Bluesky Ultra High Resolution Aerial Mapping Supports Hull’s Smart City Plans

The city of Hull, UK, has been photographed from the air using the latest, ultra-high resolution survey cameras. Captured by aerial mapping company Bluesky, the 5cm pixel resolution imagery is so detailed that road markings, street furniture and property boundaries are all clearly visible. It is hoped the new digital photomap will provide a common platform for data and systems for developing a range of applications to improve connectivity, inclusivity and joined-up decision in support of the Councils Smart City ambitions. With detailed on-street views accessible from the desktop, the aerial photography is also expected to save the City Council thousands of pounds by reducing the need for on-site visits.


Ian Anderson, Hull City Council Town Clerk, commented, “Hull is well placed to press ahead with Smart City ambitions with themes of connectivity and improving public services through the use of a single cross-city platform to join-up different systems, such as those for geographic information, street lighting and sensors, a priority.”


Hull City Council has been a user of aerial photography since 2002 with datasets updated approximately every 2 years. The Council first took delivery of Bluesky 5cm dataset in 2016 as it began preparations to become the UK City of Culture and the latest photography was flown in June 2018 – just 11 days after the survey was commissioned. The Bluesky data is deployed across the Council with users ranging from call centre operatives to planning officials and from highways managers to footpath champions.


“The Bluesky aerial photography forms an integral map layer in a number of systems including our call centre mapping software, our Idox planning system and our newly procured, cloud-based, geographic intelligence platform iShare,” added Glenn Dobson, GIS/Data Solutions Manager. “The imagery is in constant use allowing staff to identify non addressable incidents, complete asset management exercises and provide evidence to inform investigations and possible enforcements - often without even leaving the office.”


He continued, “As an authority with a relatively small geographic footprint the decision to have regular updates is simple; the Bluesky photography provides unrivalled detail and accuracy, is more up to date, is consistent, and it more than pays for itself. On a rough calculation the data costs less than seventeen pounds a day. If just one person uses it for a couple of minutes, rather than having to make a site visit, then the savings to the Council are potentially huge!”

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