Aerial mapping company Bluesky Ireland has captured the first ever 12.5 centimetre resolution aerial photography coverage of the whole of the Greater Dublin area. Covering a total of 1,850 square kilometres the imagery is so detailed road markings, street furniture and property boundaries are all easily visible and is accurate for use in Geographical Information System (GIS) and desktop mapping software. In another first for the Republic of Ireland, the data is also being made available through a dedicated WMS (Web Mapping Service), allowing users to stream the imagery directly into their GIS or other compatible software.
“This is a first for Ireland and is a result of the hard work and persistence of the Bluesky Ireland team to capture what is quite a difficult area to fly due to air traffic restrictions,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky International. “As the data is processed it will be delivered to clients under existing contracts and will be available online at www.bluesky-world.ie where visitors can search for, view and download their choice of data.”
Using state of the art survey equipment Bluesky captured and is currently processing the images to the highest ‘true orthorectified’ standard. A geometric process, this adjusts the raw photographs to compensate for lens distortion, camera tilt and the effects of topographical relief. This eliminates building lean, and possible obscuration of detail within the images, and any displacement of features within the imagery.
The 2018 Dublin aerial dataset, together with additional data capture within the Republic of Ireland during the summer of 2018, brings Bluesky’s ambitious plan to capture the whole country to virtual completion. Since 2015 Bluesky has captured almost 95 per cent of the total area, of 25 centimetre and 12.5 centimetre resolution aerial photography. Detailed height models, Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Surface Models (DSM) at 2 metre and 25 centimetre resolutions respectively, are also available as is Colour Infrared (CIR) imagery which provides a valuable tool for vegetation studies and other effects of human activity on the earth and its environment.
Bluesky data is already in use within government departments, local councils, utility companies, engineers and environment consultants across Ireland. Earlier this year the Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) awarded Bluesky a three year contract to supply geographic data with applications expected to include rural farm payments and forestry. Bluesky data is also helping organisations such as Limerick and Waterford Councils, environmental consultancy company RPS Group and Kilgallen consulting engineers. Several counties are also already making use of the WMS now offered by Bluesky Ireland.