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Aerial Imaging Market

Aerial Imaging Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report by Application, End User and Platform : Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2030

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Author's: Prateek Yadav | Lalit Janardhan Katare
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The global aerial imaging market size was valued at $2.26 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $8.52 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 14.2%.

Aerial imaging is the process of capturing images of ground surfaces with the help of cameras attached to vehicles, such as helicopters, parachutes, aircraft, kites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), balloons, vehicle-mounted poles, and airships. Aerial imaging assists in risk mitigation, resource planning, mapping, research & excavation, security and surveillance, urban planning, engineering, farming management, tourism, and others.


The adoption of aerial imagery services has increased owing to their various applications such as photogrammetric surveys, development of topographic maps, environmental studies, surveillance, and others. Increased application areas among various verticals, such as agriculture, forestry, energy & resource, and civil engineering is expected to drive the market growth in the coming years. 

In addition, factors such as rise in demand for aerial imaging in disaster risk reduction and prevention, surge in demand for varied commercial applications and use of aerial imaging technology in setting up 5G infrastructure are expected to supplement the aerial imaging market growth. However, stringent government regulations regarding national security, inaccuracy in image data collection, and rise in concerns over cyber-security data security regarding drones are expected to hamper the market growth. Technological advancements such as advanced motion & temperature sensors in cameras, 3D mapping software, unmanned aerial vehicles, and others, have created ample opportunities for the market growth.

The aerial imaging market is segmented on the basis of application, end user, platform, and region. By application, the global market is divided into geospatial mapping, disaster management, energy and resource management, surveillance and monitoring, urban planning and others. By end user, it is classified into government, military and defense, energy, agriculture and forestry, civil engineering, media and entertainment and commercial. By platform, it is classified into fixed wing aircraft, helicopter, UAV and drone and others. By region, the market has been analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

The key players analyzed in the aerial imaging market include Aerial Imaging Productions, LLC, Blom Norway AS, Cooper Aerial Surveys Co., Digital Aerial Solutions (DAS), LLC, EagleView Technologies, Inc., Fugro N.V., Global UAV Technologies Ltd, Kucera International and Landiscor. 

Surge in Demand for Aerial Imaging in Varied Commercial Applications

Aerial imagery refers to all images taken from an airborne craft that includes fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, drones, rockets, and others. In recent years, aerial imagery has proven to be quite beneficial in carrying out planning work toward sustainable agriculture, monitoring and studying the bio-geological characteristics of oceans, environmental assessment and monitoring, disaster monitoring and mitigation, water security and management, and others. 

In precision agriculture, farmers across the world are making use of remote sensing data to make informed decisions in maximizing crop yields and reducing agricultural waste. In this, the use of aerial imagery in multiple wavelengths lets farmers plan appropriate inspection and supervision of the fields. Using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and multispectral sensors, plant health can be easily determined and addressed. Owing to the rise in demand for precision agriculture using aerial imaging, in September 2019, DJI (a global leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology) introduced a P4 Multispectral drone for precision agriculture and land management. 

Besides precision agriculture, aerial imaging is quite useful for asset monitoring. While old-style approaches of asset inspection involve expensive and time-consuming logistics; the use of aerial imagery has allowed accessible remote asset monitoring. High-resolution aerial imagery augments infrastructure management, while carefully monitoring assets over time for both public utilities and private facilities.

Organizations that have their assets spread across a large area are using aerial imaging in order to have real-time info about the working operations and condition of different assets. For instance, in August 2021, SkyX, one of the leading providers of aerial data services for infrastructure assets, and Denbury Onshore, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Denbury Inc. (an energy company), signed a multi-year asset monitoring agreement.

Aerial Imaging Market
By Applicaton
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Geospatial Mapping segment is projected as the most lucrative segment

Using aerial imaging, maintaining equipment and infrastructure can be done proactively and pre-emptively, which helps in saving resources in the long run. Such benefits offered by aerial imaging are expected to propel the growth of the global aerial imaging market during the forecast period.

Surge in Use of Aerial Imaging for Disaster Risk Reduction and Prevention

Every year, thousands of individuals are affected by both natural and man-made disasters. Disasters may be earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, fires, or explosions. According to ReliefWeb (a humanitarian information service offered by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 396 natural disasters were recorded in EM-DAT (the international disasters database) with a death count of 11,755, and about 95 million people affected and economic losses of about $103 billion across the world in 2019. Asia witnessed the maximum impact and accounted for about 45% of deaths, 74% of the total affected, and 40% of the disaster events. In Asia, India observed the highest damages and recorded approximately 20% of the total deaths and around 24.5% of the total number of affected people.

Aerial Imaging Market
By End User
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Agriculture and Forestry segment is projected as the most lucrative segment

Aerial imaging helps in mitigation of the destructive effects of natural catastrophes and other related risks. Aerial images captured by different kinds of aircraft can help in the analysis of hazards and the planning and implementation of quick modifications that could prevent a disaster and save lives. This involves preventing landslides, detecting flames during heat waves, and monitoring overflowing rivers during heavy rainfall. 

Aerial imagery combined with Geographic Information System (GIS) maps provides a plethora of information to disaster and emergency response managers for situation assessment, analysis, and speedy response. Owing to this, disaster management teams across different nations are using aircraft-based aerial imaging for deploying apt resources at the disaster-hit site. For instance, in October 2021 Nearmap Ltd., announced its plans to design a geospatial tool to help governments plan for severe weather events, support recovery, and expedite insurance claims.

