The GeoInformation Group has announced that its Cities Revealed high-resolution aerial photography is being utilized by London Underground Limited (LU) to support the management of its assets. The GeoInformation Group is a provider of high-resolution aerial photography products and services based in Cambridge. The recently published 12.5cm resolution Cities Revealed aerial photography for Greater London provides LU personnel with a snapshot of its assets from above the ground. The level of detail exposed by the photography can reveal features such as line-side equipment, cable runs, walkways and crossings that are not found on existing maps.
The railway is a hazardous environment and for several years the Ordnance Survey has not resurveyed railway areas due to the difficulties encountered under Health and Safety concerns. In using Cities Revealed aerial photography, LU is able to more clearly identify those areas where the mapping is in error in order to request an update. The photography is principally viewed within CR Image Manager, Cities Revealed’s own free desktop data viewing software. This tool enables users to pan around a photograph with ease, zoom in and out, take accurate measurements and compare temporal datasets through a blend and swipe facility. This latter tool is helpful in determining boundary encroachments. With 140 miles worth of surface track (over half its total rail network) LU is easily able to provide conclusive evidence of neighbors who may from time to time infringe on their land.
The photography has supported further applications within LU such as highlighting areas of vegetation. This can present severe problems on a railway especially in cuttings and embankments. For example, leaf fall in autumn causes difficult wheel/rail adhesion problems, trees may be blown down in high winds, and vegetation may potentially obscure the signals. These potential problems may often be anticipated and avoided by inspecting the aerial photography.
Cities Revealed aerial photography is also being used by other divisions within Transport for London (TfL), the integrated body responsible for the capital’s transport system. These include Street Management Services within its road and traffic management schemes, The Group Property & Facilities Directorate of Transport for London to assist in its early transportation development projects such as the East London Line Extension and the Strategy & Policy team that deals with a wide range of strategic transport related issues. Viewing and downloading sample Cities Revealed aerial photographs of Greater London and other areas can be done by visiting the Cities Revealed website at www.crworld.co.uk.