Russia: The Federal Agency for Registration (Russian acronym: ROSREESTR), which is the Russian state agency in charge of cadastral mapping, announced that it will soon make accessible high-resolution images of Russian territory on its website. Recently, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina provided a nod to make accessible high-resolution imagery.
Officials are touting the project as an effort to help Russia modernise its urban planning and construction inspection systems through a more extensive use of the catalogue of aerial and satellite images.
ROSREESTR’s high-resolution images will cover five million square kilometers of Russian territory, a lot more than the current market leaders – Google and Yandex – could muster. When the ambitious project is completed in December 2012, ROSREESTR will be posting all the images on its website. The portal will offer free access for both individuals and organisations, as long as they do not plan to use the images for commercial purposes.
The agency is considering outsourcing the project and may announce a tender for the purchase of satellite images in coming months. So far, two Russian companies are vying for ROSREESTR’s 600 million ruble budget, which is based on an estimated cost of USD 10 per square kilometer. SCANEX, a Russian firm which provides real-time monitoring of territories of Russia and the CIS countries, has expressed readiness to partake in the project. The company said “the decision comes naturally,” as it already has real-time satellite images of most of the Russian territories. However SOVZOND, a privately-owned satellite data processor, said it would need to review conditions for the project before making up its mind on whether to join.