Time and time again, occurrences of natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Turkey and Syria earlier this year, have shown the key role that mapping can play in disaster response. One company, Site Tour 360, is taking on the challenge of doing 360° street-level capture in areas of the US immediately impacted by natural disasters, starting in 2018 with Hurricane Michael. In the aftermath of this hurricane, Site Tour collected 360° imagery in Mexico Beach, Florida, a city heavily affected by the hurricane. This imagery proved to be extremely useful for damage assessments, evaluating infrastructure durability, and planning recovery efforts. In the years since Hurricane Michael, Site Tour has continued with its disaster mapping efforts, capturing thousands of miles of 360° images in the wake of floods, fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes in various parts of the United States and the Caribbean.
More recently, Site Tour has begun using Mapillary to host street-level imagery post-disasters, such as on Sanibel Island, Florida after Hurricane Ian in 2022. Site Tour was tasked with capturing imagery once access to the island had been restored. They believe in open data knowing that, following a disaster, the more eyes that are viewing the imagery, the better the chance of finding those in need and providing assistance. There are dozens of disaster relief organizations responding to any given event, and Mapillary provides a common space for everyone to view and utilize imagery to more accurately determine the areas that are in critical need of assistance and ensures intelligent allocation of time and energy.
Also important to consider is the equipment involved in large-scale projects such as this. For the last 9 months, the Site Tour team has been using a Mosaic 51 camera, which has afforded them the ability to capture 360° imagery at up to 12K resolution. In addition, the Site Tour team noted that this camera is well-suited for the type of fieldwork they’re involved in, as it allows for a rapid workflow for processing high-resolution imagery.
Over the past few years, Site Tour has developed their techniques for planning, capturing, processing, uploading, and viewing of large scale 360° imagery sets such that the imagery is available within 24 to 36 hours of capture. Mapillary is one more tool that Site Tour utilizes to make imagery widely available to a broad audience in a timely fashion – doing so is critical for making post-disaster imagery available for organizations involved in the response.
Disaster relief requires a multi-pronged approach, and the capture of street-level imagery is one impactful way that even the average person can contribute, armed with just their smartphone and the Mapillary app.
Are you facing similar challenges in your city? Do you want to learn more about how you can get started with Mapillary? Please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’re happy to help!
/Chad & Nav