Aerial mapping company Bluesky is offering free geographical data sets through its online Mapshop. Visitors to the online store www.blueskymapshop.com, which provides the aerial photography, height models and Ordnance Survey map layers, can now download free geological, land cover and flood maps. Other map layers that are available for free include places of interest, such as battlefields, World Heritage sites and registered parks and gardens, census areas and collections of themed data such as farming, marine and habitats.
The Bluesky Mapshop offers complete nationwide coverage of aerial photography with multiple ages available for every location. Visitors can also select 3D data including Digital Terrain and Surface Models (DTM / DSM) for all of England and Wales, and more accurate LiDAR data for most areas. Thermal Mapping is also available online for selected areas, and the National Tree Map™ data now covers all of England and Wales and is available for instant download.
“By bringing together data from organisations such as English Heritage, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the British Geological Survey, visitors to the Bluesky Mapshop get a real understanding of the natural environment and heritage of the UK,” commented Bluesky’s Managing Director Rachel Tidmarsh. “These free to use datasets perfectly complement our own offerings of aerial photography, height models and other remotely sensed themes, and are ready to use in popular desktop mapping software and Geographical Information Systems.”
The Bluesky Mapshop allows visitors to search for their area of interest by place name, postcode or coordinate. Professional users can also upload GIS files to identify their area of interest. The Mapshop preview window automatically displays the most up to date aerial image of the chosen location; however, users can choose alternative ages of aerial photography or select from the other geographic data products on offer, such as Ordnance Survey mapping and LiDAR.
Data that is currently available for free from the Bluesky Mapshop includes a generalised geological map ofthe UK with bedrock and superficial related themes from BGS, a collection of Open Source Data from English Heritage and an assortment of datasets provided by Natural England divided into groups with similar themes such as paths and parks, reserves, habitat networks and rights of way. Some Ordnance Survey Open Data is also available for free download.Other third party datasets published by Bluesky include a 44 class land cover map of the UK created by the European Union under the 'coordination of information on the environment' (CORINE) project, UK 2011 census areas and flood data from the Environment Agency including maps of Warning, Alert and Risk areas.