Geomni says UAS can help solve tree coverage imagery problem



Details of residential and commercial structures can be obscured by overreaching tree canopies when satellite and aerial imagery are used to document property values and evaluate roof damage, but using UAS to collect aerial images of rooftops could solve this issue according to Geomni, a Verisk business. 

Geomni, which provides information about residential and commercial structures by utilizing remote sensing and machine learning technologies, says that since UAS can operate in close proximity to the subject, they can provide extremely detailed images, and “deliver superior sub-centimeter resolution for more accurate and detailed data.”

“A drone’s ability to fly under the tree canopy and capture photos of different angles and perspectives makes it possible to capture detailed data about every aspect of the exterior of a building,” says Jeffrey C. Taylor, Geomni’s president.

“We then use artificial intelligence solutions to interpret that data to help create a detailed report about the exterior of a structure, including roof and exterior diagrams with the precise placement of doors, windows, and other structural features.”

According to Taylor, this comprehensive information provided by UAS can help insurance adjusters “underwrite properties and resolve insurance claims” in the event of a loss, much more efficiently than using traditional methods.

“We’ve been encouraged by the data we are able to generate with images from drones and believe this technology may revolutionize the property data industry, enabling virtual roof inspections, automated hail damage assessments, and expanded rural coverage,” Taylor adds.

“Trees have been a major obstacle, reducing our ability to ‘see’ various roof details. Now, we can expand our comprehensive data packages to cover structures that have previously been obscured from fixed-wing flights.”

Centered around an “address- and location-based database of property-related analytics,” Geomni announced a new service back in September in which customers can dispatch a licensed, qualified UAS pilot to collect imagery and data about a structure.

The data collected during the UAS inspection is used to create a Geomni Property data package, which includes “ultrahigh-resolution imagery and 3D exterior roof and wall details that fully integrate with North America’s most widely used repair estimating system.”

The data collected during the inspection augments the data available from Geomni’s expansive database of imagery collected across the country by the company’s fleet of aircraft.