How EarthDefine is Helping Telecoms Develop Robust 5G

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EarthDefine, a provider of high-resolution spatial data, today announced it has added over 27 million new commercial and residential structures to its 3D building footprint database. EarthDefine’s latest update brings its total building footprint count to over 183 million commercial and residential structures across the Continental United States.

Unlike traditional 30-meter clutter data used to model radio frequency propagation, EarthDefine’s 3D building footprint and tree data provides much greater detail through AI powered extraction from 60-centimeter resolution aerial imagery.


Telecommunications providers can use this granular data to find the best locations to install small antenna systems by identifying trees and buildings which may block high frequency signals (often referred to as millimeter waves or high-band 5G signals).

Insurance companies will also benefit from EarthDefine’s latest update by being able to geocode more addresses to a property’s rooftop during the underwriting process. This enhanced geocoding accuracy will enable underwriters to assess and price wildfire, flood, hurricane, and other natural hazard perils with much more precision.

Along with identifying primary and secondary structures for a given address, EarthDefine’s 3D building footprints will also return the following information about buildings & properties:

Mean and max heights of buildings and objects (e.g., trees, antennas, etc.)

Lowest, mean, and highest ground elevation around buildings
Estimated number of stories, square feet, building volume and much more

EarthDefine’s 3D building footprints are derived from a combination of Lidar (used to identify structures hidden by trees and assign building heights) and state-of-the-art deep neural networks to analyze aerial imagery. This AI-based approach is highly accurate (98% accuracy) and allows EarthDefine to continually grow its 3D building footprint database to provide an updated snapshot of commercial and residential properties.

“One of the main benefits of EarthDefine’s 3D building footprints is that it can provide telecommunications and insurance companies with different perspectives of an area to help them make better location-based decisions,” explained Vikalpa Jetly, CEO, EarthDefine. “For example, insurance companies can see how flood, wildfire, storm surge, or other natural hazard peril impacts a commercial or residential structure from the ground level. On the other hand, telecom companies can perform line of sight analysis across large geographies to optimize their network coverage and accurately model how buildings and trees potentially impact their 5G development” said Jetly.

EarthDefine’s 3D building footprints and building characteristics can be licensed nationwide or for smaller areas.

EarthDefine is focused on transforming earth sensor data into consumable geospatial information products for numerous applications in insurance, telecommunications, and government sectors.

EarthDefine deploys image processing workflows that exploit advancements in computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to extract ground cover information from aerial imagery and other sensor data.