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The global aerial imaging market size was USD 5.88 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 7.51 billion in 2022 to USD 36.70 billion in 2029 exhibiting a CAGR of 25.44% during the forecast period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the aerial imaging market share witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 20.25% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Aerial imaging refers to all imagery taken from an airborne craft which includes drones, helicopters, or airplanes. It has been used for volume-based calculations, route designing, urban planning, and updating the existing mapping. The popularity of location-based services and increasing application areas of aerial imagery are prominent drivers of this market. Increasing use of advanced technologies such as LiDAR systems, 360-degree vision cameras, Artificial Intelligence, and geographic information system will create new growth opportunities in the market.
Despite Some Roadblocks, New Opportunities Emerged during the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had a staggering impact on all sectors of the economy. With the pandemic-related restrictions by governments around the world, including social distancing norms, business operations were affected in every sector. However, during this period, new opportunities for growth were seen for imaging applications using drones. Many countries deployed drones for delivery and transportation purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drones were used for spraying disinfectants in public spaces to stop the spread of the virus. The countries such as China, UAE, Spain, South Korea, and others use drones for this purpose.
The three most frequently used applications of drones in response to COVID-19 were the following:
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Increasing Adoption of Innovation and Integration of Artificial Intelligence Improving Accuracy of Imaging
The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) software improves the overall performance of the unmanned aerial system's photographs, mapping, inspection, and others. Previously, UUVs were only able to show what the cameras captured. Due to the introduction of artificial intelligence software, drones are helpful in area mapping and object tracking and provide analytical feedback in real-time.
Rising Demand for Surveillance in the Government and Defense Sectors Will Propel the Growth of the Market
The adoption of aerial imagery services has significantly increased in the past few years owing to their diverse applications, such as the development of topographic maps, surveillance, photogrammetric surveys, and others. The growing adoption of surveillance drones for applications in public, wildlife, animal, and critical infrastructure safety and security has increased demand for aerial imaging.
Aerial photography became an essential part of the mapmaking process in the twentieth century. Aerial photographs provide a straightforward depiction of an area's physical and cultural landscape at a given time. Aerial Photos can effectively support governments in anticipating, responding to, and recovering from the impacts of likely, imminent, or current hazard occurrences or conditions. Furthermore, increasing contracts between key players and government agencies drive the aerial imaging market growth.
Increasing Demand for Aerial Imagery in Oil and Gas and Construction Drive Market Growth
The growing demand for resource and energy management, as well as a rise in construction and development activities, is projected to drive the growth of the market
High-resolution mapping and surveys used in various industries, including architecture, oil & gas, solar energy, engineering, construction, commercial and residential development, sewer management, roadway design, roofing, water treatment, traffic engineering, and other areas, are important drivers for aerial imaging. There is growing adoption of drones for pipeline inspection and maintenance, infrastructure inspection, windmill and wind farm inspection, rail track inspection, solar panel monitoring, and transmission line inspection.
The construction site monitoring and planning sector employs UAVs for enhanced performance, velocity, and precision of information.
Lack of Uniformity in Regulations for Drones/UAVs May Hamper Market Growth
Aerial imaging uses capturing photographs of ground surfaces with the help of cameras connected to vehicles, such as helicopters, parachutes, aircraft, kites, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), balloons, vehicle-mounted poles, and airships. Drones are widely used for aerial imagery for commercial, military & defense, and civil applications worldwide. The industry and end-use have witnessed severe limitations on drone flying in numerous countries for the past few years due to various government-related regulations. A few countries allow commercial flights for small drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and some have a mandatory flight license. Not having uniform air traffic regulations is a major restraint in the industry. The presence of uniform air traffic management can minimize operational challenges.
Vertical Aerial Imaging Segment Held the Highest Share in 2021 Due to Growth in Various Mapping Related Applications
Based on the camera orientation, the market is classified into vertical and oblique
In terms of camera orientation, the global market is categorized into oblique and vertical.
The oblique segment held a higher market share and is projected to grow with the highest growth rate during the forecast period. Oblique aerial photographs help in reducing the costs involved in planning, inventory, and mapping. Further, By Oblique, the global market has been segmented into Low Oblique and High Oblique. The Low Oblique segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment and has the highest CAGR.
