Azimuth Land Surveys is using a range of high tech aerial survey data from Bluesky to complete a feasibility study for a proposed new village development in the South West of England. Comprising more than 2,000 dwellings, access roads and village amenities, the initial requirement was for a proof of concept project to evaluate how existing data from Bluesky could be used to inform more detailed studies. Using Bluesky’s high resolution aerial photography, 3D laser models, National Tree Map data as well as Ordnance Survey mapping, Azimuth completed both the trial and the wider project, saving the client – a consortium of local land owners – the cost of a traditional topographical survey.
“At the early stages of a project, budget tends to be limited and the cost of a full on site survey can rarely be justified,” commented Neil Fowler, Director at Newport based Azimuth Land Surveys. “We were therefore given the challenge to complete a 3D topographical mapping project to inform engineering, landscape and ecological studies, using off the shelf data.”
Azimuth initially purchased data for a small sample area from Bluesky’s online Mapshop. The 2m resolution Digital Terrain Model (DTM), created from aircraft mounted lasers, was used to create a Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN) and subsequently contours were created from the TIN. These 3D datasets were overlaid onto 2D OS MasterMap data. The 2D map data was then converted to 3D by snapping the 2D polyline vertices to the 3D data. Bluesky’s National Tree Map data was added using the same methodology. Finally, high definition aerial photography was draped over the model to produce isometric views of the existing topography.
“Working with Bluesky, we combined and manipulated data for a small sample area and the results were presented to the design team and landowners. The resultant mapping exceeded the requirements of all stakeholders, and we were commissioned to complete 3D topographical mapping, using the same methodology, for the whole development area,” continued Fowler.
The 3D topographical map outputs produced by Azimuth using the Bluesky data will be used to establish if the proposed village development is viable, help identify feasible options and be used in the development of other project documentation, such as business case, project execution plan and strategic brief. As the project develops, the maps may also be used to inform planning, assessment of environmental impact, budget and procurement options for example, in conjunction with data from a full topographic survey.