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Yorkshire Water awards aerial mapping deal

Yorkshire Water is using the latest high-resolution aerial photography to help manage its water network and assets over nearly 15,000km2, having signed a new three-year contract with aerial mapping company Bluesky.

Covering the whole of the Yorkshire Water operating area, the latest delivery of high resolution imagery will be used across the water supply and treatment company. The Bluesky aerial photography is accessible, using Yorkshire Water’s intranet and desktop geographical information system (GIS), to around 3,000 individual users. Primary uses include Asset Data Mapping, Land Management, Grounds Maintenance, Control Room Operations and Conveyancing.

The Bluesky aerial map data sits alongside MasterMap data from Ordnance Survey, as well as Yorkshire Water’s own customised map layers. A primary application of the imagery is maintenance of the company’s underground asset network mapping. With hundreds of changes and additions received from partners and field teams every week, the aerial photography provides additional real world details – including pavement positions, building corners and even manhole covers – that are not available from other sources.

“The Bluesky aerial photography is especially useful when digitising the underground network,” said Heidi Weston-Beyer, asset data mapping team leader at Yorkshire Water. “The detail within the imagery allows us to accurately identify and position changes and additions with data that is compatible with our own data layers and third-party products. In addition, Bluesky’s planned update programme and proposed image resolution suits the exacting needs of our business, as well as our budget, providing us with very up to date imagery in a suitable format and at the right price.”

Yorkshire Water is also benefiting from Bluesky LiDAR data. Commissioned by Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB), the 4 points per metre (ppm) data is being used to create accurate models of the terrain and ground features in relation to the underground sewer network. These models will help MMB and Yorkshire Water assess predicted flooding, understand the potential impact of flooding and replicate reported flood events in order to develop holistic solutions. 

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