Google Earth is set to get a competitor from an Australian Company which has been banking big money from a series of patent case wins in US courts.The new service will be rolled out overv 200 Cities and will refresh images more often than Google Earth.
WA-based Ipernica is set to aquire a former Telstra spinoff named QPSX NearMap for $16 million, a Perth-based geospatial media company, which claims its high-resolution aerial photomaps can be updated much more frequently than those on the popular Google Earth, which are often many months out of date.
“People will be able to see the environment change over time as NearMap’s online photomaps allow users to move back and forward month by month to see changes occur, such as the construction of a home or development of a new road,” Ipernica told the ASX yesterday.
NearMap, established by WA inventor and patent holder Stuart Nixon, aims to cover 700 cities worldwide, holding more than 20 percent of the world’s population, with photomaps updated at least on a monthly basis.
“As the global US$400 billion media industry and US$10 billion geospatial industry evolves, and with consumer interest created by Google Earth media, companies will increasingly deliver online-location based services and advertising to exploit consumer and industry demand. NearMap is positioned to meet this demand by delivering significantly better resolution multiple views and more frequent updates,” Ipernica said.
Ipernica will pay $4 million in cash and $12 million in shares for NearMap. It also plans to pump $1 million cash into the mapping company if for some reason the takeover does not go ahead this will be converted into a 10 percent interest.
Stuart Nixon will remain CEO of NearMap following completion of the deal and will have full operational responsibility for the business, the parties said. Nixon said he was delighted by the deal, which would enable NearMap to accelerate plans for global expansion.
NearMap’s HyperPod aerial camera system is claimed to capture city- or state-wide areas at a fraction of the costs for alternative systems, generating about one-gigabyte of raw image data every second.
To process individual photos into seamless photomaps, NearMap’s HyperVision processing system runs on super-computer clusters of hardware and can produce a complete city-wide photomap within a few days, the company says.
It says high-res photomaps have been captured monthly for the last six months over Perth, which now has the most detailed changing photomaps of any city in the world.