Historically, monitoring real estate development projects involved sending analysts to visit construction sites in person or relying on free applications like Google Maps.
The first option offers valuable first-hand insights but isn’t scalable and quickly becomes resource-intensive. And with the onset of COVID-19, it became unsafe—or even impossible—to travel at all.
Although satellite imagery is available in numerous online mapping portals, users have no control over image currency or quality, often leaving analysts with outdated information that misrepresents the reality of what is happening on the ground.
To keep staff safe and continue supplying accurate real estate information, Zonda recently acquired Bird.i, a construction activity analytics company, and partnered with the two world-leading satellite operators Airbus and Maxar to access up-to-date high-resolution imagery.
Zonda’s research platform, called Integrated Research Intelligence System (IRIS), streams very high-resolution satellite imagery via API to monitor more than 60,000 housing projects in the United States. The platform provides up-to-date insights to Zonda’s customers, which include builders, building product manufacturers, mortgage lenders, and multifamily development executives.