Geo Week News

August 9, 2022

Bluesky International Responds to Growing Demand for Geospatial Data

Although Bluesky is a region-specific company, the trend is a global one.
Stock Photo; Ryan Searle

In a field like lidar and other aerial mapping, it’s not just having the best technology that separates the top companies in the industry. Given that the landscape is constantly changing, those that are willing to adapt to sea changes they see around them will be able to stay one step ahead and continue to make their mark. One such example in the world of mapping is Bluesky International, who last year saw a growing demand in their market and responded to it by purchasing a Leica CityMapper-2. Fast-forward a little over a calendar year, and they are once again seeing an increase in demand for their software.

Bluesky International is an aerial surveying company based out of the United Kingdom and operates within the UK, as well as the Republic of Ireland. They’ve also branched out to provide services in the Northeastern United States after acquiring Col-East in 2017. Founded in 2003, Bluesky provides an array of survey, geographic, and CAD data, including aerial photography, mapping, and lidar data. They offer a variety of different options for their customers, including but not limited to the aforementioned aerial photography, thermal imagery, lidar height data, 3D city models, and an Air Quality Mapper which measures the amount of nitrogen dioxide over an area.

According to a blog on their website, the company is seeing a “huge upsurge in the demand for same day delivery [of] geospatial data.” They note a wide variety of industries who have been accessing their aerial photography and 3D height data, as well as other map layers, including architecture industry, construction, agriculture, land management, and planning and utilities. The company notes downloads from their Mapshop has risen by a third over the past year, which they say has been spurred by the rise of remote working as well as increased focus on environmental analysis in recent years.

This tracks with what other market trackers have noted as well, as the geospatial data space in general has seen tremendous growth in recent years and figures to continue along the path moving forward as well. A recent study indicates that the global geospatial market is estimated to be worth $1.44 trillion by 2030. In Europe alone, the market is estimated to be worth $155 billion with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.61%.

While Bluesky only covers specific areas for their users in the UK, Ireland, and the Northeastern United States, they are certainly seeing this increase in demand play out in their market as the only commercial aerial mapping company to have full coverage of high-resolution imagery and height data of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. They’ve seen an uptick particularly in Ireland, where Ralph Coleman, sales director at Bluesky, notes they’ve seen an increase in downloads of Irish data of nearly 90 percent compared to 2021.

Coleman also echoes the point that the lockdown and demand for remote access to this data drove a lot of the increase in their business, noting that, “being able to remotely experience an environment and make decisions based on accurate, up-to-date geographic intelligence, from your desk, whether that is back in the office or at the kitchen table, is now the new norm and we expect demand will continue to grow.” Few would disagree with that last assertion around the growth in this space, and companies like Bluesky that recognize the opportunity and are ready for it will be the ones who benefit the most.

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