5 Reasons to Monitor Construction with Satellite Imagery

As the number of Earth Observation satellites entering space increases, more and more businesses are seeing the value of using up-to-date satellite imagery in their everyday work. Whether it’s used to monitor the environment, agriculture, or buildings, having access to this data source can be invaluable for on-going monitoring, reporting and decision making. For the construction industry in particular, up-to-date satellite imagery offers some clear benefits.

1. Record the progress of one (or multiple) construction sites
Construction progress can be easily monitored with regular satellite imagery snapshots of the site from above. Managing this process through organising aerial or drone imagery can be both expensive and logistically challenging, particularly across multiple projects. Using satellite imagery is a cost-effective solution. Images of your project can be accessed from any computer either through the Bird.i online portal, or via our API feeding directly into your own software. Accessing your ‘saved locations’ within the online portal allows hundreds of sites to be monitored simultaneously. 


2. A source of truth for stakeholders
Satellite imagery offers users an undeniable source of truth as to what’s really happening on the ground, and at what rate. Monitoring progress of a large number of construction sites can be both timely and costly, having an updated record of images from above can give Project Managers a quick and easy insight into the progress of their project, which they can also use for internal reporting.This is particularly useful if project management is based off-site (or in another country) when physical inspections aren’t always possible or cost-effective. In addition, the images gathered can be used for future sales material as visual date-stamped proof of progress.


3. Remote monitoring capabilities
With large scale construction and infrastructure projects, key stakeholders such as developers or project managers are often based in separate locations across the world. Having access to up-to-date satellite imagery of these projects helps these stakeholders monitor their projects easily online. For those who are also interested in construction trends or competitor activity, satellite imagery offers and easy solution for gaining insights into your wider market.


4. Monitoring the surrounding area
By their very nature, images taken by satellites cover much larger areas of land than alternative methods such as drones, so using satellite imagery can be a much more effective way to monitor changes in a site’s surrounding area. Analysing these images over time can show how the infrastructure or surrounding land use has changed, as well as how competitor projects have developed nearby. Developers can use this data when making site investment decisions and also for predicting how the surroundings may develop in the near-future. Comparing past and present imagery can be useful for project planning and reviews once the work is complete as a visual before/during/after representation.


5. Satellite imagery vs other methods

The emergence of drone technology has proven popular for various types of aerial monitoring, however there are a few key restrictions. To operate a drone, someone must be on the ground in charge of its operation- requiring access permission, time, and resources. Monitoring multiple sites at different build stages can be costly and logistically challenging. On the other hand, using satellite imagery provides a simple and affordable way to monitor multiple sites.

Legislation for drone operation can also be particularly strict, especially in built-up areas where there can be many restrictions in place. These restrictions don’t apply to Earth Observation satellites meaning imagery can be taken over any area.


Whilst drones are able to provide imagery for micro-analysis of an individual site, they’re not always practical; especially on large-scale projects, or when monitoring multiple sites, or if you want to view projects outside of your portfolio. In these cases, satellite imagery offers a rich source of data and insight when monitoring construction projects.

Learn more about satellite imagery here or request a customised demo below.