With the introduction of Satellite imagery, taxpayers may find it difficult to hide any new addition to their property


Technology is great, and satellite imaging is a handy resource. So if you are thinking to easily skip mentioning your new home addition, swing pool, garden when you will be filling next year tax return, then you cannot do so. Satellite imagery is going to make it difficult for you as even if your new additions to home are hidden from the street, it can easily see and capture it.

Much useful information is collected with the help of satellite-like abut environment, regional planning, cartography and more. Now high-resolution satellite images will be used to ensure that tax rolls and land valuations are correct. Some of the old folks may remember that earlier property tax was entirely dependent on the tax assessor who used to visit to have a look at a piece of property.

Not only this, even taxation was dependent on the honesty of taxpayer. Like was he honest to ask for permission if he is willing to add something to his home or any property?

Using high-resolution satellite images for updating tax maps

A new study entitled "Using satellite imagery to revolutionize creation of tax maps and local revenue collection," published on May 25 by the World Bank Group says that it is possible that taxes may become “stratospheric,” or even higher than it. All this paper explains is that how their high-resolution satellite images are going to make it possible to assess the completeness of existing tax maps.

About imaging satellites and their high resolution

In satellite imagery, there are four popular types of resolutions: spectral, temporal, spatial and radiometric. Also, there is one geometric resolution; it refers to the satellite sensors ability to capture a portion of earth’s surface in a single pixel.

Resolution of satellites images depends on several factors like which instrument is being used, the altitude of the satellite's orbit and more. Also sometimes satellite images are supplemented with Ariel photography. Though Ariel photography is of higher resolution but is very expensive.

Even so, advanced technologies exist, as land area of Earth is so large it is a very time-consuming process to create and maintain large useful data from the raw images. And therefore satellites images which are publicly available are first processed for visual or commercial use by some third party.

Commercial satellite companies never sell or place such images on any public domain. To get access to these satellite images, one must be licensed.

To come up with study result, the World Bank researchers have used the high-resolution images from the Pleiades satellite and applied the semi-global matching algorithm on it. With the help of data in building heights generated from the high-resolution satellite images the research team working on it was able to calculate a 1.0 percent of the residential property.