Airbus & Bluesky Aerial Photography

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Product Description:

The Airbus & Bluesky Aerial Photography product is a digital orthophoto mosaic of Great Britain, providing a true-colour (RGB) representation of the real world, showing all ground features at a viewing scale of 1:10,000.  The product was previously licenced under the PGA2a government agreement, and is now marketed under the GeoPerspectives brand.

The wide range of suggested applications for the product include general cartographic purposes, strategic development planning, 3D photogrammetric feature extraction, environmental impact studies, various planning purposes (urban development, emergency response, infrastructure), asset and land management, air quality and noise mapping, 3D visualisation and fly-throughs, visual impact studies, and to support government policy development for various European Directives focused on resource management and environmental protection.

The product has been created by acquiring stereo aerial photography from a combination of both traditional analogue aerial photography cameras, and digital aerial photography sensors (Vexcel UltraCam and Leica ADS40), as digital technology developed throughout the lifetime of the product.  The traditional photography was processed in quality approved photo laboratories and then scanned using photogrammetric scanners to the required resolution.  The stereo scans (traditional), digital frames (UltraCam) or digital strips (ADS40) were controlled using GPS ground control points and an air triangulation was applied to accurately locate the stereo-pairs.  The stereo pairs were then colour enhanced to maximise information content.  A DTM was then generated from the stereo-pairs, and edited to ground level.  The DTM, stereo-pairs, and air triangulation results were then used to orthorectify the data.  The data was then mosaiced to create a seamless regional dataset, and colour balanced to ensure consistency.  Finally, the data was tiled into 1km x 1km tiles, and metadata applied.  Quality checks were undertaken at every major stage of production to ensure the final product adhered to RICS specifications.

The data is available as a fully orthorectified mosaic in 1km x 1km edge-matched tiles, colour balanced to provide regional consistency.  All tiles are provided with a spatial resolution of 25cm, in 24-bit colour, as a 3-band raster.  The product has an overall positional accuracy of +/- 1.5m RMSE, and a vertical accuracy (from DTM) better than +/- 1.5m RMSE.

The coordinate system used is British National Grid, which is based on the OSGB36 geodetic datum and Transverse Mercator projection, and the vertical datum (mean sea level) is Ordnance Survey Newlyn Datum.


Dataset Thumbnail:


Dataset Specification:

Product Name

Airbus & Bluesky Aerial Photography

Data Provider

Airbus and Bluesky International Ltd


1:10,000 (25cm resolution)


Great Britain (complete)

Data Structure

Raster (24-bit, 3-band)



Tile Size

1km x 1km


Update Frequency

Not updated


Dataset Resources:

RICS Specification Vertical Aerial Photography 2010 5th edition (.pdf)