Synopsis: Many states and local governments have begun to transition from traditional imagery programs to content programs. But what are the differences between these programs and why are organizations making the switch?
AppGeo is working with Hexagon to improve how we capture and analyze aerial imagery. This webinar (recorded on January 19, 2022) brings together Trevis Gigliotti, Director of Technical Content Solutions at Hexagon, and Aaron Doucett, Sales Engineer and GIS analyst from AppGeo, to discuss the benefits of imagery content programs.
The Hexagon Approach
Gigliotti: “We’ve become quite good at building aerial imaging systems, but more importantly as things have evolved we became very good at developing software solutions that go with that. As displayed in the graphic on the slide, we can see that we as like a Hexagon control the entire workflow: from building and integrating the sensors in our aircraft, planning the data collection, executing the missions based on the most stringent acquisitions specifications, and finally processing the data with software designed to maximize the riches of the dataset. This really allows us to maximize every bit of image radiometry and deliver the data with unparalleled data accuracies. In that evolution we have the hardware and software together to be extremely efficient and fast, which allows us to serve larger customers at the state level, and even the federal level. ”
Hexagon approaches aerial imagery from both sides, using both quality image capture technology and advanced data analysis to provide a better product for its customers. Hexagon offers its content program, which is a digital depository of aerial imagery for the entire US, as well as parts of Canada and Europe. The data and imagery within is processed to a high standard, and its availability is aligned with NAIP. The data is available in hard copy, data streaming or both. Additionally, when signing up for the content program you receive current imagery for your state over a selected term, updated whenever new imagery is created.
Gigliotti: “Content+ allows our customers to evolve their relationship with us and their basic access to the content data. As part of Content+, organizations and customers have input on refresh rates, resolution of the data that we acquire and deliver to them, acquisition timing such as leaf-off collects, as well as access to other data sets such as BDSM and stereo data. But we really find that most states are interested in increasing the frequency of collection, getting higher resolution in their metro areas, or, as we have seen recently, entire states going with that 6 inch statewide coverage.”
While Hexagon Content offers a trove of useful data, many organizations, especially at the state level have more specific needs. Hexagon Content+ is the tailored solution for these customers, providing the same quality service but with customization and increased options. However, Hexagon Content+ is only available over a minimum geographic area, restricting its use to larger jobs.
Licensed Content Programs
Doucett: “You mentioned all those different agencies that were able to tap into the content program up in Washington, it’s very much the same story in Texas where we have all these different agencies and many more with different needs. That makes sharing sometimes tough but with a content program everyone can ideally get what they want… That assurance that you have the consistency year over year to dial up that old imagery and do change detection, that has big implications for the scientific community, within urban planning, development, and lots of interesting uses.”
Licensed content programs allow states to freely use higher quality imagery and data internally, even sharing it with contractors or other agencies. Additionally, states are still allowed to provide access to outside actors and the public, albeit at lower resolution. Hexagon retains the higher quality for sale, while the state can still meet any public domain requirements through this lower resolution imagery. However, in many cases, this “lower resolution” imagery is still of a higher quality than currently available fully public domain data.
By using Hexagon Content+ states can set the frequency and specific timing of the image collection during the term of your enrollment. Furthermore, you can change resolution between different areas (e.g. higher resolution in urban areas, lower for rural). This flexibility allows states to save money while still getting appropriately detailed products for different areas in their state.
Lastly, Hexagon Content+ can provide an image quality that is comparable or even higher than state run collection programs. Hexagon ensures that its standards are aligned with states on matters of accuracy and consistency. Additionally, accuracy can vary wildly depending on the location being mapped so Hexagon’s actual accuracy is often much higher than listed for most of the country. Please reach out for a more specific statewide estimation of rates and image resolution.
Want to learn more about state licensed imagery models? Check out this webinar in our video library: “Hear What the Imagery Trailblazers say About Imagery Content Programs!”.