Aerial Services, Inc., (U.S.) was awarded a contract for providing aerial imagery and processing of high-resolution orthoimagery for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) PINE Aerial Imagery contract. Under the agreement, ASI will provide high-resolution vertical imagery for supporting Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) geographic information system (GIS) programs, including resource management, conservation programs, crop compliance, and disaster response.
The vertical segment is projected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period due to the increasing use of vertical imaging by different segments, such as agriculture and mapping applications by the government.
Low Oblique Segment to See Remarkable Growth Due to Rising Demand in Real Estate and Other Applications
By Oblique, the market is divided into Low and High Oblique.
Oblique aerial photographs provide the viewer with a comprehensible image of a location and are useful for looking at foreground building frontages.
The Low Oblique segment will grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the several uses of Oblique Imagery for applications by users such as national mapping agencies, municipalities, real estate agencies, data providers, and others for the primary advantage of easier identification of objects in oblique imaging.
High Oblique segment has the camera axis tilted to approximately 60 degrees, which allows for a larger area to be covered and includes the horizon in the final shot. This gives a better wide view of an area which allows for identifying geographical features and landmarks
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Growing Use of Aerial Imaging by the Governments in Different Countries to Drive the Growth of the Market
Based on End-Use, the market is classified into Government, Defense, Forestry and Agriculture and Others (Infrastructure, Transport, Media, and Entertainment)
The Government segments are set to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecasted period due to increasing uses for city planning, infrastructure inspection, disaster surveys, and mapping applications. For example, Aerial imagery surveys in Northern Alberta are used in field investigation and topographic modeling for railway corridors. These surveys will support planning activities, such as land clearing, fencing, and access road preparation for a world-class infrastructure project.
The Agriculture segment is predicted to register significant growth during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the use of drones in agricultural imaging from emerging economies like China, India, and Australia.
The Others segment held the highest market share in 2021. It includes applications in infrastructure, transport, and media segments. The growth is attributed to the increasing use of aerial imaging for real estate and construction applications.
North America Aerial Imaging Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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The global market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World.
North America held the largest market share in 2021 and is projected to grow at a moderate CAGR during the forecasted period. This growth is attributed to the increasing use of aerial imagery in the U.S. and Canada due to the region's flourishing trade, economy, and presence of major manufacturers. Furthermore, the high demand for drones in Canada is expected to boost the market.
Europe will witness moderate growth in the forecast period due to the demand for aerial imaging in Real estate and infrastructure segments. This growth is attributed to demand for use in countries such as the U.K., Germany, France, and others due to the presence of major manufacturers and the use of drones in the agricultural sector. Furthermore, the high demand for drones in the U.K. is expected to boost the market.
The market in Asia Pacific will witness the highest growth, with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The market development is due to increasing opportunities in the region, a rise in government expenditures and budgets and business opportunities, changing government preferences, demand for drones, and an increase in the number of imaging applications. The growth in the region is due to the growing demand for aerial imagery from countries such as India and China for improvement in agriculture and infrastructure. China is the largest supplier of Drones in the Asia Pacific region.
The market in the Rest of the World in countries such as the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America will witness significant growth in the forecast period. The greater awareness of the advantages of utilizing imaging for urban planning, surveillance and monitoring, and disaster management, and the increasing affordability of capturing aerial images is predicted to promote growth in the rest of the world in countries such as South America and the Middle East, and Africa.
Technological Trends Implemented by Key Players Are Propelling Market Growth
The market's forthcoming trends include the use of Artificial Intelligence in aerial mapping for object detection and recognition. These leading market players, such as Nearmap Inc., Eagle View Technologies Inc., landiscor real estate mapping, digital aerial solutions LLC, and others, demonstrate their diverse product portfolios, innovative technology trends, and research & development activity and are included in this report.
An Infographic Representation of Aerial Imaging Market
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The market report provides a detailed analysis of the market. The report focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product applications. The report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments related to the market. In addition to the above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advancement of the market in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
By Camera Orientation
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 5.88 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 36.70 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the Asia Pacific market value stood at USD 1.34 billion.
Registering a CAGR of 25.44%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The oblique segment is estimated to lead this market during the forecast period.
Rising demand for surveillance in the government and defense sector will propel the growth of the market
Nearmap Inc. (The U.S.), EagleView Technologies Inc. (U.S.), Cooper Aerial Surveys (U.S), Vexcel Imaging Inc. (U.S), Fugro N.V (Netherlands), AgEagle Aerial Systems Inc. (U.S).
The North America region dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
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