London steps back in time using Bluesky historic photomap

October 08, 2008 -- London's Croydon Council has taken delivery of an historic photomap providing a snapshot of the South London borough shortly after the end of WWII. Created by aerial survey company Bluesky, the image database is produced from original aerial photographs captured by the RAF during the late 1940’s. Consisting of more than 300 unique images that were scanned and georeferenced to create a seamless, digital, map accurate database, the Bluesky photomap will be used in various Council teams to support decision making with Building Control, Planning and the Pollution service, being initial users.

The historic Bluesky photomap was created from more than 300 original aerial photographs, captured by the RAF during the period 1946 to 1948 as part of an effort to update the then out of date 1930’s Ordnance Survey maps and chart the reconstruction of post war Britain. Each image was scanned using high-end scanning machines, (Vexcel Ultrascan 5000 Photogrammetric Flatbed Scanners), to create digital image files with high geometric accuracy and image quality. The images were georeferenced and mosaiced together to form a seamless, map accurate image database.

“The post war period is significant for many reasons,” commented Les Haines, Survey and Mapping Officer at Croydon Council. “Like other parts of London, Croydon experienced considerable bomb damage during the war and this is evident in the Bluesky photomap. In addition July 1948 is an important date, as the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act came into effect, introducing the concept of Planning Permission and forming the foundation of modern planning policy. Consequently Planners still need, on occasion to establish what was on site at this time.”

Croydon Council has already introduced the Bluesky photomap within the Building Control division, in fact within days of taking delivery the image database was used to explain problems being experienced on a site in Norbury. “The site developer and Building Control Officer were having trouble excavating the footings and were unable to find solid ground,” continued Les. “The house appeared to be pre-war, however a quick look at the Bluesky imagery showed in fact a derelict site, following bomb damage, proving the dwelling had been faithfully reconstructed on a foundation of rubble. Our World War Two bomb map had either not marked this incident or recorded the location incorrectly.”

Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial imaging and remote sensing data collection and processing. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography, 3D landscape/cityscape visualisations, and 3D prints. Bluesky also runs a national mapping centre, providing digital maps, site plans, satellite imagery, aerial photography and ultra-high resolution imagery of cities and towns.

Contact Bluesky sales on +44 (0)1530 518 518

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