Environmental scientists rely on high quality imagery taken from satellite or aircraft to perform important surveys over expansive areas. High image quality and frequent temporal resolution are particularly valued monitoring for the protection and restoration of wetland areas. But high costs and uneven image quality have given TerrAvion an opportunity to disrupt the status quo by offering a streamlined solution to yield very high quality multispectral imagery for less than 5% the cost of traditional imagery.
For many scientists, implementing a comprehensive aerial imagery program is a time consuming and costly endeavor. Traditional aerial imagery can be obtained by:
1. Rent a plane
2. Hire a pilot and photographer
3. Create a flight plan
4. Fly the site
5. Capture, store, process potentially hundreds of images
6. Georectify and mosaic images together
All together, these steps could potentially cost thousands of dollars.
Free options are available, from Earth Explorer, NOAA, NAIP, county and city databases, or commercial satellite vendors. However, working with these present their own challenges. Image resolution and quality standards can vary. For example, certain artifacts (like clouds) may be overlaid. Some images may come georectified, some not, forcing the end user to perform additional steps before actually using the imagery.
TerrAvion’s solution helps scientists get the images they need as quickly as possible and spending time on what matters to them:
1. Draw a simple Google Earth KML file
2. Upload it to the TerrAvion website or send to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Confirm shapefile, total acreage, and flight details with customer support team
4. Receive automated email when images are available (24 hours after flight)
5. Download and share with collaborators
While we strive for continuous improvement, it is nice to see feedback on our imagery. One of our early adopters, Stuart Siegel, Ph.D, P.W.S., of Siegel Environmental notes that, “TerrAvion imagery appears to present a breakthrough in wetland monitoring. Acquisition efforts are simple to arrange, costs are so low that larger areas and more frequent flights are very affordable, data is GIS-ready, and the four spectra provided greatly improved interpretive capabilities.”