Bluesky aerial photomaps recreate Cheshire’s past

June 10, 2009 -- Aerial survey company Bluesky has created three historically important aerial photomaps of Cheshire, UK. Using original films dating back to the early eighties Bluesky has scanned, georeferenced and mosaiced nearly three thousand individual photographs to create the three high resolution, digital aerial datasets for use within the Councils’ GIS and possible future use via the respective councils’ websites.

“When planning for the present and the future any authority needs to consider and understand the value of the past, especially the last ten to twenty years, and the value of temporal information held within historic datasets such as aerial photographs,” commented David Matthews, GIS Officer of Cheshire Shared Services. “Like many authorities we held older county wide aerial surveys in hard copy format stored in filing cabinets. Although consulted by a few specialist staff the real potential of the imagery could only be tapped if the images were converted to a digital format.”

The newly created digital datasets will be made available across two Councils, Cheshire - West & Chester Council and Cheshire East Council - giving staff access to five different epochs of aerial imagery spanning more than sixty years.

Applications of the aerial photographic maps will include archaeological assessments of potential development sites and research by highways to investigate changes in the line and width of the highway to determine, for example, the extent of the highway that is maintainable at the public expense. It is hoped the imagery will also be put to use in public rights of way, land regeneration, enforcement, planning, contaminated land, change detection and legal applications.

The images will also be made available for purchase by members of the public, either directly from the Councils or from Bluesky’s online map shop (, for use in boundary disputes, planning applications and local area studies.

Contacts:, tel +44 (0)1530 518 518

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