Bluesky Aerial Photos Help Keep Birmingham Moving
High resolution aerial photography from Bluesky is helping Birmingham City Council undertake a host of transport related applications ensuring users of roads, footpaths and even canals stay on the move. The digital map layer is made available to specialist users through the Council’s Geographical Information System (GIS) and to every desktop in the organisation with a simple ‘view only’ browser. Purchased to update existing aerial photography the 10cm resolution dataset allows users to undertake multiple tasks in the office reducing the time spent by council staff in the field.
“We needed to update our aerial photography as our previous dataset, also from Bluesky, was now five years old,” commented Michael McGuinness, Property Information Manager at Birmingham City Council. “Following a tender and evaluation exercise we selected Bluesky data based on its quality; including the resolution, currency, coverage, as well as its match to Ordnance Survey mapping, and of course the price.”
The Bluesky photography purchased by Birmingham City Council was delivered ahead of schedule as a 10cm resolution digital dataset. Flown in the summer of 2012, covering the whole of the metropolitan area; 267 square kilometres, the data is being used across the organisation – the largest local authority in Europe!
“Used across most departments, including Planning, Housing, Property and Emergency Planning for example, Bluesky aerial photography and the ability to overlay Business data on the photography increases the number of tasks that can be completed in the office, reducing the time spent by officers on site which in turn allows for cost savings and efficiency gains.”
“As an example the use of aerial photography within the Highways arena,” he continued, “including identification and mapping of highways assets, planning and delivery of traffic surveys and design and layout of new junctions.”
Further specific applications of the Bluesky aerial photography include identification and mapping of bus and cycle lanes, verification of vegetation along the highway, checking for possible mistakes in road markings and identification of off street car parks.
The aerial images supplied by Bluesky form part of their off the shelf archive of high resolution, georeferenced aerial imagery and derived datasets. With nationwide coverage this is one of the most up to date, comprehensive and widely used orthorectified Image databases available in the UK today. New aerial photographs and datasets are continually added through a five-year rolling program.