Bluesky National Tree Map Helps Dudley Council Protect Urban Trees
Leicestershire, 29 September 2017 – Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is utilising Bluesky’s National Tree Map data to help ascertain numbers for a borough wide inventory of trees. The Arboricultural Section of Dudley Council has the management responsibility for trees on different departments’ land parcels across the largely urban 98 sq km borough. In addition, Dudley Council has a published Tree Strategy, which promises to enhance and protect the authority’s tree stock.
The Bluesky National Tree Map (NTM) data, which identifies the location, height and canopy cover of more than 280 million trees across Britain, is being used within Dudley Council’s corporate Geographical Information System (GIS). Combined with existing data layers, such as Ordnance Survey mapping, the Local Land and Property Gazetteer, Dudley’s Land Terrier and recent aerial photography (also provided by Bluesky), it allows officers to quickly identify trees that fall within areas owned or managed by the Council.
“Often trees, as a result of their location, become part of a wider remit or responsibility,” commented Andy Allison, Acting Arboricultural Officer at Dudley Council. “They are considered assets and have a positive effect on highways, housing or leisure portfolios, making their borough wide management quite complex. So, in order to implement and deliver our published tree strategy, we needed some help estimating tree numbers.
“Using the Bluesky National Tree Map data as a starting point, we are creating an inventory of every tree located upon or adjacent to Council land. This total can then be broken down further, into wards or by specific council committees and ownerships, to provide manageable work packages. From this we can estimate how long it would take to survey the tree stock in order to create and maintain a diverse population of trees; perpetuating existing trees where possible and planting new ones where needed, ultimately sustaining the character and appearance of the Borough for future generations.”
Further applications of the Bluesky National Tree Map data within Dudley Council are expected to include Development Control, where trees (both existing and proposed) can have a significant impact upon an application, and surface water flood risk assessment, where they can be considered to provide a natural defence.
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The Bluesky National Tree Map has been created using innovative algorithms and image processing techniques in combination with the most up to date and detailed aerial photography and height data in the UK. A team of experienced professionals then completed an exhaustive QA process to ensure the quality and accuracy of the data. In addition to the three vector map layers; Crown Polygons, Idealised Crowns and Height Points, the Bluesky National Tree Map also includes an attribute table including unique identification for each crown feature, height attributes and area calculations. The data is available in a range of GIS ready formats with flexible annual licencing.
Applications of the Bluesky National Tree Map include subsidence risk assessment by insurance companies, propagation modelling for telecommunication infrastructure planning, network resilience assessment for utility companies and carbon reduction planning for environmental mitigation projects. Existing users of the data are already reporting significant improvements in day to day planning and operational efficiency achieved through the use of Bluesky National Tree Map data.
Bluesky National Tree Map is currently available for England and Wales with work already underway to create coverage for Scotland.
Bluesky is a specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data, using the very latest survey technology, including two UltraCam Eagles and a Teledyne Optech Galaxy LiDAR system integrated with a PhaseOne camera and thermal sensor. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies.
Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national “off the shelf” coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an ongoing three-year update programme. By purchasing a world first sensor for the simultaneous capture of LiDAR, Thermal and Aerial Photography data, Bluesky is in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost effective solutions.
Bluesky is leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications, including the UK’s first National Tree Map (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products. www.bluesky-world.com