Raising the Bar for GIS Applications in Government Settings

January 20, 2021

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This article brought to you by Nearmap.

Leading aerial imagery company Nearmap, has enhanced its product offering for all government agencies throughout North America. A key change to their public sector product offering re-aligns the focus on providing an unlimited number of user licenses, rather than data-metered plans. In addition to this key change, government agencies are able to access, at-scale, 2D, and 3D data offline, as well as display Nearmap’s imagery in public-facing applications.

“Our job is to provide customers with the best value possible based on their individual needs, and we feel these changes will do just that,” said Brett Clark, director of Nearmap’s North American public sector.


After extensive market research with government customers and their commercial partners, it became clear that the standard industry offering was not effective for government applications. The effort outlined clear ways Nearmap could not only meet their needs more directly, but also raise the bar for GIS services serving the public sector. As a result, Nearmap established a dedicated government team for North America to streamline its offering to government customers and better address the growing needs in the market.

In 2019, Nearmap released 3D imagery including 3D viewer and 3D export. Collected at massive scale, Nearmap 3D introduces photo realistic 3D imagery with the ability for local governments to quickly export custom areas for use in platforms such as Esri, Bentley Systems, and Autodesk.

In 2020, Nearmap released Nearmap AI allowing governments to instantly identify attributes about properties useful in the appraisal process. Solar panels and swimming pools, among dozens of other attributes, can be automatically identified and exported for use in computer-aided mass appraisal systems.

“These changes come as a direct result from feedback we received from our customers in the government sector,” Clark continued. “There were clear ways we could improve our offering to better meet their needs, and this is our way of saying, ‘we hear you.’”


The phased implementation of these changes was completed in July 2020 and now, governments focused on urban development, emergency response, appraisal, and transportation can expand their use of imagery to improve planning, construction and operations. These enhancements are immediately available for new customers and are currently being rolled out to existing customers with a need for these specific features.

“This is our new normal for the public sector,” Clark said.

In addition to expanded integration options, offline access, and unlimited users and data consumption, Nearmap’s library provides some of the most accurate imagery available with updates occurring up to three times a year throughout more than 430 markets in North America. This frequency of collection allows agencies to make decisions based on conditions in their communities in near-real-time, at a fraction of the cost.


Lake County, Illinois is a county of over 700,000 people located just north of Chicago. The county's GIS and mapping team is a division of the Chief County Assessment Office. The division coordinates GIS data development, develops informative applications, and provides training and support for the county-wide GIS, which directly benefits the public and many other local, state, and federal government agencies.

The team’s open data portal — a cloud-based repository for all publicly available Lake County GIS datasets, applications, PDF maps, and related data — relies heavily on regularly-updated data to inform their work. Having access to Nearmap imagery has allowed these datasets to be updated accurately more frequently, thereby providing users of the open data portal contemporary data they have come to rely on.

“Nearmap’s technology has been instrumental in our ability to continue operating efficiently, especially during COVID-19,” said Keith Caldwell, GIS manager for Lake County, Illinois. “We’ve been working closely with Nearmap for some time to create a solution that works for our needs, and the addition of these features is just what we have been waiting for.”


As the need for reliable GIS services grows and customer needs and applications continue to change, Nearmap stands ready to provide the quality and flexibility its partners need to get the job done.

“These new standards reflect our goal to continually push innovation forward in the public sector, while still meeting their core requirements.” Clark concluded. “We’ll continue to listen to the needs of our customers and work with them to improve our offering as needed to ensure they always have the tools they need.”

About Nearmap

 Nearmap brings the real world to you. Nearmap delivers high-resolution aerial imagery as a service to businesses across the world, powered by industry-leading geospatial mapping technology. Using its own patented camera systems and processing software, Nearmap captures wide-scale urban areas in North America and Australia multiple times each year, making fresh content instantly available in the cloud via web app or API integration.

Every day, Nearmap helps thousands of users conduct virtual site visits for deep, data-driven insights—enabling informed decisions, streamlined operations and robust bottom lines. 

Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap is one of the ten largest aerial survey companies in the world by annual data collection volume and is publicly listed in the ASX 200. For more information, visit https://www.nearmap.com/us/en

You might also be interested in their other content here at DirectionsMag:

Explore Using HD Aerial Imagery for Emergency Preparedness

A Perfect Match: Planning and High-Res, Current Imagery


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