“Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is waltzing into Australia expecting an easy win…
“Too bad he didn’t bother to check a map first.
“His firm will be totally lost down here… unless YOU step up to help.
“Here’s how to guide Amazon across Australia…all from the comfort of your own couch… and potentially turn a 64-cent ‘guidance fee’ into a king’s ransom…”
That’s the opening of the recent ad for Sam Volkering’s Australian Small-Cap Investigator — and the ad is mostly focused on the fact that Amazon’s drone delivery programs will require much better data about the landscape in order to perform properly in Australia.
I’m a little short on time today, so we’re going to jump forward to the clues they drop on the actual order page (you can check out the full ad here if you want more of the hype):
“Right now, you can own a piece of this uniquely Australian company for just 64 cents a share.
“But that pocket-change price won’t last long.
“So let me help you get your money in the right place to profit as shares surge, with my personal special guidance report, ‘Australian Invasion: Your Trillion Dollar Battle Map for the Future of Commerce’.
“Why this one local player is the only solution to Amazon’s Achilles’ heel here in Australia (Want a hint? Their specialised mapping system is the ONLY option that accurately adjusts for our annual continental drift — and without that fix, no map of Oz will ever be accurate enough for real-world retail use.)”
It’s true that Australia has a larger challenge with GPS-type navigation than most, since it’s on the fastest-moving continental plate (Australia moves about 7cm a year)… but that is known and the adjustments are being made to the Australian data… and I should point out quickly here that this company’s aerial images will have to “talk to” standard GPS and GIS systems, I presume that no self-driving car or drone can reliably navigate to a specific location by processing “fly by” images, they need coordinates.
Perhaps this secret little company does a better job about matching its data to the right location data sets, I don’t know, but in all likelihood it would be something that works with, not replaces, existing location services and data.
Anyway, a couple more clues…
“… just this past summer, the company released a ground-breaking update to their existing technology…one that has major global brands on three continents lining up to sign new contracts with them.
“On 16 November, they’ll host a special shareholder event and reveal the latest updates on both their new mapping product and the full count of their brand-new partners.
“I’m expecting a major uptick in the stock — and if you’re invested, as I recommend, you could lock down the most generous payday of your life.”
Okey dokey, so what’s the stock? This is, sez the Thinkolator, the small Australian aerial imaging firm Nearmap (trades in Australia at ticker NEA… NEAPF is the OTC symbol on the “grey market” in the US, but there is essentially no volume so you’d be asking for trouble to buy it OTC — you’d almost certainly have to overpay substantially to get shares, and accept a lowball bid if you ever need to sell).
Nearmap is a provider of aerial mapping, with their claim to fame being that they provide higher resolution photos, with meshed images from multiple angles providing 3D images of the landscape, and that their photos of their coverage area are both higher resolution than and updated far more frequently than most commercially available satellite images.
They collect their data using a proprietary camera system that they fly in a small plane over the coverage area, and they focus on population centers — they just started to aggressively collect US data about three years ago, but have been covering most of Australia’s population for many years and update those images of the most-important areas (like urban centers) up to six times a year. So they provide a valuable time comparison as well — you can see what an area looked like over time, from the air, in precise detail over a period of years.
The customers are not primarily drone-drivers, though there’s some chance that autonomous drones would find the data useful, the customers are mostly folks like city planners and builders and real estate people (getting accurate measurements and up to date images is important) and solar companies (better data to decide which locations would most benefit from solar, so who should their salesmen visit next).
I just checked, and my neighborhood in a small college town has been captured by Nearmap every six months since 2014 — no idea why or who’s using that data, but I imagine it’s pretty cool to see.
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Nearmap has a blog entry up from last year that talks up a projection that the aerial imaging market will exceed $3.4 billion by 2023… and they don’t say anyt