British Geological Survey awards aerial photography contract to BlueSky Infoterra consortium

British Geological Survey awards aerial photography contract to BlueSky Infoterra consortium


Leicestershire, UK, 12 July 2006: BlueSky International Ltd and Infoterra Ltd have secured a contract to supply national digital aerial photography to the British Geological Survey (BGS). The contract was awarded to a consortium of companies including BlueSky and Infoterra (as joint venture UK Perspectives) for England, together with Getmapping for Wales and Scotland, in order to deliver complete national coverage.

The contract, for an in perpetuity license, covers the initial supply and updates until 2009 for approximately 230,000 sq. km of digital aerial photographs, as well as complete access to 180,000 of the underlying, original stereoscopic scans.

Digital aerial photography will be supplied as a seamless, map accurate, 2D dataset for standard desktop GIS analysis of the surface environment. This data can be overlaid with other geographical datasets including topographic and geological mapping. It can also be draped over digital terrain or surface models to simulate a 3D landscape and analysed in BGS’s immersive visualisation suites, in support of an expansion in ‘virtual’ field reconnaissance work undertaken by scientists at BGS.

In addition to the 2D digital dataset the BGS will also receive the digital stereoscopic scans – digital versions of the original stereoscopic aerial photographs from each survey. Together with orientation data, these scans enable BGS to create a detailed 3D representation of the landscape for advanced analysis of the underlying geology, in support of ongoing field surveys at the 1:10,000 scale.

The data supplied under this contract will actively benefit BGS by adding to the information available to them in the laboratory and enabling them to concentrate their fieldwork on scientific challenges. The data also forms a baseline dataset for their integrated geo-science mapping workflow, enabling consistent surveying processes, with higher quality mapping as the end result.