As part of the Aerial Photography for Great Britain (APGB) contract with the Geospatial Commission Getmapping and Bluesky are providing free at the point of use Web Mapping Services (WMS) for qualifying local government organisations.
This allows APGB members, such as local authorities and national parks, to access and use high-resolution aerial photography – 12.5 and 25 centimetre – securely via the Internet. Using a simple HTTP interface, licensed users can define their area of interest and stream data directly into their Geographical Information System (GIS) or desktop mapping software. The aerial photography can also be downloaded and stored for use in Internet and Intranet mapping services.
“Due to the high resolution, and therefore level of detail, the large files sizes involved in both aerial photography and other types of geographic data can represent a barrier to use,” commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Bluesky. “Traditionally data has been supplied on external storage devices, such as DVDs or portable hard disks, and this can result in isolated use and duplication of storage and management resources.”
“The secure, remotely hosted Web Mapping Service will make it easier for organisations to access and use the data,” added Gil Melham, Managing Director of Getmapping. “It is easy to use and free to access for members and data is compatible with all common desktop and enterprise applications.”
Data covered by the APGB agreement and available via the WMS is available free-at-the-point-of-use, to local government users across England and Wales. (Additional charges may be incurred for users in Scotland.)
Additional data that is covered by the contract includes 5 metre Digital Terrain and 2 metre Digital Surface Models (DTM/DSM) and 50 centimetre Colour Infrared imagery.
In addition to access via the WMS, eligible organisations, once registered, can also download data from a newly created APGB online mapping portal – https://apgb.blueskymapshop.com, or receive the data with delivery on storage media such as hard drive or memory stick.