Nearmap, an Australian provider of high-resolution aerial imagery that was founded by geospatial pioneer Stuart Nixon, recently entered the U.S. market. The company has been collecting imagery for 70 metropolitan areas across the country for the past two months and intends to continue these collections at regular intervals, with a minimum of six image collects per year for the top seven of the 70 areas and at least three times per year for the remaining areas.
The company collects imagery with its own “HyperCamera” camera equipment, which fits within fixed-wing aircraft flying at a high altitude and allows operators to capture entire cities within one to two days. Automated image processing with the company’s own “HyperVision” software provides a seamless Photomap. In addition to imagery at a resolution of 2.8 inches per pixel, the camera also captures digital elevation models.
“We’ve proven to be a disruptive force in the Australian market, where people describe being addicted to our imagery,” said Paul Peterson, senior vice president of Product and Engineering at nearmap, who is helping with the company’s U.S. expansion. “Our low-cost subscription model has followers in the construction, property, insurance and solar industries as well as in government. We have been so successful with this model that we’re entirely self-funding this expansion from subscription revenue.”
The Web-based delivery of imagery is accompanied by tools that allow users to measure height, distance or volume as well as tools to explore change over time. There’s a volume calculation tool for construction that includes standard truck sizes for quick calculations of how many truckloads are required to move a given pile of dirt. The solar tool includes a library of available solar panels that can be placed on a roof for a quick calculation of energy and cost savings. A shadow tool that uses the 3D data provides a means to see shadows for any date and time. The site provides street maps and property boundaries as well as demographic information and other information overlays, and users can save images for use in other software.
Stuart Nixon was the founder of ER Mapper, which is now part of Hexagon Geospatial’s ERDAS offering. Nearmap was purchased from Nixon by Ipernica in 2008, and the company subsequently took on the nearmap name.