Aerial Imagery Software Streamlines City Work in Sioux Falls

To get a bird's-eye view of the city, Sioux Falls, S.D., has partnered with Nearmap, an aerial imagery technology company, to track the progress of its roadway construction and large landscape projects.

The city of Sioux Falls, S.D., from the air.
The city of Sioux Falls, S.D., from the air.
The city of Sioux Falls, S.D., has partnered with aerial imagery company Nearmap to track the city’s evolving landscapes and roadway construction projects. 

The subscription-based partnership will allow the city to access high-resolution aerial imagery captured annually by one of the company's planes, according to Sioux Falls Civic Analytics Manager Lauri Sohl.
Once the images are captured, they are processed, stitched together and uploaded to an on-premises environment where they can be reviewed and analyzed by city staff, she said.
“Reaching out to Nearmap was a game-changer for us,” Sohl said. “Through this partnership, we are able to not only access current images of the city but also have access to historical imagery too.”
Through this historical imagery feature, Sohl said, city officials have been able to go back and review events over time, including code enforcement incidents or environmental issues that have impacted the city.
In addition to reviewing past events, Sioux Falls has also used the technology to address planning challenges, such as finishing a major corridor construction project and assessing its landfill. 
The reason this technology works so well in a city environment, Brett Clark, director of sales for Nearmap’s public sector North America, said, is because it allows us to get a clearer picture from a higher altitude without having to worry about issues associated with flying closer to the ground. 
For example, he said, Nearmap planes can fly above 10,000 feet but get the same resolution you might expect at 5,000 feet, which allows for more frequent flights and images for cities to analyze.

Katya Maruri is a staff writer for Government Technology. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University, and more than five years of experience in the print and digital news industry.