Getmapping Imagery Facilitates Social Housing Management

July 11, 2011 -- Getmapping high resolution aerial imagery is now in daily use by the Social Housing provider Plus Dane Group. The imagery is available to over 150 employees dealing with a wide range of projects, tasks and enquiries, from planned maintenance to solar installations.

Plus Dane Group is a Housing Association (RSL) in the traditional sense, a not-for-profit organisation that owns and manages over 16,000 properties across Merseyside and Cheshire. The Getmapping imagery, which was captured in 2010 at 12.5cm GSD (Ground Sampled Distance) is available to staff using Cadcorp‘s intranet GIS, ‘GeognoSIS’. The imagery provided the basis of a major Grounds Maintenance survey for the Runcorn and Merseyside areas in 2010 and is in daily use for handling queries, investigating ownership and decision making.

One of the more innovative uses of the imagery is in the assessment of properties within the Plus Dane estate for the ‘retrofit’ of solar thermal and photovoltaic panels, the latter to take advantage of government feed in tariffs. Plus Dane are also partners in a Liverpool City Region, Solar Power Initiative, Project Viridis. This is aimed at reducing fuel poverty for tenants and carbon emissions for landlords. The project brings together 4 Local Authorities and 12 Social Landlords to investigate the potential to retrofit up to 100,000 properties through a strategic relationship with a major utility company. Plus Dane has already issued an internal guide, which uses Getmapping imagery and GIS to identify those properties most suitable for solar installations so that investment can be targeted where the best returns will be made.

“The big advantage of the Getmapping aerial imagery is that our users know the age of the imagery they are looking at and the level of detail is suitable for multiple use,” said Alex Hill, GIS Manager for the Plus Dane Group. “As well as planned grounds maintenance, we have been able to use the imagery for commissioning tree surveys, answering day-to-day queries about anything from hedges to whether a property’s garden is suitable for dog ownership. The imagery is really clear and has been very instrumental for us in defining properties that are suitable for photovoltaic installations. You can see the types of roofs that you are dealing with and their orientation and also whether trees or other buildings might cast a shadow and compromise the efficiency of an installation. The imagery is an indispensable resource,” continued Hill.

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