SkyFi and Satellite Imagery

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing 35 acres up in the mountains and naturally we’re extremely excited. I’ve been “on-site” for a total of about two hours total, and Lizzie has been there for about 30 minutes.

Because we’ve only been there for a little bit and it’s so much land we’re hunting for as much information as we can. We’ve zoomed into the listing photos about a billion times and are nearing NCIS levels of looking through mirrors in said pictures.

The big thing we wanted to be able to do on the property was hike and hang out around trees, however we’ve only been in the trees for about 10 minutes, and during the showing the ground was covered in snow. We’re hungry for more information about the tree density, where they sit on the ridges, and where any large rocks are.

We’re also curious about how much space we have to play in and unfortunately to make things even more complicated, one section of the property goes over a ridge and the boundaries are floating in space. The Larimer county GIS platform has a lot line that differs from the listing photos so we’ve been trying to sus out where the boundary really is.

The title company required an ILC and so I went up there to meet up with the survey company, thinking I’d loiter around and see their authoritative reading of where the boundaries are. Unfortunately, the surveyor didn’t want to hike over the ridge to find the boundary. So naturally, I bootlegged the coordinates from the Larimer county GIS platform and started hiking over.

Turns out he had the right idea, that’s a heck of a hike.

A photo from a ways up the ridge, you can see a whole lot including a nice view of Longs Peak

As I went up, I took a handful of pictures and started realizing that the Google Maps photos weren’t doing the property justice. I wanted to find some high resolution satellite images of my own. This’d be a useful thing for guests to be able to see and I wanted so see if I could find some neat things before we closed.

One of the platforms I found was SkyFi which allows you to buy existing satellite photos or order new satellite photo tasking. I purchased two ultra high resolution satellite photos. They took about 30 hours to come through but they look pretty good. It turns out they’re pretty similar to the quality that Apple/Google Maps have.

This is a compressed version, I’m not made of bandwidth

I’ve been playing with qGIS to overlay the satellite imagery as well as doing some measurements. I’d like to bother Sean for a drone-based survey someday but these images should do great in the meantime.

For the $25 I’d recommend searching for your house and buying a ultra high resolution satellite map of your neighborhood. It’s interesting to see familiar areas from a different perspective.

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