Take Flight with TNRIS: What you Need to Know about the Texas Imagery Service
Synopsis: GIS is an essential service but it can be difficult to maximize value. Statewide services face many barriers to complete datasets for all the areas under their jurisdiction. Texas National Resource Information System has attempted to get the most bang for their buck and provided a quality service for statewide use.
AppGeo has teamed up with Hexagon and Texas National Resource Information System (TNRIS) to help provide quality GIS across Texas. This webinar (recorded on July 27, 2021) brings together Gayla Mullins, Strategic Mapping Program Manager at TNRIS, Katie Fitzsimmons, Business Development Leader at Hexagon, and Conor Cousins, Technical Account Manager at AppGeo, to discuss the partnership and its success.
Development of the Program
Mullins: “TNRIS stores a lot of data, and we don’t tend to get rid of much of it, because we want to have that historic perspective, so it just keeps building up. This solution through Hexagon and AppGeo was perfect for us, because we didn’t have to store the data within our own cloud storage, which saves us on cost. We are now able to get loads of imagery out to our users in a much more efficient manner.”
TNRIS, through licensing agreements, provides highly accurate free imagery to all government entities in Texas, and their affiliated contractors. In addition, users can access historical imagery from the data archive, to study past events and see how changes have occurred. By partnering with Hexagon, TNRIS can provide statewide 6-inch pixel resolution imagery, all acquired in the year 2020.
Real World Applications of Imagery
This powerful data and imagery can have many real world applications. One use is deploying the service to provide more accurate data to emergency vehicles. Other times, the service might be provided to contractors who overlay utility information on top of the GIS imagery to provide a more accurate picture of their infrastructure. GIS can also be used for zoning or parcels, to better administer services and better improve mapping. One key partner of TNRIS is the Texas Land Office, which manages land across the state of Texas. The imagery helps support surveying, land and lease, and storm and offshore structure management.
Hexagon Content Program
Fitzsimmons: “Data is always there, always at our fingertips, and that’s what a licensed data product is all about. It takes away RFP process, PC, storage, delivery, management, all those pieces are eliminated, which makes it especially easy to access. This is done intentionally to focus on delivery to users. The best part is you are getting the same quality data, or even better, than if you had gotten it yourself.“
Licensed data products significantly streamline the GIS experience for their users, making them cheaper and more efficient. Even among licensed products however, Hexagon sets itself apart in a few key ways. Hexagon provides more coverage statewide, rather than just in certain metro areas. Additionally, Hexagon provides more accurate and reliable data, processing it to a higher standard.
AppGeo and Texas GIS
Cousins: “Before our partnership, Texas did not have a statewide consortium. This meant that aerial data was gathered through individual local and county governments, so AppGeo and Google started to compete for their business at the local level. AppGeo came with the offer of a statewide program, with frequent refreshes with a price point 60% below what they were currently paying, as well as serving a larger audience across the state. This meant that local governments that were blocked out of the market, now had access to new content.”
Here is Texas’s cost sharing pricing model for statewide subscription to their licensed Hexagon imagery data:
AppGeo provided key support for Hexagon’s content system through our service, Giza. Access and control over the cloud-based imagery data stores is achieved using cached tiles and a tile streaming service. Giza not only is fast, but it provides all the controls needed for full imagery program management. By using advanced caching, Giza is designed to be fast, with refresh rates of a second or less, keeping people immersed in the data. Giza also keeps extremely accurate track of what is being analyzed. To help program managers, Giza’s heatmaps and dashboards show how many different users are using the service and what data they are making the most use of. Knowing the rates and locations of least and most usage is the key to pay-based imagery programs, and for optimizing the mix of active and cold storage on the cloud.