Building Footprint GIS Data Works with Satellite Imagery for a More Complete View

Digital technology is evolving at an exponential rate, each advance creating new possibilities never considered. GPS and GIS technologies are continually growing in capability and application. Google Earth has opened the door to new uses and developments finding their way into daily use.

Building Footprints Provide Data Limited by Satellite Imagery Alone

Building footprints are a relatively new development. Satellite imagery gives us an unbelievable view of almost any property on the planet – unless there are trees present. Using special algorithms, the outline of each and every structure on a property, or its building footprint, can now be clearly displayed without being limited by landscape and other items impeding the satellite imagery.

Google Earth has been refining their capabilities and adding building footprints since 2012 and now you can view buildings worldwide in both 2 and 3 dimensions. Building footprints offer a whole new level of detail.

Benefits of Building Footprint Data with Property Lines

In addition to building footprints derived from satellite imagery, many municipalities have created 2 dimensional images of the structures within their communities. Using the building footprint imagery, you can:

– Identify the number of buildings on a property.
– Identify buildings hidden in aerial photos where the canopy of a tree covers the building.
– Identify the risk of a building from nearby trees, water, and other hazards that may put the building at risk.
– Confirm a primary buildings exact location on the parcel for complete location accuracy supporting rooftop geocoding and geofencing applications.
– Use the parcel and building geometries as a foundation for associating other data to a specific location, business or use.

Building Footprint as a GIS Layer

By combining GIS data layers, community planners benefit in areas such as infrastructure location, fire department emergency response, disaster planning, etc. (read Disaster Planning, Management and Recovery with GIS Data)  In this environment of rapidly evolving digital technology, as more information becomes available, more ways will be found to leverage this data and create answers to questions we never considered. We can’t help but wonder, what’s next?