aerial, imagery, mapping, integration

Removing the Risk from Buried Infrastructure

High resolution aerial maps improve the speed and accuracy of data collection, inspection, and analysis of water, gas, and sewer systems for Hydromax USA.

Nearmap dramatically simplified things for us, allowing us to make more accurate decisions. With Nearmap, we can actually see exactly where the bore points are. That really helps us narrow down where a gas line is located and which buildings we need to inspect.
Chris Blohm, Data Analyst Manager, Hydromax USA

Established in 2003, Hydromax USA is an Indiana-based professional services firm specializing in data collection in support of locating and assessing the condition of the country’s aging water, wastewater, and natural gas conveyance systems. Their vast experience with new technologies and techniques empowers contractors, engineers, and utility owners to make the best rehabilitation decisions regarding their buried infrastructure.

The Challenge at a glance

Outdated Location Maps

In the past, Hydromax USA used inconsistent satellite imagery to visualize the environment around buried infrastructure. These sources were out of date and lacked the quality and resolution necessary to identify key features. For example, one of the services Hydromax USA provides identifies a problem known as a “cross bore.” A cross bore occurs when a gas line runs through a sewer pipe, creating risk that the gas line could rupture and leak into sewer or water lines. Eventually the gas could infiltrate buildings or homes.

Outdated, low resolution imagery made it difficult to identify the exact location of these cross bores in relationship to buildings and ground conditions above them. New construction or buildings were often missing or not clear enough to assess real risk, and this impacted resource deployment in the field. Delivering highly accurate results was paramount.  

aerial, utilities, Bellevue, WA, 2018 July 05 Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue, WA - customer of Hydromax USA
aerial, construction, neighborhood, Chandler, IN, 2019 February 21 Neighborhood Development in Chandler, IN
The Solution at a glance


By implementing high resolution aerial maps from Nearmap, Hydromax USA has increased the accuracy of their data collection, reduced time spent in the field, and improved client satisfaction with higher quality reports. With Nearmap, assets can be quickly and easily analyzed from their desktop with a high level of confidence.

Because Nearmap imagery is updated frequently — 2-3 times per year — Hydromax USA can rely on current information for inspections and analysis. High resolution detail also allows them to detect ground features that satellite imagery simply can’t provide. 

Hydromax USA has integrated Nearmap into work processes. Video data collection and lat/long coordinates are collected for all underground lines. An automated process brings the data into ArcGIS from Esri, at which time it is analyzed with Nearmap imagery.

Business Impact

Accurate Risk Analysis 
Instead of using outdated, low quality satellite imagery, Hydromax USA now uses current, high resolution aerial imagery from Nearmap for more accurate data collection and risk analysis. For example, using Nearmap aerial maps in ArcGIS, Hydromax USA identifies where a sewer or gas lateral maps to a specific house.

Efficient Resource Deployment 
Nearmap aerial images are 2.8-inch GSD, allowing Hydromax USA to clearly identify surface materials and efficiently deploy resources. They accurately identify “bore points” — the precise location where utility companies have drilled prior to tunneling below the surface and running lines.

Improved Customer Service 
Hydromax USA's customers are energy and utility companies that service hundreds of cities, water, and sewer districts across the country. While the data collection and analysis to support them is a massive task, their customers expect quick turnaround. Instant access to Nearmap high resolution aerial imagery allows Hydromax USA to quickly produce high quality, detailed visual analyses for their clients. 

Scalable Business Growth 
Nearmap gives Hydromax USA a competitive and strategic advantage. When prospects sit across the table or read a Hydromax report, they can visualize exactly what’s needed. They gain confidence when they see current imagery, detailed data, and clear recommendations — all at the same time.

aerial, utilities, Nashville, TN, 2019 January 26 Nashville Metro Water Services - Customer of Hydromax USA
3D model of Logan Circle in Philadelphia, PA - Mar 14, 2019
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