GetMapping Aerial Photography

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Product Description:

The GetMapping Aerial Photography product is an imagery archive comprised of a digital vertical orthophoto mosaic covering the whole of Great Britain.  Captured in the visible light wavelength, it is a true-colour (RGB) representation of the real world, showing all ground features visible at a viewing scale of 1:10,000 (for 25cm resolution imagery).  The product was previously marketed under the APGB (Aerial Photography for Great Britain) and NextPerspectives brands.

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 imagery has been captured to RICS Specifications (2010 5th edition for all data captured since 2010, RICS 2001 for all previous data), which presents a guidance note and client specification of best practice for vertical aerial photography typically required for photogrammetric mapping and digital data collection, production of orthophotography and digital mosaics, and environmental information gathering and general interpretation.

All imagery was acquired as RGB true colour enhanced to maximise information content.  All images have been acquired in a flying season between April and October of each year, and with a sun angle greater than 20 degrees (to control shadow extent).  The same sensor has been used for all imagery acquisition (Vexcel UltraCam digital cameras), with a typical 80% overlap, and 30% sidelap (maintained for stereo capture and true ortho production).  Areas were flown to Mean Low Water extents, to cover intertidal areas, mudflats, and large estuaries.

The full true orthorectification process included the use of highly accurate airborne GPS/INS, with ground control points.  Adequate control was used to ensure all imagery meets the image accuracy specifications and is suitable for 3D and photogrammetric use.  The orthorectification only used the central portion of each image frame, reducing artefacts (such as sun glint or cloud).  Where artefacts did occur, alternative frames from the stereo capture were used or a reflight was undertaken.  All ortho data since 2016 has been created as true ortho, which enhances the imagery further by removing building lean.  In addition, orthorectification was performed on the DSM for areas of true ortho.  This process has resulted in an overall positional accuracy better than +/- 1.25m RMSE.

The data product is available as a GB-wide fully orthorectified mosaic, with colour balancing to provide regional consistency, and supplied in edge-matched 1km x 1km tiles.  The data is available at 25cm spatial resolution (with a viewing scale of 1:10,000), in 24-bit colour, as a 3-band (RGB) GeoTIFF raster product.  The data is supplied with no compression, or for compressed delivery formats, the compression does not exceed 25:1.  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.

The age of the imagery varies across the mosaic as areas have been resurveyed, but is currently comprised of the years 2006-2017.  You can see which year a particular location was flown within the Geospatial data service by viewing the coverage view metalayer, and using the map legend tool to display the individual year colours.


Dataset Thumbnail:


Dataset Specification:

Product Name

GetMapping Aerial Photography

Data Provider

GetMapping Plc 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

3 year rolling update programme


Dataset Resources: