Bluesky aerial photomap proves a hit in Dudley

February 14, 2008 -- Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (UK) is sharing the latest aerial photography from Bluesky with thousands of council staff, local school children and visitors to the Council’s website. The highly detailed imagery is being served to 4000 desktops via the Councils intranet based GIS aiding decision making and improving service delivery across a number of diverse projects and applications.

Part of the GeoPerspectives product range, the imagery is also being used as a classroom learning resource by more than 50,000 local school children, aged between 4 and 16, and visitors to Dudley Council’s acclaimed Walkzone website who will use the imagery to plan walking routes within the Black Country borough.

Users of the Council’s intranet based GIS, GIS-MO ‘Getting Information Simply – Mapping Online’, can access the GeoPerspectives imagery to support decision-making and improve service delivery. The photography provides additional detail, not available from conventional mapping, is easy to use and easy to interpret. “The imagery is used across the organisation providing additional intelligence and reducing the need for site visits,” said Brian Higgs, Corporate GIS Unit Manager.

He continued, “In addition to the 325 professional users, who create and maintain data, more than 3,500 PCs have accessed the imagery, that’s 92% of the Council’s Network. Some of applications are surprising, for example initial evaluation of properties where child care support has been requested can be undertaken at the desktop where potential risks, such as swimming pools and ponds, are instantly visible.”

The Bluesky imagery is also being used to power Dudley’s highly popular online resource Walkzone, which encourages and supports physical activity by residents of the West Midlands town. Using the aerial photography more than 800 visitors a month are planning walking routes, calculating exercise times and even estimating the number of steps per walk. “Not only does the imagery draw people to the site, it encourages repeat visits,” commented Higgs. “In addition by monitoring where and when people are walking we can feed information back into other service areas and strategy developments such as transport, community safety and green spaces.”

“As we hope to demonstrate the use of aerial photography is only really limited by the imagination. Walking into a classroom and seeing a group of 4 year olds confidently using the imagery, planning routes to school and gaining additional knowledge and understanding of their locality is a real eye opener,” concluded Higgs.

Dudley Council is a long-term user of aerial photography holding survey images dating back as far as the 1940’s. “The Bluesky imagery is the perfect complement to our existing data. The quality and level of detail is excellent, in fact almost indistinguishable from data purporting to be of a higher resolution.” The Bluesky imagery was captured, using the latest digital imaging technology, in 2007 at a resolution of 10cm.

GeoPerspectives is a joint venture between BlueSky and Infoterra providing national coverage of orthorectified aerial photography, digital terrain & surface models (DTM/DSM) for 3D modelling, and colour infra-red imagery (CIR) for vegetation analysis.

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

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