British Geological Survey to work with NEXTMap Britain 3D terrain map

British Geological Survey to work with NEXTMap Britain 3D terrain map

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The British Geological Survey (BGS) has purchased the complete Intermap’s NEXTMap Britain elevation dataset of England and Wales, on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), for use within all NERC’s institutes.

It promises to be a heavily used remote sensing dataset right across the BGS Programme. It is initially being used to support increased uptake of digital mapping methods within the land survey programme. The main outputs from its interpretation will be revised geological line work, maps of landslides and terrain features such as glacial landforms, three-dimensional viewing, geological modelling and more efficient air photo processing.

The BGS uses specialist digital photogrammetry and image analysis software with remotely sensed data like NEXTMap Britain to create a virtual field environment for the field geologists in the lab.

NEXTMap Britain will also be used to help to speed up the processing of traditional aerial photography and so deliver additional, significant efficiency gains for mapping projects. For example, the use of the NEXTMap Britain digital terrain model with flat aerial imagery to create ‘false stereo’ has halved the time previously taken to provide stereo coverage for a typical BGS 1:50k map sheet.

Intermap’s NEXTMap Britain has been one of the world’s most ambitious mapping projects. Using advanced airborne radar first developed for the US military, the entire British Isles has been mapped electronically in 3D. With a specially-equipped Learjet flying at night and an altitude of 20,000-28,000 ft, the data was captured every 5 metres with an elevation accurate to just 50cm.