The Department for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), has awarded Bluesky Ireland, a specialist in aerial mapping, a contract to supply high resolution aerial photography and digital height models. Applications of the Bluesky data are expected to include rural farm payment schemes and forestry management. As an Irish government department, DAFM’s mission is to lead the sustainable development of a competitive, consumer focused agri-food sector and to contribute to a vibrant rural economy and society. Data delivered to DAFM by Bluesky includes the most up to date aerial photography, colour infrared imagery and a Digital Surface Model (DSM). The three year contract covers data for the whole of the Republic, around 80,000 square kilometres including off-shore islands. “We are delighted that DAFM has joined the growing number of government departments, local councils, utility companies, engineers and environment consultants, that are already benefiting from the day to day use of the most up to date and accurate geographic data for Ireland,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky International. “We look forward to working with DAFM to complete the capture and supply of data and supporting them in their roll out and application.” The high resolution, fully orthorectified aerial photography is fully compatible with DAFM’s existing map layers and is ready for use in desktop mapping and Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Bluesky’s target of capturing an additional 30,000 square kilometres of imagery in 2018, completing its nationwide coverage, is well underway and further updates to the archive are planned from 2019. In addition to the aerial photography, captured and processed by Bluesky, DAFM will also have access to colour infrared (CIR) imagery, which provides a valuable tool for studies in vege
tation extent and health, and other effects of human activity on the earth and its environment.