The ability to create figures, conduct desktop reviews, or prepare proposals revolves around the accuracy of site imagery. Having the highest quality, up to date information at the beginning of a project puts the consultant on the front foot when they arrive on-site to complete the investigation.

Knowing what your site looks like not only gives you information about your site but helps explain the details of the site to your clients. Reviewing detailed aerial imagery is key and can reveal a lot about a site. Mapbox provides aerial imagery in evalu8 that covers New Zealand, however, the resolution varies wildly from 20cm to 30m meaning that often the image clarity is poor, often in the highly urbanised areas in which consultants mostly operate.

In Evalu8, we use LINZ aerial images as they provide full coverage of mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands, and other offshore islands. Whilst some rural areas have resolution down to only 10 metres, the coverage of cities can be down to 5cm, which offers excellent resolution of your site. LINZ is slightly limited by the time range of their aerial imagery (2010 – 2020) depending on the area (Balclutha being one of the most recent data sets).

Hana Kirk is the Product Manager for Soil Matters, a soil consultancy based in Christchurch. Soil Matters provide consultancy advice and tailor-made natural Fertilisers to farms throughout New Zealand. As a company, they rely on aerial imagery to review sample points and gain a better understating of their client’s sites and needs. Hana’s base knowledge came from a large company where amongst many things she worked in GIS

I haven’t had much personal experience with high-resolution aerial imagery, in fact, I largely worked with low-resolution imagery which seems to be the standard in NZ.

The potential for high-resolution imagery is massive. Whether it’s through GIS or software like Evalu8, high-resolution imagery is not only nice on the eyes, it enables patterns to be identified and derived from a unique perspective’.

The potential for high-resolution imagery is massive. Whether it’s through GIS or software like Evalu8, high-resolution imagery is not only nice on the eyes, it enables patterns to be identified and derived from a unique perspective’.

It was opinions like Hana’s that drove us to search out high-quality imagery, leading to discussions with Nearmap in March 2020. Nearmap is a premium service that offers high-resolution imagery down to 5cm and ground sampling distance accuracy of less than 7.5cm. Whilst Nearmap does not cover all of New Zealand, it has images of 75% of the populated areas. Nearmap are working on some amazing features like using Artificial Intelligence to identify features in their images such as swimming pools, petrol stations, or solar panels. Whilst A. I is primarily being tested in Australia, Nearmap have identified that A.I., in the contaminated sites industry is something they wish to look into, which would have implications for users of all our images. NearMaps premium imagery is now available to users of Evalu8.

The quality that we now offer from images in Evalu8 for populated areas is fantastic, the images above show the resolution difference between Mapbox, LINZ and Nearmap for a (bridge near Levin) The depth of the image and clarity from Nearmap is fantastic.

We have also spoken to a number of consultants who use Evalu8 to generate high-quality figures for proposals to find out what they think. They tell us there is great value in generating proposal figures as not only does it show the client that they have taken the time to better understand their site, but if they win the project, they already have a detailed sampling plan. Clients are often blown away to see high resolution imagery of their site that they never knew existed, which puts Evalu8 users one step-ahead of the competition.

Take a look for yourself at evalu8.earth today and try the Nearmap imagery for free until the end of the year.

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