023 U.S. Open, the USGA was able to identify that certain holes provided advantages to professional players. The team used this information to transform those holes to ensure that each was properly played.
See how the USGA planned the 2021 U.S. Open using aerial imagery with certainty during uncertain times.

Can Your Map Operate an Airport?

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is one of the nation’s busiest, employing over 43,000 individuals and seeing more than 58,000,000 passengers annually. Maintaining an airport of this magnitude requires up-to-date information to ensure that everything is up to Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) standards. More than having current information, the team at SFO requires high-quality photos, fast imagery processing, and API/WMS capabilities.
"We’ve tried commercial satellite imagery, but the resolution was not up to our standards and some of the other imagery providers we used had long post-production processing times of anywhere between 6-8 months."
~Agie Gilmore, GIS Analyst, SFO
The SFO team manages sub-surface utilities, exterior, and interior data models. This includes anything from telecom to runways to floor plans throughout a campus area of 3.54 mi2 — including 97 buildings. Manually managing such a vast area would be a Herculean task, regardless of the team’s size. Nearmap enables SFO to conduct virtual inspections of assets to identify repairs, log those that have already been completed and report them back to the FAA, see where improvements are currently underway, and view runway distresses.
More than managing the current state of the airport, the SFO team leverages Nearmap features to plan for the future. This process begins with transforming SFO into a 3D campus by using 3D GIS data, Nearmap 3D mesh, and 3D building information models (BIM). SFO converts 3D mesh into 3D objects, which are then overlayed on top of 2D ortho imagery from Nearmap. The 3D mesh and ortho imagery help airports like SFO visualize what an area looks like in the past, present, and — using BIM — future.
Planned SFO break area, designed in BIM and placed alongside the 3D mesh and DTM to envision what a completed project may look like
Having access to Nearmap 3D mesh, BIM, and digital terrain models allows SFO to visualize projects and understand how they’ll interact with the current environment. This same combination of content types enables the millions of SFO travelers to be able to navigate their way throughout the airport by seeing a building’s interior on a level-by-level basis.
“We want the viewer to have a seamless experience when inspecting a building’s contents using 3D mesh and enable confident decision making.“
~Guy Michael, Senior GIS Analyst, SFO

Can Your Map Manage a City?

Carmel, Indiana is a rapidly growing suburb of more than 100,000 residents. As a fast-developing city, the team in charge of its growth needs to plan ahead. Currently, Carmel processes 300-400 permit applications monthly. In order to keep up with this demand, Carmel has incorporated Nearmap with the Cityworks application to help with their management of streets, utilities, planning and zoning, building and code enforcement, engineering departments, and more.
Carmel decided to use Nearmap, as we offer multiple flyovers per year, allowing the team to monitor the many changes to their rapidly evolving city. “Nearmap provides that multi-year flyover photography that we take huge advantage of and it functions as a web-based app, so we can access it from anywhere,” says Shane Burnham, GIS analyst at the City of Carmel. Having reliable image updates working alongside their GIS data and asset management software allows Shane and his team to plan for the future of Carmel.
“Asset Management Software + Regular Aerial Flyovers = Operational Intelligence and Success“
~Shane Burnham, GIS Analyst, City of Carmel
Nearmap is being used within Carmel’s software to impact planning and zoning, utility asset management, and workflow and operational efficiency.
Planning and Zoning: Imagery updates throughout the year enable Carmel to see what is happening within city limits. This helps them run a spatial query of permits to ensure that development sites have completed the required paperwork.
Utility Asset Management: Nearmap can be used within Carmel’s GIS data development software to digitize and keep track of city features (manholes, line work, sewers) thanks to aerial imagery with 3-inch accuracy.
Workflow and Operational Efficiency: Nearmap has out-of-the-box measurement tools, which allow code enforcement officials to remotely verify whether new structures meet city regulations.
Using up-to-date imagery in conjunction with intelligent GIS data and asset management applications powers Carmel’s ability to see and plan for the future of their city.

Can Your Map Change an Industry?

Established in the 1800’s, our customer knows about adapting to leverage new technologies — a skill that has propelled the company toward the top of the insurance industry. As an insurance leader, the organization manages millions of policies, from residential to commercial. Of course, keeping tabs on each property, while also adding new policyholders, would be impossible without the use of modern technology.
”We are an innovative company, and require an innovative partner to get us eyes on the ground to help us manage millions of residential and commercial properties.”
~Director of Geospatial Capabilities for Enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics, Top Insurance Provider
Nearmap facilitates better risk selection and policy coverage by providing up-to-date and historic property surveys that accurately depict the current and former states of individual addresses. Whether a home has installed a pool or a commercial property added an extension, our customer can remotely identify when the changes were made and verify that their customers are covered from a liability perspective.
Insurance is more than predicting the future, it’s about reacting to the present. When tornadoes impacted Nashville in 2020, much of the impacted areas were declared disaster zones, meaning that access was severely limited.
“When a tornado hit Nashville this past summer, we got a call from Nearmap asking if we’d be interested in some imagery,” says our customer’s director of geospatial capabilities for enterprise business intelligence and analytics. “They got in the air the next day and captured the tornado’s impact, allowing us to assess damage. We could see where the greatest impact had occurred and plan accordingly. The post-cat imagery also allows us to help our business partners, our agents, and our brokers by equipping them with imagery of customer properties so that they can begin the indemnification process.”
Thanks to Nearmap, an insurance leader is seeing risk in ways that weren’t previously possible, and also indemnifying customers faster than ever before.
“The combination of location intelligence, spatial accuracy, data quality, and coverage consistency creates a new frontier for insurance analytics.“
~Director of Geospatial Capabilities for Enterprise Business Intelligence and Analytics, Top Insurance Provider
You’ve seen how various industries are using mapping technologies to better understand their worlds. From measuring the landscape to designing the future, maps are becoming a foundational tool to help shape our liveable world.
If your map can’t do that, it may be time to find another provider.
Contact Nearmap today and start seeing the world smartly.
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