•  February 16, 2021

    Introducing Hexagon Content Plus Aerial Imagery for State and Metro Government

    This article was originally published by Applied Geographics Inc. (AppGeo), a company acquired by The Sanborn Map Company Inc in September 2022.

    Synopsis: The marketplace around Imagery Content is shifting rapidly. The switch from contracting to licensing agreements has changed what states are looking for and what they are willing to pay. To help meet this need, Hexagon has introduced a new licensed product called Content Plus. 

    AppGeo has worked with Hexagon as an authorized distributor on a number of GIS projects helping Texas, California, and Utah obtain high quality imagery on a subscription basis. This webinar (recorded on February 16th, 2020) brings together Katie Fitzsimmons, (former) Business Development Leader at Hexagon, Bill Johnson, Carpe Geo Evangelist at AppGeo, David Breeding, Director of Analytics at AppGeo, and Aaron Doucett, Sales Engineer and GIS analyst from AppGeo to examine the new features of Content Plus from Hexagon, which is supported by the AppGeo Giza Streaming Services appliance. 

    An Evolving Marketplace

    Johnson: “Imagery license or content programs have been evolving very quickly. I’ve been surprised at just how quickly all this change is taking place. It’s turning out to be a fantastic time to be a buyer in this market. It’s all very exciting!”

    Aerial imagery is an important tool for planners and policy makers. However, the contracting model that has been common in the field has begun to shift from custom collection towards licensed or subscription-based products instead. The USDA led the charge by allowing collected data to be used for later resale back into the market, lowering costs and providing more opportunities for data to be used. Many states have followed USDA’s lead, and have begun to shift over towards content programs.

    Hexagon’s Content+ (Plus) Program

    Fitzsimmons: “ States want the best data to deliver to their stakeholders and their constituents. There is certainly hesitation about moving towards a licensed content product, they fear that decision makers will lose control over the technical specification. That’s why with Content Plus we wanted to emphasize that flexibility. We allow the state to maintain all of their specifications, such as resolution or when they fly (leaf on or leaf off), but still put that data into our content program for resale. It’s the best of both worlds, states get to meet their requirements but for a lower price point.”

    States need to get the most out of their budget while still meeting constituent and project needs. The advantage of a licensed program is that because the data can be resold it costs less for any one buyer in the marketplace. The “catch” is giving up ownership of the data and replacing that with a licensing agreement about how that data can be used. 

    Even for data which fall under public domain sharing requirements, these agreements still allow the public sharing of that data, just at lower resolutions than the marketplace product. However, even these reduced resolutions are often a step-up from previous state systems. Additionally, Content Plus allows for limited data-sharing between relevant stakeholders and third-parties, allowing for necessary collaborations. 

    New Sensor Technology

    Beyond an improved price and flexibility with Content Plus, Hexagon is also making use of the new Leica ContentMapper sensor to collect higher resolution data more efficiently. With twice the swath width and better resolution, mapping will require less time in the air, resulting in significant savings. 

    How do I access cloud-based imagery data?

    Access and control over the cloud-based imagery data stores is achieved using a cached tiles and a tile streaming service. AppGeo has built an exceptional service called Giza. Giza not only is fast, but it provides all the controls needed for full imagery program management. 

    Breeding: “AppGeo has been developing and honing this platform for about 6 years. It brings imagery from the cloud to where people want to consume it. We also wanted to give organizations the flexibility to provision this imagery in the ways that made the most sense for them, as well as respecting restrictions that might come with that data. But the unique value of Giza is to facilitate a better understanding of how that data is being used across an organization.”

    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 much 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. 

    Download our definitive 2022 aerial imagery guide here. 

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