Nearmap’s new MapBrowser tools improve measurement precision, imagery for remote solar design

nearmap rooftop design

We gave this a mention in our top storylines from Solar Power International this year, but Nearmap is changing the game for remote design for solar installers with a complete measurement toolset in MapBrowser for the solar, roofing and other rooftop industries. The new MapBrower tools allow users to measure roof-pitch, height, width and area, enabling roofers and solar installers to confidently measure rooftops and structures from high-resolution oblique aerial images.

The new MapBrowser helps customers significantly reduce onsite visits during the quoting and planning stages of projects and complements their remote roof/site inspection workflows, giving many small businesses the power of expensive systems that only large companies use.

“Gone are the days of climbing on roofs to take measurements. Delivered to the cloud within days of capture, our aerial imagery allows roofers, solar companies and other small businesses to carry out assessments from the comfort of their office,” said Tony Agresta, Executive Vice President of Product, Nearmap. “Once the domain of large companies, the new features provide businesses of all shapes and sizes with the tools they need to save time, plan and estimate more accurately at a fraction of the price.”

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Using Nearmap’s new tools, roofers and solar companies will be able to:

• Prospect more efficiently by viewing and expanding opportunities through aerial maps instead of other, more traditional ways.
• Process leads more quickly by qualifying prospects prior to visiting a potential job.
• Reduce costs associated with the qualification and proposal stages.
• Create better proposals using up-to-date, high-resolution photos, giving companies a better chance at winning a client’s business.
• Close more sales with the most accurate and competitive quotes.
• Increase revenue without adding systems or headcount.

Businesses in construction, home building, painting, insurance and other industries can also benefit from these new tools to accurately measure areas on properties in three dimensions. Nearmap’s aerial imagery can help users to show context for work being done, and the imagery can be annotated with notes, drawings and measurements that provide details of the plan.

Nearmap Oblique imagery can be accessed through a standard web browser using Nearmap’s intuitive MapBrowser application. In addition, Nearmap Oblique photos are published at sub-7.5cm Ground Sampling Distance (GSD)—better than satellite imagery—which allows users to see great detail.

— Solar Builder magazine

Nearmap now offers complete aerial map measurement tools for solar installers, roofers

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Nearmap, a premium provider of high-resolution aerial maps, is introducing a complete measurement toolset in MapBrowser for the solar, roofing and other rooftop industries. Referenced in our top storylines from SPI, the new tools allow users to measure roof-pitch, height, width and area, enabling roofers and solar installers to confidently measure rooftops and structures from high-resolution oblique aerial images.

The new MapBrowser helps customers significantly reduce onsite visits during the quoting and planning stages of projects and complements their remote roof/site inspection workflows, giving many small businesses the power of expensive systems that only large companies use.

sb-econference-web-post

“Gone are the days of climbing on roofs to take measurements,” said Tony Agresta, Executive Vice President of Product, Nearmap. “Delivered to the cloud within days of capture, our aerial imagery allows roofers, solar companies and other small businesses to carry out assessments from the comfort of their office. Once the domain of large companies, the new features provide businesses of all shapes and sizes with the tools they need to save time, plan and estimate more accurately at a fraction of the price.”

Using Nearmap’s new tools, roofers and solar companies could do the following:

  • Prospect more efficiently by viewing and expanding opportunities through aerial maps instead of other, more traditional ways.
  • Process leads more quickly by qualifying prospects prior to visiting a potential job.
    Reduce costs associated with the qualification and proposal stages.
  • Create better proposals using up-to-date, high-resolution photos, giving companies a better chance at winning a client’s business.
  • Close more sales with the most accurate and competitive quotes.
  • Increase revenue without adding systems or headcount.

Businesses in construction, home building, painting, insurance and other industries can also benefit from these new tools to accurately measure areas on properties in three dimensions. Nearmap’s aerial imagery can help users to show context for work being done, and the imagery can be annotated with notes, drawings and measurements that provide details of the plan.

— Solar Builder magazine

Aurora Solar sales, design software now includes HD aerial images from Nearmap

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Aurora Solar, a solar sales and design software leader that was in our nine customer service products to watch, sent word that it is now partnering with Nearmap for a serious upgrade to its site image interface. Through this collaboration, Nearmap’s up-to-date, sub 3” GSD imagery is now available within Aurora’s software, helping solar installers design and sell with exact precision.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nearmap to provide aerial imagery to solar installers across the country,” said Chris Hopper, CEO and co-founder of Aurora Solar. “By integrating high-resolution imagery with our industry-leading software, we empower solar installers to quote with confidence—reducing the number of truck rolls required. This is the next big step in remote solar design.”

Previously, Aurora has enabled its users to design over 1 million solar projects, with over 60,000 projects designed in March 2018 alone. Now, in addition to satellite imagery, Aurora customers can utilize high-resolution and current Nearmap imagery for increased accuracy and informed decision-making.

RELATED: How Momentum Solar doubled its business with aerial imaging software

“We’re excited to announce this relationship because it offers a lot of flexibility for both Nearmap and Aurora customers. The partnership offers solutions for businesses of all sizes. Organizations can choose from different licensing models: pay as you go, with unlimited access to imagery, or per bundle through Aurora, which provides a more flexible option based on the needs of the user,” said Patrick Quigley, EVP of Nearmap U.S. In addition, existing Nearmap customers can also authenticate their Nearmap licenses in Aurora.

Alex Chelius of Momentum Solar notes that this integration will “significantly increase our productivity as well as accuracy.”

Aurora Solar users now can …

• Reduce costly, time-intensive on-site visits with Nearmap aerial captures. The imagery’s detail enables professionals to measure and design from the comfort of an office with a precision that rivals traditional measuring methods.

