Has Google Earth Destroyed the Aerial Photography Business?

Google Earth is a great resource, and yet one of the most controversial things online. Mostly due to the fact that people enjoy their privacy, and do not like aerial pictures of their properties; they find it intrusive. So too, do many governments of the world, some of which are trying to hide things, others that are trying to keep various assets safe, and some that are definitely rogue nations with something to hide.

Drug Dealers despise Google-Earth big time and do not wish to have their lavish estates photographed, and very wealthy, but very honest individuals would like to leave well enough alone, and do not wish to engage the Internet Surfing version of the paparazzi. Indeed, everyone, including the innocent and the not so innocent has at least some apprehension about Google-Earth.

Most would agree that even so, it is a good tool to have and it keeps large corporations, governments, and others honest with regards to the environmental concerns and what they are up too. Most folks believe in transparency, and nothing could be more transparent than an aerial photo. Of course, with every new type of technology that is brought to the public, it will send shock waves to the old way of doing things, and this one has definitely sent a sonic boom to those who specialize in Aerial Photography.

Not many people are aware of this, and indeed, the only reason I am is that before retirement, I was a big consumer of aerial photographs, over lays, maps, and such. We used them when strategically looking for clientele and planning our marketing plans within a city or target zone. A full size aerial map could costs $100s of dollars, and we spent 10s of thousands of dollars on them each quarter.

Real Estate Developers, land speculators, civil engineers, large corporations, and government entities were also very big consumers of aerial-maps. Aerial Photography Companies made over half their money this way, while also taking specialty photos while flying over the homes, buildings, and areas for a specific consumer.

Since 50% or more of their income was aerial map type photographs most of them have gone out of business now. Often it was a couple of people and an airplane owner, and a nice little small business. Generally, there was one in every county in the US and 2 or more in every major city.

Today it is difficult to find such specialists, and it is rather unfortunate, but indeed, this is the price of progress, so please consider this.