March 02, 2011 -- Bluesky has supplied a package of ultra high-resolution aerial maps to Councils in Cheshire, England. The package includes countywide coverage of 12.5cm resolution, full colour, digital aerial photography together with the Councils’ first ever Colour Infra Red survey and a highly accurate height model (Digital Terrain Model or DTM). The aerial map data will be used by staff at both Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council with access via the Councils’ desktop Geographical Information System (GIS) and their ‘WebGIS’ intranet system. Members of the public will also be able to access the data via the Councils’ interactive mapping website.
“This is the first ever pan Cheshire vertical aerial survey where all the imagery has been collected in the same year and more importantly in just five days in the same month. Some achievement given the typical local weather conditions,” commented David Matthews, GIS Officer of Cheshire Shared Services. “We last purchased contemporary aerial photography ten years ago so there was a real need for up to date imagery and during the intervening years 12.5cm rather than 25cm resolution has become the norm.”
The Bluesky datasets will be used by staff across both organisations for applications including assessment of planning proposals for their potential impact on Cheshire’s archaeology, use by Highways and Engineering to inform staff how best to describe and digitise streets into the Local Street Gazetteer, to view street furniture, to carry out investigations into the width of the highway that is maintainable at the public expense and use by the councils’ contaminated Land Officers to examine how historically contaminated sites relate to their contemporary setting. The data will also be used within the Spatial Planning, Special Projects, Regeneration, Emergency Planning and Street Scene teams within Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council respectively.
“The Bluesky datasets represent great value for money and most importantly are providing information allowing staff throughout both organisations to make more informed and therefore better decisions often without even having to leave their desks,” continued Matthews. “The quality of the data is superlative and the vast array of information contained within the data ensures it will be used for contemporary and historic applications for many decades to come.”
Additional applications of the Bluesky datasets include the provision of preservation advice by Tree Officers based on the desktop data and obtaining evidence of encroachment or other types of land issues that conflict with planning regulations offering an additional safeguard for Cheshire’s urban and rural environments. Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Road Safety Team is also supplying prints of the aerial imagery to primary schools participating in the ‘Lets Walk’ scheme used to help teach children road crossing skills. The prints are also incorporated into geography, maths and science lessons helping pupils to understand the geography and environment around their schools and improve their spatial awareness.
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