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Here is a nice story looking at how Travelers is using aerial imagery and mapping to service customers more quickly during catastrophic events like the California wildfires. Access to imagery during and following these events allows travelers  to expedite claims, even in areas  that are not physically accessible to inspectors.

By overlaying the data on maps marking its customers’ locations, the company can quickly identify those who are likely to have been affected, said Jim Wucherpfennig, Travelers vice president of claims. Workers were able to see what roads were open and map out spots in Chico and Thousand Oaks to park the RVs that serve as mobile claim centers

read the full article at InsuranceJournal.
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Gray Sky, News
With the California fires still spreading, there has been a lot of media coverage of the events with a number of organizations relying on the GIC for imagery for use in print and broadcast.

USA Today featured hi resolution imagery from the GIC as well as a quote from NICB’s Jim Schweitzer in a story focused on the hardship many California homeowners will face in the wake of the fires. The story was in the online edition November 13 and then featured on the front page of the November 14 print edition.

ABC 7 featured the GIC Web Map App before/after slider tool in their evening news segment demonstrating how entire homes have been destroyed in the fires. 

In this two minute Fox News segment, the before/after viewer is featured prominently, providing viewers a new perspective on the destruction as the reporter onsite takes them down the street. 
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Today we published Colored Infrared (CIR) imagery for the Thousand Oaks region. Over the next few days we will publish CIR for the remainder of the Woolsey fire as well as the Campfire in Northern California.

CIR imagery is useful in some cases to determine structural damage and to identify vegetation around structures. You can toggle this layer on and off quite easily with the Layer List in the NICB application:

At the bottom of the window, press the Layer List icon highlighted here


In the Layer list, Check ‘Gray Sky 2018 Color Infrared’ as shown here.


That’s it! you can return to the layer list to toggle it off at any time.
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For many, this simple tip might be old news. But for many others it could provide a huge productivity boost. In the GIC web application, in addition to searching for a location by street address, you can also search by latitude/longitude coordinate. Coordinates are most commonly represented in databases as decimal degrees. If you have a pair of numbers like 34.20153, -118.680375 you have a valid latitude, longitude coordinate that you can search on. Simply paste the coordinate into the search box and hit Enter, and you are taken to that precise coordinate.

Give it a try now by visiting our Web app, pasting 34.20153, -118.680375 into the search box, and hit Enter.

Here’s an additional tip. Mapping sites like Bing Maps and Google maps make it easy to get the coordinate for any place on Earth by right-clicking on the map. In fact in Bing, after right-clicking, they show the latitude/longitude coordinate and provide a convenient ‘copy’ link to put it on the clipboard, ready to paste into the search box in the GIC web application.


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Imagery for a large area covering 600 square kilometers of the Thousand Oaks fires in Southern California is now online. GIC members can access the imagery online here:
https://maps.geointel.org/app/nicb/?extent=-13259002.1394%2C4037700.2673%2C-13199534.1314%2C4072708.4262%2C102100


Additionally, Imagery captured Sunday is being processed and should go live early Monday. stay tuned here for updates.


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The first imagery of the California fires has gone online for GIC members. We have 20cm coverage for Chico that can be seen here: https://maps.geointel.org/app/nicb/?extent=-13640221.7104%2C4786412.8658%2C-13478251.6474%2C4868276.9231%2C102100

Camp Fire / Northern California

Due to heavy smoke and difficult flight conditions we were able to fly more to the west in Chico. These conditions prohibited safe collecting near Paradise, California. We plan to try to collect in these hilly regions Sunday. Data from any flights on Sunday will be available on Monday.
* White shading: collected and available online * Red shading: first priority for Sunday * Green shading: second priority for Sunday and possibly for Monday

Woolsey / Southern California

The fire in southern California aka “Woolsey” or Thousand Oaks has been growing. At the request of several GIC members we are adding additional coverage for Malibu and surrounding areas. Data from Saturday’s collection is being processed and will be available Sunday afternoon.
* Green/white shading: collected and being processed
  • Red shading: priority AOI for Sunday.
We will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flight plans as needed. These plans are subject to change as weather conditions, flight restrictions, and smoke cover permit. As always, the safety of our pilots and operators is top priority. We invite input from all GIC members on these plans. If you have additions you would like to request to these AOI’s, please let us know immediately. If you have a table of addresses that are of high concern, we can assist in turning them into a geographic AOI. Contact us at info@geointel.org
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We’re really proud to share the news that Vexcel was recognized with a Government Innovation Award for our work within the GIC to provide aerial imagery in the wake of disasters in the most timely manner possible. Award categories include Public Sector Innovations, Industry Innovators, and Rising Stars. You can browse all of the winners here.

Vexcel Imaging
Geospatial Intelligence Center
The National Insurance Crime Bureau tapped Vexcel Imaging as a foundational partner in the Geospatial Intelligence Center, a coalition of companies that have come together to transform how federal and state agencies, first responders and insurers respond to natural disasters.
 
The center’s focus is on delivering imagery quickly to save lives in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. For example, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017, Vexcel flew its UltraCam Osprey camera over 506 square miles of the hurricane’s path. Information on an additional 13,787 miles was collected using Vexcel’s UltraCam Eagle. The imagery was processed and delivered to first responders and law enforcement within 24 hours.



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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released a new video today providing a behind the scenes look at how Aerial imagery from Vexcel is used by GIC members during events like Hurricanes Florence and Michael.  The three minute video takes you from flying and image acquisition through the tight turn around publishing process that makes the imagery available to GIC members in under 24 hours. With tools like the Before/After viewer, address search, and distance and area measuring, GIC members can better assess claims and serve their customers needs faster, when it really matters.
 
You can read more in the news release here or jump straight into the video on YouTube.
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Gray Sky, News
According to an article in the Tallahassee Democrat Sunday, Hurricane Michael’s waters dredged up shipwrecks on Dog Island in Franklin County that are believed to be vessels wrecked during the 1899 Carrabelle hurricane. That Category 2 storm swept through the Florida Keys wiping out dozens of ships along with extensive land damage. And now a century later Michael has uncovered at least two of the large wooden ships as seen in this aerial image captured by Vexcel’s Condor camera 2 days after the storm. Click here to explore the area in our public map viewer. The ‘before/after’ slider shows no sign of the ships prior to Michael.

 
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