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Freya Jackson
Freya Jackson

How Up to Date Satellite Imagery can Track Construction from Space


Satellite imagery is a product of our technology-rich modern world. It's hard to believe that the first ever images of earth were actually taken from space during suborbital flights in 1946!


Moving into the 21st century, the growing availability of up-to-date satellite imagery has introduced businesses and governmental organisations to the real potential of data gained from space.


Most of us will be familiar with Google Earth, launched in 2006. We have probably all spent some time searching the map for satellite images of our homes and favourite holiday destinations, but not knowing how recently the images were taken - many of these images are in fact, years out of date! Businesses are now choosing to go one step further and are taking advantage of the many commercial satellites producing up-to-date, high quality images of locations on earth.


One sector set to be disrupted by a growing satellite image market is the construction industry; they have the opportunity of tracking construction projects from space with regular acquisitions.


How can the latest satellite imagery help the construction industry?

The average large construction firm has multiple projects running simultaneously all across the globe. Naturally, keeping tabs on the progress of these sites is of utmost importance; since a project running over its deadline can prove incredibly costly.


Most companies, therefore, invest time and money in the progress tracking of these sites. However... the manpower involved in tracking this process is huge but could be replaced by involving satellites taking regular up-to-date images of construction sites, that can then be compared, to show changes over time. Making sure that construction projects run on time is beneficial for all parties: including investment banks, hedge funds and contractors. It’s important to keep everyone involved in the project well-informed - something automatic satellite imagery can assist with easily.


The uses of the most up to date satellite imagery can be pushed even further. Alongside the tracking of a company’s own construction sites, current satellite imagery can be used to track competitors' construction projects. Large developing areas, such as Dubai or the overall United Arab Emirates, could be monitored for newly appearing construction sites. Staying clued up on competitors’ actions is made so much easier with the most current satellite imagery.  


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The logistics of getting up to date satellite images


We still need to explain how this all works.


First off, the task of getting hold of up-to-date satellite images has become so much easier over the years, with providers such as NASA and the European Space Agency providing free access to images. Secondly, people can also buy better quality satellite imagery directly from satellite providers such as Airbus and DigitalGlobe, whose images are provided in an online platform. Bird.i’s Image Service collates all services' images, giving you the very best of satellite providers on top of a mapping application; offering an easy to use solution of searching for locations, and at a lower cost.


The idea of extracting data from the latest satellite images to assist tracking construction sites may sound complicated at first, but you’ll be happy to know that the concept is actually very simple. Our White Paper explains it all; give it a read for for a straightforward explanation of how data from space can benefit building insights on earth.


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