Britain’s Greenest Cities and Counties Mapped from the Air
Leicestershire, UK, Nov. 20, 2014—Aerial mapping company Bluesky has published the first ever nationwide map of trees revealing the true extent of our ‘green and pleasant land’. Topping the charts at numbers one and two respectively are local authority districts Surrey Heath and Waverly both with over 40 per cent tree cover. Leafy Surrey, with some of the highest house prices in the UK, is also home to five other districts ranked in the top ten for tree cover by Bluesky. Neath Port Talbot flies the Welsh flag with a chart topping 32 per cent while aptly named Bracknell Forest and New Forest District Councils hold the remaining top ten places.
At the other end of the spectrum, and ranked at the bottom of the table with just over 2 per cent tree cover are Lincolnshire based districts Boston and South Holland. Neighbouring Fenland and East Cambridgeshire also fall within the bottom 10 districts for tree cover as, possibly less surprisingly, does the City of London.
“These statistics are just a glimpse into the detail provided by our National Tree Map,” commented Bluesky’s Managing Director Rachel Tidmarsh. “It’s really interesting to be able to blow some preconceived ideas out of the window and dispel many popular misconceptions that surround the way we view the places in which we work, live and play. However, behind the headlines, the Bluesky National Tree Map is a serious source of information that is already being used by a number of organisations, including Councils, government organisations and utility companies, to inform the better management of our landscape and protect our infrastructure.”
These statistics have been published by Leicestershire based aerial mapping company Bluesky following the release earlier this year of the UK’s first detailed National Tree Map. The digital dataset has been created from the most up to date, high resolution aerial photography, colour infrared data and detailed height models. It includes three individual map layers, detailing more than 280 million trees with a canopy cover in the region of 20,000 square kilometres – around 13.5 per cent of land cover! Middle table ranking and closest to the national tree cover percentage, as calculated by Bluesky, is North Dorset District with a National Tree Map cover of 13.67 per cent.
National Tree Map data is already in use in a number of Local Authorities, commercial organisations and academic institutions as well as a Central Government agency and utilities.
The Bluesky National Tree Map has been created using innovative algorithms and image processing techniques in combination with the most up to date and detailed aerial photography and height data in the UK. A team of experienced professionals then completed an exhaustive QA process to ensure the quality and accuracy of the data. In addition to the three vector map layers; Crown Polygons, Idealised Crowns and Height Points, the Bluesky National Tree Map also includes an attribute table including unique identification for each crown feature, height attributes and area calculations. The data is available in a range of GIS ready formats with flexible annual licensing.
Applications of the Bluesky National Tree Map include subsidence risk assessment by insurance companies, propagation modelling for telecommunication infrastructure planning, network resilience assessment for utility companies and carbon reduction planning for environmental mitigation projects. Existing users of the data are already reporting significant improvements in day to day planning and operational efficiency achieved through the use of Bluesky National Tree Map data.
Bluesky National Tree Map is currently available for England and Wales with work already underway to create coverage for Scotland.
Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data using the very latest survey technology, including an UltraCam Eagle and an Orion M300 LiDAR system. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies. Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national “off the shelf” coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an on-going update programme. By purchasing a World first sensor for the simultaneous capture of LiDAR, Thermal and Aerial Photography data Bluesky is in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost effective solutions.
Bluesky is also leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications including the UK’s first National Tree Map (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products.