Airbus Aerial has designed an analytic that uses high-resolution satellite imagery to detect the water conditions of swimming pools and other bodies of standing water. Local government, municipalities, and mosquito vector control will be able to use this analytic to identify residences with neglected, or “dirty,” pools.

The analytic begins with using multispectral channels to differentiate between water and other features in a satellite image. Once the bodies of water, specifically pools in this case, are located, the analytic classifies the condition of the water pixels based on spectral values and spatial relationships. Based on the output, the pools are categorized as healthy (blue), dirty (green to dark), or questionable (in between). The end result is a classified polygon with a centroid point containing the condition of the pool overlaid onto the satellite image.  The pool status information can then be merged with ancillary parcel data that includes pertinent information for each residential property. With this information, Aerial’s customers will know exactly where the neglected pools are located and can address problem areas with more efficiency.

The identification of neglected pools is a health and safety issue. If left untreated, the pools will become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, leaving the surrounding communities susceptible to disease. Customers that will benefit from the Pool Finder include Mosquito Vector Control organizations and the residents who fall into their jurisdiction. These associations work to protect the spread of mosquito-borne disease by locating properties with neglected pools and issuing warnings. Previously, they relied on community members to report neglected pools and sent employees door to door for inspections and subsequent treatment of problem pools. They also conducted surveys, but these were expensive, inefficient, and led to assessment inaccuracies.

Outside of neglected pools, the pool finder analytic is valuable within insurance companies and permitting agencies. Identifying whether pools exist on a property can help insurance companies understand and evaluate property risk, as well as assist the companies in verifying policy applications. Permitting agencies will be able to locate pools that have been constructed without permits.

Aerial’s Pool Finder is designed primarily to locate and evaluate “dirty” pools in an effort to prevent spread of disease to surrounding communities. Outside of this capacity, the pool finder can assist companies in evaluations of various properties. Overall, Aerial’s Pool Finder can provide value to customers by saving time, improving safety, and driving down the overall cost of performing inspections.

 

By Chisom Awachie