Many of us have had that one day in our lives when an online map took us to roads that never took us to our destination, leaving us clueless about which road to take next. Such scenarios serve as an example of online repositories for maps not being updated. Construction engineers, face a similar predicament when they travel to a construction site. From engineers to architects to government organizations, all leverage online mapping repositories and are on the lookout for high-resolution image providers. A major setback is the quality of aerial imagery. Nearmap, an aerial image provider, has found the sweet spot between image resolution and area covered using airplanes to capture images, process them in the cloud and deliver the same, within days of capture.
The company has been at the forefront of aerial mapping technology--providing current imagery that encompasses various geographical locations. By forging a browser-based tool—MapBrowser—to navigate, pan, zoom, and measure, Nearmap solves the problem of instantly accessing high-resolution images. Recently, organizations requiring a bird’s eye-view of an area would have relied on the state or hired a local outfit to fly a specific area and capture the image. However, these approaches take time. Nearmap, on the other hand, completes the whole process within a few days including capturing large areas, managing the process to stream imagery into the cloud and delivery to the end user.
The detail users see with Nearmap is stunning. Our imagery is consistently sub 3” resolution, the gold standard for the massive land area we cover
The company provides a subscription model that allows clients to access an historical archive of mapping imagery in addition to the current and most recent images taken of a particular location. “There are two basic ways to access Nearmap aerial maps. Users interested in simply launching a browser and searching for an address or city, do this using Nearmap MapBrowser which also provides road overlays, measurement tools and the ability to export imagery for use in presentations or proposals. Other users access Nearmap using our API that seamlessly integrates with design, engineering, and GIS tools, complete with all the mapping functionalities they deliver,” says Tony Agresta, VP of Marketing, Nearmap. To provide a more realistic view of a particular location, the company implements three forms of mapping location content— Vertical, Panorama, and Oblique. These features not only determine the geographical contours of the location but also provide real-to-life referencing parameters, saving the trip to construction sites and delivering all of the essentials on any screen with an internet connection.
“Our system shows you the truth on the ground from your desktop or tablet, allowing you to plan your projects remotely saving time and resources,” explains Agresta. Engineers, builders, architects, city planners, landscapers, pavers, solar installers and other organizations can visualize recent imagery without having to travel onsite,” he adds.
Nearmap recently collaborated with Esri in mapping the township of Apex, North Carolina, using their high-resolution imagery and Esri’s ArcGIS technology. Although the use cases are diverse, the GIS technology along with aerial photography allowed the government to plan for the town growth, accurately measure distances, maintain road networks – all with clear, current imagery that’s updated on a regular basis. Apex is just one of the many cities that have adopted Nearmap, spanning across a spectrum of applications and use cases.
Location content is evolving beyond vertical, panorama and oblique imagery. Nearmap has already captured dozens of US cities in 3D along with a Digital Surface Model. These two new forms of imagery are being delivered in 2018. The former allows users to completely immerse themselves inside the imagery navigating through the landscapes and cityscapes as if they are there.