Satellite Imagery for the Real Estate Industry
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Satellite Imagery for the Real Estate Industry

Artificial Intelligence | Monitoring | Real Estate

This article will provide companies in the real estate industry an overview of how to leverage satellite imagery to identify investment opportunities, monitor construction development, and project trends before your competitors.


There is an ever-growing number of satellites being sent to space equipped with different cameras and sensors capable of sensing almost anything that can be seen in the ground.  This abundance of data is creating several interesting new applications that can be immediately leveraged by real estate owners to improve their returns. Here are just a few of the opportunities that geospatial data can offer to real estate investors and operators:


Improved Investment Analysis

The old adage of real estate is true: It’s all about location, location, location. But what if you could identify trends before others. Here are just a few ways geospatial analytics are used by forward-thinking investors:

  • Quantify active project development, as compared to previous years;
  • Compare the rates of active development for different regions in a city;
  • Evaluating zoning projects;
  • Identify the areas that are gentrifying the fastest;
  • Plan large construction projects, including land management & water management
  • Monitoring construction projects development; and
  • Measuring urban density and urban sprawl


Over the last 20 years, we’ve evolved from using traditional paper maps -> Periodically updated Google Maps -> County GIS websites -> data-driven GIS solutions to identify insights. Data-driven real estate investors derive more forward-looking insights that drive outsized returns. The below images show the areas with zoning changes in Toronto, Canada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. They clearly show the rate of urban sprawl but also the trend of development in these very different cities.


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Five-year urban sprawl changes from various cities around the world


We use computer vision and satellite image analysis to derive insights. Satellite image analysis enables us to analyze how a location changes over time or identify small objects vs. large features on the imagery at a large scale. This is done precisely and quickly through the use of remote sensing, artificial intelligence algorithms, and geographic information systems applications.


Artificial intelligence applied to real estate investing

Professionals leverage high-resolution satellite imagery & AI to:

  • Detect changes to properties including their amenities and features;
  • Detect property characteristics by identifying relevant assets such as the number of trees, swimming pools, property size; and
  • Detect and quantify man-made damage or natural disaster


Pre and post satellite imagery that shows flooded properties on Paradise park during the Nebraska flooding last March 2019


Key benefits for real estate professionals

Image classification for real-estate and property assessment applications 


As access to satellite imagery becomes increasingly available, Proimagery is helping investors capitalize in the following ways:

  • Property Valuation

Real estate businesses that focused on financial and loans services such as banks benefit by being able to accurately view features and amenities on secured properties. Access to historical archives of images also allows us to estimate changes to the property and establish trends.

  • Reduced travel costs

Access to satellite imagery provides real estate businesses the ability to monitor large area development properties remotely reducing the need for on-site inspections.

  • Operations expense reduction

Information and insights derived from satellite images can provide tracking of changes over a development project so that property developers can receive a notification when their attention is needed.

  • Systematic planning

Real estate companies can use the power of satellite imagery and geographic information systems by creating site suitability analysis on scouting locations for potential projects and development. By adding satellite imagery to the decision-making process, it can speed up the due diligence process by eliminating sites that do not meet the investment criteria.

  • Macro and Micro insights

Access to a global repository of satellite constellations can help to monitor urban development changes on a large scale such as city-wide, region-wide, or country-wide changes. This allows for a better understanding of how the market is changing in a certain area and this could also be used to have the opportunity to gain competitive insights amongst competitors.


Timelapse of Calgary Market from 2015 to Present



Real Estate Investing is already a data-driven industry. Adding geospatial intelligence into your existing workflow provides one additional tool to help evaluate deal opportunities. If you’re interested in driving increased ROI in your portfolio, reach out to us.