As previously announced, the streaming Google orthoimagery service subscription expires May 26th. Google has discontinued the program and diverse imagery needs in Massachusetts are best met, for now, with imagery owned by the state. Most recently these needs were met with a multi-agency funding model in partnership with the US Geological Survey. This resulted in the 2019 orthoimagery.
With funding from the State 911 Department, Google’s orthoimagery was provided by MassGIS to licensed users (everyone else could view for free online). Google contractors flew the planes, captured and processed the photographs, then made them available to MassGIS via Applied Geographics’ GIZA Tile Serving Appliance. Per Google licensing requirements, MassGIS created and managed accounts for eligible users, usually one per municipality or for companies doing work on their behalf. Licensed users consumed the imagery using different types of software clients such as desktop GIS, desktop CAD and web GIS. While the imagery did not always meet everyone’s needs, as documented below, this program was nonetheless successful; it also filled a void at a time when state agency funding was not available.
How successful was this program?
- Over 210 million requests were received by the platform via WMTS or WMS
- These streaming requests represent over 32 terabytes of data
- 311 organizational accounts were created
- 25 flights (each flight was a portion of the state) were license, capturing imagery from 2013-2018