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Recent aerial imagery: leaf off, game on!

Mar 2017

Aerial imagery taken when trees are without their leaves can prove invaluable when planning projects around seasonal adjustments.

Mar 2017


Seeing through a sea of green

Cherry blossoms have blown about like giant snowflakes, and the budding spring has arrived. Within weeks or days, the leaves will be out. And if your truth on the ground requires a clear view of what's below that canopy of leaves, you're running out of time. If a picture's worth a thousand words, the split view below is worth twice that many. This Dayton, OH neighborhood shows a stark contrast between the leaf-on capture (October '16) to leaf-off (February '17) as previously hidden features come into view.

That magic window

It's quite a challenge to fly over the right place at the right time late winter or early spring. Too soon, and you're snowed; too late, and the trees take over. On top of that, mother nature must cooperate with clear skies and decent light. However detailed capture plans might be, survey teams must still adapt on the fly and follow opportunities. As a storm front is pushed northeast by a high-pressure zone, it's smart to follow closely behind – the coming together of science, intuition, and a world of experience.

Who needs leaf-off aerial imagery?

Appraisers: new construction, outbuildings and other improvements built through the year become visible, measurable, and above all else, taxable.
Roofers: accurate remote measurements become possible, reducing the need for onsite surveys. Material costs may be projected, and repair opportunities identified.
Public Works: streets, sidewalks, pervious surfaces, water management, and other public infrastructure programs need a clear view of conditions on the ground.
And a host of other needs. High-resolution aerial imagery is at its best with a snow-free, cloud-free, leaf-free view of the ground below.

How about leaf-on?

Utilities: now it's all about the trees – utilities must know where they pose potential threats to the power grid, and devise their best plan to keep the lights on.
Insurance Companies: actuaries and claim management must assess dangers posed to real property from proximate threats, the natural environment, and storm risk.
Urban Forestry & Conservation: quantify and classify local flora by type and overall health through deciduous leaf volume and visible vegetation vigor.

Who benefits from historical leaf-off/leaf-on contrast?

Solar Estimators: projected power output requires a clear picture of year-round shadowing. It's also critical for solar leads (prospecting) and panel placement.
Land Development: planning requires both precise measurement of on-the-ground features and the best use or preservation of existing foliage.
Environmental: multispectral leaf-off imagery and a survey of summer growth are both useful for wetlands impact and conservation.
Either way, you get the picture. The Nearmap capture program tells a compelling story of truth on the ground over time through historical imagery. That makes us unique. Approximately 70% of US population centers are surveyed, most with multiple captures per year. Our proprietary HyperCamera technologies and back-end systems process massive amounts of aerial data and publish it to the cloud within days. The benefit to you? Instantly accessible high-resolution aerial maps with unparalleled consistency that eclipses satellite imagery – easily accessed through our web-based MapBrowser, the Esri ArcGIS Platform, Autodesk, CAMA systems, and a host of other platform APIs.

Where are we now?

Game on! Nearmap survey operations are at full tilt flying the eastern and central United States, capturing high-resolution leaf-off aerial photography while this year's narrow window of opportunity is still open.