If your business, non-profit, or research team is involved in activities that require updated aerial maps, it’s important to know that not all Web Map Services (WMS) offer updated aerial maps.
Some aerial imagery services are free but offer old aerial imagery that may not suit specific business, non-profit, or research purposes. Some aerial imagery services offer updated aerial maps but at a price that is so out of budget range that it’s not feasible.
So, what’s the solution?
MapSavvy Offers Updated Aerial Maps & Historic Images, Too
MapSavvy is based on Bing Maps, which introduced a series of updated aerial maps world wide in 2018. As a result, WMS (web map services) like MapSavvy offer users the ability to access the latest updated aerial imagery of a city or landscape, and at a fraction of the cost of other web map services.
There are many reasons why businesses, non-profits & research teams need updated aerial maps. One of the most common applications is to offer Before-After comparisons of a specific area from an aerial view. Some examples include:
- Development: Developers who are pitching a big mixed-use project often show a Before image of the proposed development area,along with an After image of previous projects to help stakeholders visualize the proposed development.
- Climate Change Researchers: Climate change research is in particular need of Before-After image comparisons to visually show the rate of climate change in the form of receding glaciers, dried up bodies of water &more.
- Post-Storm Damage Assessment: Before-After images of the recent hurricane that hit Florida literally showed that the storm had changed the terrain and literally washed away portions of land. Post-storm damage assessment teams from local, state & federal found those Before-After images invaluable in assessing infrastructure rebuild priorities.
Do Your Homework: Huge Differences in Pricing for Updated Aerial Images
As we’ve mentioned before, there are a number of free aerial imagery services. The problem is that many of those free services have aerial imagery that’s 10 year sold, or more. So, they may be free but those services with old aerial images don’t meet the needs of businesses, non-profits & research teams that need updated aerial maps for their work.
For the web map services that do offer updated aerial maps, the pricing can be confusing& complex, resulting in huge bills that were not anticipated. Here’s a quick look at some of the ways updated aerial images are priced:
Flat Fee/Worldwide Imagery: Aerial imagery services like MapSavvy charge one flat fee to access aerial imagery worldwide. In MapSavvy’s case, the cost is $500 for the year to access updated aerial maps, as well as historic images. This is typically the most cost-effective pricing.
Pricing by Region or Area: Some web map services charge “ala carte,” i.e. you have to pay by area or region. The more regions for which you need aerial imagery, the more you pay.
For businesses,non-profits & research teams that are on a budget, it’s important to know the various type of pricing models. To make sure you’re opting for the most cost-effective updated aerial maps, ask the following questions:
What’s the geographic area for which I need aerial maps or aerial imagery?
Will my geographic range expand over time for the areas where I need aerial maps or aerial imagery?
How many aerial images or maps will I need over the course of a year?
Answer those questions and then use that information to determine what you will pay for updated aerial maps on the various platforms. This will allow you to make an informed decision on web map services.
Want to learn tips on how to buy aerial imagery services? Access our new MapSavvy Web Mapping Buying Guide.