How aerial imagery solves problems for outdoor events

By on 14 March, 2022


MetroMap’s high-resolution aerial imagery and measuring tools are a game-changer for outdoor event managers.

South Australia’s biggest domestic cycling race, the Super Series, uses MetroMap’s aerial imagery to overcome many logistical and time challenges in putting on its nine events. MetroMap enabled Jake Thomas, Super Series Race Director and Event Coordinator for AusCycling in SA, to manage the months-long planning processes better, communicate more effectively with stakeholders and grow the event through improved time management.

Remote inspections

The Super Series has a significant footprint across seven different race locations, five different local government areas and four events situated more than 50 km from the Adelaide CBD. Courses range from a couple of kilometres in length to over 100 km. MetroMap’s broad capture program ensured Thomas and his team could remotely examine and take ground-level measurements of every road and host location without leaving their office.

Thomas described how MetroMap helps before an event. “MetroMap has been really useful for the Super Series this year, especially with planning, because it’s meant that we can do things like venue inspections, road inspections, and all other the things that normally take a trip out to the site,” he said. “Being based in Gepps Cross makes it difficult to get to every location while we’re trying to organise nine events at once.”

In particular, MetroMap’s remote inspection and measurement capabilities simplified the planning for a completely new Super Series course in a complex Adelaide CBD location. Thomas said that MetroMap helped streamline that parts of that intricate event.

“One of the races that we developed for this year’s Super Series was the East End street race,” he said. “MetroMap allowed us to map the exact distance of the barriers needed for that venue, meaning we didn’t need to pay for a stack of barriers sitting unused. We were able to do that without taking a walking wheel and measuring open roads in the middle of the city.

“We would have done a lot measuring on foot without MetroMap.”

Stakeholder communication

Aus Cycling SA made MetroMap imagery a crucial part of the participant and other essential stakeholder communications. MetroMap imagery included in the event manuals showed participants the course layout and site plan, helping to ensure the event would run smoothly.

Assets built on quality imagery communicated more than just location and infrastructure information; they also provided benefits in how the event and AusCycling was perceived.

“Having a better image than anybody has ever seen legitimises what you’re doing,” said Thomas. “Turning up with a super detailed map to meetings with council, residents, or traders groups, tells them we know what we’re doing and has given us an air of authority.”

Better time management means better events

MetroMap better uses the event managers’ finite time, optimising the planning process to enable better planning with allotted resources. All recovered time supports event improvements and accelerates their growth.

“Super Series being an annual race means we get an opportunity to take what we’ve done year-on-year and constantly make it better. We want more people to come out. We want the event experience to get better,” said Thomas.

“It’s tricky when to find more time before the event day, but recovering 15 minutes back here, two hours back there, and half a day back there, frees up time to take on those extra projects that might have been on the backburner for a couple of years. You don’t save time necessarily, you just use your time better do things that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.”

Everyday tools for event managers

The Super Series has crowned its winners for 2021, but MetroMap has become an ongoing part of Thomas’ and the AusCycling SA office’s workflow.

“We’re using MetroMap at least 10 times a week,” said Thomas. “It’s become my first stop when I’ve got a question about what something looks like, or where I’m going to put something at an event. It’s become second nature that I’m curious about something and I go to MetroMap and look it up.”

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