The global aerial imaging market is projected to reach USD 3.3 billion by 2024. Aerial imaging involves capturing images of the ground using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, dirigibles, blimps, kites, and parachutes. It provides useful information for volume calculation map renovations, planning, and route design.
Factors driving the market are popularity of aerial images and the need for geospatial information in various fields. It derives much of its demand from forestry & agriculture and other commercial sectors. Advances in technology such as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) and airborne GPS (global positioning system) can boost market growth during the forecast period (2016-2024). Camera technologies such as Microsoft’s Hawk & Eagle and Vexcel Imaging’s UltraCam Osprey can fuel industry demand. But security concerns and operational issues can impede growth.
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The worldwide Aerial Imaging Market is segmented according to applications and regions. Insurance, government, military & defense, agricultural & forestry, GIS (geographical information system), civil engineering, commercial, and energy are the key application areas. Military & defense will exceed USD 250 million by 2024. UAVs and Personal Aerial Mapping System (PAMS) are used by the military for reconnaissance missions. These systems are also employed in ground-based commercial applications. PAMS provide detailed photographs of surfaces at affordable costs.
UAVs can be deployed even in highly dangerous military operations, since these can execute accurate and repetitive commands in unfavorable settings. Farmers use UAVs to monitor their fields and crops. The insurance sector uses it to survey damages after floods or hurricanes and thus settle claims. Energy companies use aerial imagery to inspect transmission lines, gather data from solar & wind power plants, and provide additional security to these plants.
Government applications are estimated to cross over USD 950 million by 2024. The government sector uses drones for urban planning, energy management, environmental planning, and homeland security. Commercial applications could generate maximum revenue during the forecast period. These include advertising and promotional activities. Aerial photography provides land cover maps, soil maps, and vegetation maps with the help of spatial data. Combining this technology with GIS can aid in urban planning.
Regions include Europe, North America, Latin America (LATAM), Asia Pacific (APAC), and Middle East & Africa (MEA). APAC is expected to garner over USD 500 million by 2024. The growth can be attributed to the presence of semiconductor industries in the region. Consumer needs and rapid technological developments will fuel demand. North America will lead the global Aerial Imaging Market over the forecast period. This owes to the growth of the telecommunications industry. Europe will experience modest growth in the aforementioned period.
Prominent players in the global Aerial Imaging Market are Kucera International Inc., EagleView Technologies, AeroMetric Inc., and Google Inc. Some of these companies market their own software & equipment, while others lease them or operate within the industry by collaborating with software providers. For instance, EagleView Technologies offers real estate, energy & utilities, construction, real estate, and safety & federal applications. New market entrants can act as data partners to existing companies or act as separate imaging companies. Participants undertake initiatives to develop current technologies to gain a competitive edge in the market.