The company has already gathered more than 6,200 Km2 of disaster-affected land including the Perth Hills fires, Cyclone Seroja in Western Australia, and the New South Wales floods. Hence, rise in usage of aerial imaging to prevent severe damage to human lives and valuable assets in case of disasters is expected to fuel the growth of the global aerial imaging market during the forecast period. 

Aerial Imaging Market
By Platform
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UAV and Drone segment is projected as the most lucrative segment

Increase in Demand for Overhead Aerial Imaging

Aerial imaging technology allows to document effects of climate change and helps to obtain effective remote sensing data with topographical information showing variation in soil, climate, vegetation, forest coverage, water coverage, and others. Overhead aerial images are taken with camera pointed as down as possible. Overhead images are often used for mapping purposes as these are taken vertically downward. Overhead aerial imaging has been incorporated to create digitally enhanced, and detailed maps & charts. Experts use aerial imaging for determining land-use, environmental conditions, and spatial data of the Earth’s surface. Rise in demand for mapping and remote sensing coupled with latest technical advancements, such as GIS, UAVs, and cloud computing boost the demand for overhead aerial imaging during the forecast period.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis on Aerial Imaging Industry

Aerial imaging industry was expected to witness steady growth in 2020; however, due to the adverse impact of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue crunch and rising maintenance costs were two major challenges adversely affecting the aerial imaging industry. Furthermore, the reduced GDP of major economies, such as the U.S., the UK, China, France, India, Germany, and others, in 2020, resulted in a decline in investment in emerging technologies, including aerial imaging. The reduction in aerospace spending had a negative impact on unmanned aircraft development and deployment plans, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), thereby limiting the availability for UAV-based aerial imaging services globally.

Aerial Imaging Market
By Region
North America 

Asia-Pacific would exhibit the highest CAGR of 16% during 2021-2030.

Key Benefits For Stakeholders

  • This study presents analytical depiction of the global aerial imaging market analysis along with the current trends and future estimations to depict imminent investment pockets.
  • The overall market opportunity is determined by understanding profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold.
  • The report presents information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the global market with a detailed impact analysis.
  • The current market is quantitatively analyzed from 2020 to 2030 to benchmark the financial competency.
  • Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of the buyers and suppliers in the industry. 

Aerial Imaging Market Report Highlights

Aspects Details
By Application
  • Geospatial Mapping
  • Disaster Management
  • Energy and Resource Management
  • Surveillance and Monitoring
  • Urban Planning
  • Others
By End User
  • Government
  • Military and Defense
  • Energy
  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Commercial
By Platform
  • Fixed Wing Aircraft
  • Helicopter
  • UAV and Drone
  • Others
By Region
  • North America  (US, Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe  (UK, Germany, France, Russia, Italy, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific  (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
  • LAMEA  (Latin America, Middle East, Africa)
  • Aerial Imaging Productions, LLC
  • Blom Norway AS
  • Cooper Aerial Surveys Co.
  • Digital Aerial Solutions (DAS), LLC
  • EagleView Technologies, Inc.
  • Fugro N.V.
  • Global UAV Technologies Ltd
  • Kucera International
  • Landiscor
  • Nearmap Ltd.

Analyst Review

The growing application areas across various industries as well as evolving technical upgrades in aerial imaging equipment and software are expected to stimulate the adoption of aerial imaging services across various verticals and geographies. The outsourcing for aerial imaging services from infrastructure and commercial sector for modeling services is expected to continue due to cost advantages.

The growing need of organizations to strengthen their market presence, gain an edge over their competitors, and offer high quality customized services to consumers can also supplement the growth of this market. Increasing demands from end users for customized mapping solutions is projected to create the need for product differentiation. Industries such as oil & gas, research & exploration, defense, and agriculture & forestry are expected to contribute a major share in the overall aerial imaging market.

The industry players such as Blom, Eagle View Technologies, Inc., Digital Aerial Solutions, LLC and others, are constantly developing advanced solutions to meet the customer demand. Market players are getting affected by unclear regulatory framework for using aerial imaging. Factors such as undefined altitude for flying aerial vehicles, and regulation against public use of aerial imaging services is expected to limit the growth of the market. Also, the market is price sensitive and satellite imagery has emerged as a competitor for this technology. However, advancements in unmanned vehicles and other supporting hardware and software components are projected to initiate the growth for this market.

Author Name(s) : Prateek Yadav | Lalit Janardhan Katare
Frequently Asked Questions?

The global aerial imaging market valued at $2,256.1 million in 2020, and is projected to reach $8,519.1 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 14.2% from 2021 to 2030.

Surge in use of aerial imaging for disaster risk reduction and prevention; and rising concerns over cybersecurity and data security regarding drones

The report sample for global aerial imaging market report can be obtained on demand from the website.

Utilization of aerial imaging for defense applications; and emerging drone camera technologies.

Acquisition, business expansion, contract, partnership, product development, and product launch are the are the key strategies adopted by the leading market players in the global aerial imaging market

The company profiles of the top players of the market can be obtained from the company profile section mentioned in the report. This section includes analysis of top ten player’s operating in the industry along with their last three-year revenue, segmental revenue, product offerings, key strategies adopted, and geographical revenue generated.

Based on the aerial imaging market analysis, North America region accounted for the highest revenue contribution in 2020 and Asia-Pacific region is expected to see lucrative business opportunities during the forecast period.

By application, the urban planning segment is expected to gain traction over the forecast period

The U.S., China, and UK are key matured markets growing in the global aerial imaging market

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Aerial Imaging Market

Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2030