Rushmoor Borough Council is using LiDAR data from Bluesky to model the Hampshire towns of Aldershot and Farnborough. Captured using aircraft mounted laser scanners the detailed models and raw height data are being used to inform planning policies, support Public Consultations and underpin Emergency Response plans. The Bluesky data is also being used to update and enhance other mapping products already in use across the Council.
“Since the introduction of the PMSA (Public Sector Mapping Agreement) we have been without reliable height data and our previous solution was considered out of date and no longer of sufficient resolution,” commented Richard Greaney, GIS Officer at Rushmoor Borough Council. “Our business case for a new acquisition was centred on multiple uses of the new data. Using the Bluesky data we have already achieved several of our goals and have many more projects lined up.”
From a specially commissioned LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey Bluesky created 50 centimetre resolution Digital Terrain and Surface Models (DTM / DSM) for the entire Borough plus a 500 metre buffer zone. Bluesky also delivered the unprocessed four points per metre point cloud – the millions of individual laser scanned measurements captured by the aircraft mounted laser.
“We are a small district with limited budgets,” continued Greaney. “We simply cannot afford to purchase new data or models every time we have a new project. By commissioning Bluesky to create the DTM and DSM as well as supplying the raw data we are able to produce our own models, to our own specific requirements, as and when we need to.”
Using the height data from Bluesky Rushmoor Borough Council has already completed a Canopy Cover study to inform future planning policies and decisions and created both a contour map and an object height database. They have also identified an array of properties not featured in their base mapping; such as extensions, conservatories and temporary structures. The Council has also used the raw point cloud data to create a 3D visualisation and fly through of Farnborough town centre for a Public Consultation exercise and are hoping to create detailed models of Listed Buildings and Buildings of Local Importance for future discussions.
Using the Bluesky height models Rushmoor Council are also planning an enhanced Flood Water Management study to identify properties at risk; underpinning Emergency Response plans and informing future planning decisions. Long term plans for the Bluesky data include woodland mapping, viewshed analysis and solar potential modelling.