Hartley Wintney, UK: Getmapping updated its aerial photographic survey of Scotland. The company claimed that it would be the most up to date aerial photographic survey of Scotland with over 80 percent captured in the last three years using the latest large format digital camera technology. The whole of the country is now available in digital format and can be supplied on disk, as specific area downloads from Getmapping.com or via a WMS feed.
It is a significant achievement as Scotland is notoriously difficult to survey from the air for a number of reasons, the main one being the variable weather. Scotland is also very mountainous and high latitudes mean a limited flying season due to less than optimal sun angles. Much of Scotland is also under snow for at least 4 months of the year. In the early spring and late autumn the sun angle reduces the amount of available survey time to less than 90 minutes per day.
Getmapping started its aerial survey of Scotland (including the Shetlands, Orkneys, St Kilda and other islands) in 2004 flying with analogue film cameras. Getmapping was one of the first companies to adopt large format digital cameras specifically aimed at helping to capture the whole of Scotland. The survey is now complete using 3rd generation digital cameras. During this time Getmapping, the only commercial company maintaining Scotland has engaged in an ongoing update programme flying year-on-year to ensure the most up to date data.
“Flying and surveying Scotland has been hugely challenging for the company, and we were lucky to get a break in the weather last week to enable us to complete our 2011 survey” said Dave Horner, Managing Director. “Even when we had multiple survey planes permanently on station in Scotland the weather proved to be a constant frustration. Our commitment to new digital camera technology and a continuous up date programme means that 80 percent of the coverage in the complete survey, including the Islands and Highlands is no more than three years old and without doubt the best data of Scotland available,” continued Horner.