Monetizing street-level imagery: Our learnings

Some of our learnings regarding technical, business and legal aspects when it comes to monetization of street-level imagery


01 December 2021, by Alexander PetkovAsk a question


This is a summary of our expert session at the MONETIZING THE DIGITAL CAR VIRTUAL ‘LIVE’ 2021 conference.

Our customers monetize street-level images in many ways. Either by acquiring them via Mobile Mapping, or using them as a foundation to develop new products and services.

We covered some of our learnings regarding technical, business and legal aspects when it comes to monetization of street-level imagery.

Consider privacy at the earliest stages of product development

Adding it later on requires changes to the technical infrastructure and existing processes. By following privacy-by-design principles, privacy-preserving technical and organisational measures can be implemented at the earliest stages of the product/service development.

Build trust in your product and brand

Ensuring data privacy strengthens customer’s trust in your company. Consider your business model as a pyramid. It’s made out of different blocks, like a go-to-market strategy, pricing, supply chains, people and processes. One of the most crucial building blocks at the very foundation of the pyramid is trust. Without trust, the whole foundation is weakened.

Get the framing right

Privacy is a feature, communicate it to your customer properly. It will enable upselling and new business opportunities.

Get ahead of your competition

Companies are slowly starting to adopt privacy-first principles. Take the lead and get a headstart on this topic.

And now to the more technical part:

Clarify anonymization options

Do you need to anonymize only faces, or full persons and license plates? Depending on your use case, it might also be crucial to keep as much of the image intact as possible. So blurring segments, as seen in the top image, is much more favorable compared to applying anonymization via bounding boxes, as seen in the bottom image.

Estimate the amount of data

How much data is going to be collected? The amount of data impacts costs and processing time. Is it actually feasible to apply anonymization on Petabytes of data? Or is it OK to only anonymize selected data, like batches of images or video snippets?

Consider data transfer

Large amounts of data might lead to bottlenecks when moving them between different devices or locations. But also be aware that the transfer of personal data is regulated. According to the GDPR, it’s not allowed to transfer personal data outside of Europe.

Check out our image anonymization checklists for mobile mapping and ADAS/Automotive as well.

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