An oblique view

Bluesky launches an online streaming service for oblique panoramic aerial images

Aerial imagery is becoming an important element of urban planning, as we seek to widen the involvement of the public and other bodies in the decision making processes. This is probably more relevant in this country and in similar historical cities in Europe, where urban development has to compete with historical treasures - and where the vociferous opinions of interested parties hold most sway.

It is also a feature of the latest trends in reality capture and the need to produce photographic quality images of buildings along with their heights, volumes and other measurements, that can be incorporated into modern architectural designs. It is fortunate that much of the work involved in aggregating imagery for some of our cities with important historical associations has already been done, and is now being made available for interested users.

Aerial mapping company Bluesky is releasing its entire catalogue of geographically referenced oblique aerial images of UK cities via a new subscription based streaming service. Working with Geoxphere, a specialist in cloud-based GIS, Bluesky will offer the MetroVista imagery via an easy-to-use web viewer which also includes measurement tools for detailed analysis of building features, façade details and street furniture locations.

"Oblique imagery offers an unparalleled view of the built environment, revealing real world features simply not present in any other type of aerial image or map," commented Rachel Tidmarsh, Managing Director of Leicestershire based Bluesky International. "The MetroVista imagery can be used to inform decision making with timestamped intelligence, and even evidence, as well as improving engagement with colleagues through better communication of ideas. All of this without even leaving your desk!

"However this wealth of information, as you would expect, can present some issues when it comes to storing and consuming data. The MetroVista Oblique Viewer overcomes these issues, meaning the value of the data can be realised without the burden of storing, processing or updating."

With a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution powered by Geoxphere's XMAP geospatial cloud technology, the MetroVista Oblique Viewer is a fully managed subscription service, meaning there is no need to download or store large volumes of data locally. The MetroVista Oblique Viewer does not require any specialist software, plugins or downloads and, as the data is also managed, newly captured images are automatically added to an account as they become available.

The Viewer has split-screen options and rotating views that allow the user to toggle through images to get a 360 degree view of a building. The Bluesky Geoxphere Viewer also includes height and area measurement tools for recording a building's height or distance from a feature and its façade area.

Captured using the world's first large format imagery and LiDAR hybrid airborne sensor, the Bluesky MetroVista imagery collection includes simultaneously captured oblique and vertical aerial photography. The MetroVista datasets also include geographically accurate, phototextured, mesh models ready for use in 3D GIS, CAD and other modelling software as well as visualisation, gaming and Virtual Reality workflows.

Bluesky has already captured MetroVista data for cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Norwich, Leicester, Derby and Newcastle, as well as Bournemouth, Brighton, Cardiff, Doncaster, Eastbourne and Southend.

Geoxphere is a UK-based company specialising in Cloud GIS, spatial data management and cost-effective geospatial survey solutions. Geoxphere has decades of combined experience in the geospatial industry with a wide skillset ranging from remote sensing through to web development. Geoxphere has a culture of attention to detail, developing successful survey and GIS solutions for its customers based on a thorough discussion of and enjoyment in what they do.