• Enhance their shading analysis and remote system design processes by utilizing high definition images to better model sites.
• Increase the number of leads they nurture by spending less time on each lead. Aurora users are now able to expand their coverage area rapidly.

• Access Nearmap historical captures so users can visualize the property through all seasons.

“Every design begins with imagery, and high-quality imagery helps designers create permit-quality drawings and game-changing proposals,” said JT McCook, sales consultant at Aurora Solar. “That’s why this integration is so exciting; it allows solar installers to create highly accurate 3D models remotely.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Eye in the Sky: How Momentum Solar doubled its business with aerial imaging software

Eye IllustrationWith the help of emerging technologies, the installation and maintenance of solar power sources is both easier and more cost effective than ever before. As a result, more and more homes and businesses will be looking to reap the benefits of this renewable resource, which makes high-resolution, aerial imagery a solar professional’s best friend.

Prospect Remotely

Sending technicians onto the roof to measure for estimates can be costly and time consuming, from safety and insurance to lost opportunity. On-site evaluations can cost a company up to $300 per assessment. That specialty solar technician can assess up to five roofs per day, so it’s easy to see how costs add up while those operating remotely with precise aerial imagery can complete a virtual site assessment in mere minutes. Solar professionals prospecting for new business with high-resolution aerial imagery also save significant time and money on travel and labor costs.

Momentum Solar of Metuchen, N.J., used Nearmap aerial imagery to qualify properties without having to leave the office, which changed the trajectory of the company.

“We are growing at such a rapid rate,” said James Kennedy, Momentum’s program manager for sales proposal development. “High-resolution imagery is the perfect solution to accommodate that growth. We have increased our weekly qualifications from 2,000 up to 3,000 to 5,000 on average. We’ve also reduced the turnaround time on qualifications by nearly two weeks.”

Momentum can now pre-design a newly constructed home’s array instead of needing to do a site assessment before proposing the project. This technology allows Momentum the opportunity to earn the business before they would have previously even quoted the project.

Design with Precision

Laying out a design for a solar array is a precise and delicate science. Technicians need to know exact measurements, dimensions and optimum placement to ensure an accurate, yet efficient, amount of power is created.

High-resolution imagery takes all the guesswork out of solar installation with 2.8-in. clarity and highly accurate virtual measuring tools. With many applications integrated with this imagery, solar installers can place virtual solar panels atop customer rooftops, mitigating unnecessary risk and reducing travel time and labor costs.
For Momentum Solar, using high-resolution imagery reduces rework/resubmissions on proposals, lowers cancellation rates and ensures the best possible customer experience. In addition, installers can measure expected energy output and shaded areas without actually being there.

“Because we can accurately assess properties pre-sale, we go into the proposal with definite solutions and more confidence. Clients enjoy seeing what the end product will look like through panels virtually placed on the aerial images,” Kennedy said.

arial view of residential solar

Cut Software Overhead

It’s important to have your plans and information on the fly these days. Whether you’re working on a project remotely or are out in the field with the technicians, having digitized, up-to-the-minute schematics on any given project is a must. Add in the speed and simplicity of cloud delivery and you get instantaneous access without the complexity.

“Before using high-resolution imagery, the qualification and assessment process required toggling between three different satellite imagery programs and then a fourth program for panel layout,” Kennedy said. “Now, all the necessary information is in one easy-to-use program. We can decide if the property is suitable for solar within two to three minutes. The high-resolution images reveal roof space, shading and any obstructions so we can make accurate, timely assessments.”

Tony Agresta is the VP of marketing for Nearmap.

— Solar Builder magazine

How Momentum Solar used aerial imaging software to grow its install business

Savvy solar installation companies are using technology to their advantage to nimbly grow their business. An example just sent our way: Momentum Solar, a solar installation company headquartered in Metuchen, N.J., has been able to expand its services nationwide due in part to its adoption of Nearmap’s software, which provides high-resolution aerial imagery to accelerate site assessments.

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Nearmap high-resolution PhotoMaps showing Momentum Solar installation in Kearny, NJ – Oct. 2016.

By using Nearmap’s aerial imagery combined with PV design tools, Momentum has seen dramatic decreases in its proposal lead time—from hours to minutes—and has nearly doubled the number of homes it can qualify each week—from 2,000 to between 3,000 and 5,000.

“With Nearmap, all the necessary information is in one easy-to-use program,” said James Kennedy, Momentum’s program manager for sales proposal development. “We can decide if the property is suitable for solar within two to three minutes. The high-resolution imagery displays roof space, shading and any obstructions so we can make accurate, timely assessments. Because we can accurately assess properties pre-sale, we go into the proposal with definite solutions and more confidence. Clients enjoy seeing what the end product will look like through panels virtually placed on Nearmap’s aerial captures. This gives us an edge in our business progression.”

RELATED: Four steps for converting more solar sales 

Nearmap benefits for Momentum Solar

• The accuracy and timeliness of images allow Momentum to have faster and more accurate assessments, allowing time for more successful appointments each day.
• Nearmap’s high-resolution images make solar panel planning easier. Higher resolution images lead to better measurements, allowing Momentum to better plan and visualize where solar panels can be placed on a roof.
• Momentum can create a panel placement proposal in 5-7 minutes, a task that previously took two to three times that long.
• Nearmap’s efficient design makes it easy for Momentum to show its customers exactly what the final results will look like, and quickly make any necessary adjustments.

Nearmap also gives Momentum an advantage in the ability to see images of a property in the past. These images taken at different times of the year allow Momentum to see a property in all seasons. Bare trees pose no problem to solar panels in the winter, but when the trees are in full bloom during spring and summer, they can create enough shade to disqualify a home or severely inhibit a system’s production. Switching between past and present images gives a more complete understanding of a property and allows for proper qualification of a home.

— Solar Builder magazine