Have you ever wondered why the imagery behind the “Satellite” label in Google Maps is so clear, even when you zoom way in on your own home? The answer is because “Google Satellite” is actually high resolution aerial imagery derived from airplanes. Since around 2011 Google has been flying its own missions to collect 6 inch (15 cm) pixel imagery across the entire United States (as well as in selected parts of other countries, such as Canada).
Google’s goal is to have nationwide imagery that is no older than three years old everywhere, and to have imagery that is no older than one year in the largest metropolitan regions in the USA. And for the past three years Google has been selling this high quality imagery to commercial and government customers at an extremely affordable price. AppGeo is Google’s leading partner for selling imagery and has been involved in statewide deals with Texas, Utah, Massachusetts, Delaware and Georgia state governments and also with numerous county governments. Other commercial customers include pipeline, insurance and utility companies that require high quality imagery to manage their assets and to assess risks.
In addition to an extremely low cost – priced on a dollars per square kilometer basis – Google’s imagery is stored and served out of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) providing further cost and performance efficiencies. AppGeo’s own Giza Imagery Serving Appliance delivers Google Imagery as high performance WMS and WMTS web services that can be consumed into leading GIS and CAD packages such as Esri, QGIS, Autodesk and Bentley.
The future of Imagery as a Service is now. Learn more about Google’s imagery program and let us know if you’d like more information.