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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
To learn more about Nearmap, watch on-demand videos from Nearmap NAVIG8, our free annual event, and hear from industry leaders on how our aerial content is improving the way they work.