Historical airphotos reveal Cheshir?s hidden past

Historical airphotos reveal Cheshir?s hidden past

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GeoInformation Historic, a division of The GeoInformation Group, recently won a contract for the supply of its historical aerial photography to Cheshire County Council. The late 1940s CR Historic data set will be utilised by the Environmental Planning Service in conjunction with modern day photography for a range of services covering archaeology, nature conservation, land regeneration, environmental management, and planning.

The historical photography, sourced from UK archives and transformed into a present day digital format, will play a valuable and key role in providing its users with greater intelligence about a site’s past environmental setting. In addition to Chester CC, four further districts, namely Chester City Council, Congleton Borough Council, Macclesfield Borough Council and Vale Royal Borough Council as well as the unitary authority Warrington Borough Council will also be using the imagery.

This is GeoInformation Historic’s first contract for the supply of historic imagery for an entire county. Covering an expansive area of 2500 sq km, the data will be utilised for a wide range of applications. For example, the Land Regeneration Unit is involved in the reclamation of derelict and often contaminated land. Historical imagery will not only help the unit to identify sites of past land activities including potential contaminating industries that may pose serious threat to today’s living environment, but will help in the initial site assessment, investigation strategies and project design of future development. The Nature Conservation team will also be ustilising the imagery to identify how habitats have altered over the past 60 years. Aerial imagery has already proven to be particularly useful in illustrating to farmers and landowners how the landscape appears from overhead. Overlaying historical maps further highlights where hedges and trees in specific areas are no longer present will help to communicate how the rural landscape is changing. Such revealing historic imagery will go contribute to helping Cheshire achieve its aims for bio-diversity and creating a sustainable environment.

The historic images constituting the dataset have been scanned at resolutions up to 1200 DPI to provide a digital seamless coverage at 50 cm – 1 metre ground resolution. Corrected to Ordnance Survey Landline, the black and white images can be readily used within CRImage Manager¾the only free desktop image viewer that enables users to directly overlay historic imagery with modern day maps or images.

CR Historical is available for a number of selected UK cities. Additional areas may be sourced on request.