Getmapping Imagery Selected For Penn State Research Project

Hartley Wintney, UK, January 13th 2009 – Getmapping aerial imagery is being used in a research project focussing on the landscape and population history of the Orkney Islands between 1750 and 2000.  The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, has been running for six years at Pennsylvania State University in the US, providing undergraduate students from various disciplines with a unique research opportunity. The project is run by the Population Research Institute, Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Between 1750 and 2000, the northern islands of Orkney (Scotland) underwent a major cycle of population growth and decline. The North Orkney Population History Project focusses on the five most northerly of the Orkney Islands, Papay, Westray, Eday, Sanday and North Ronaldsay, picked because of their diverse ecological contexts. The project is investigating these demographic changes within the context of the transition from near-subsistence farming to modern livestock rearing using a wide variety of data sources including parish records, census data, oral history material, topographic maps, remote sensing and archeological survey.

“We have been endeavouring to find a source of modern high resolution photography of the Orkneys for some time, but getting hold of any with less than 30% cloud cover, even from satellite imagery, has proved impossible until now,” said Tim Murtha, Assistant Professor, Landscape and Architecture at Penn State. “The Getmapping imagery is both very clear and accurate and will now form the baseline mapping for our project. Now we can look closely not only at the buildings and landscape as they exist today but also the heritage resources in terms of older buildings and traces of former land use. We can now look to re-classify land cover and at a smaller scale to see changes at a household level and get a better understanding of why farms were abandoned for example. We have also purchased a digital terrain model derived from the aerial photography which will enable us to study the affects of slope and aspect too.”

The imagery supplied to Penn State was flown at 25cm pixel resolution using a Vexcel UltracamX digital camera with full on board inertial management and GPS ground control.

About Getmapping Plc
Getmapping Plc is the UK’s leading provider of aerial photography and digital mapping. Based in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire Getmapping was the first company to have up to date nationwide coverage and pioneered online delivery of aerial photography to business and the public and large. A reseller of professional mapping, oblique photography, height data, OS maps and third party aerial photography, Getmapping services a wide variety of markets including press and media, local authorities, property and construction, environmental consultants and the public. It also provides mapping services for specific client needs and has undertaken contracts to provide bespoke image databases. A pioneer of many online products through its website, Getmapping is the only company currently re-flying the whole country at enhanced 12.5cm resolution.

About Penn State
Penn State founded in 1855 is a multicampus public research university that educates students from Pennsylvania, the US and the world, and improves the well being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.