London 3D Tree Map Helps Assess Green Infrastructure

Coalville, Leicestershire, 01 May 2012 – A digital map of trees created by aerial mapping company Bluesky is helping to support a range of environmental projects in London. Using Bluesky’s tree map The Ecology Consultancy (TEC) and the Green Roof Consultancy (GRC) have undertaken a Green Infrastructure (GI) Audit on behalf of Hammersmith London Business Improvement District (BID) to assess the quality and extent of existing GI resources and provide recommendations for enhancing urban greenspace. Derived from aerial photography the Bluesky tree map, called ProximiTREE, details the exact location of all trees and includes measurements of tree height and canopy extent.
Forming part of the City wide ‘Drain London’ project, the work will consider all elements that form the network of natural and semi-natural spaces in the west London district. The long-term aim of the project is to increase the quality and quantity of green space and enable climate change adaptation. The study specifically looked at the contribution of trees to the urban landscape and their vital role in reducing the effects of storm water flooding, providing wildlife habitat and green corridors, minimising the urban heat island phenomena and improving the environment for residents, business and visitors.
“Working with London Borough of Hammersmith we already had access to some information about trees in the public domain,” commented Ben Kimpton, Senior Ecologist at TEC, “but in a dense urban environment this formed only a small fraction of the actual GI. In order to fully understand the role and impact of trees in both the public and private landscape and inform future strategy we needed the full picture and Bluesky’s ProximiTREE data provided this.” 
The ProximiTREE map layer, created and supplied by Bluesky, complemented data already held by project partners such as Hammersmith and Fulham Council and the Greater London Authority and data collected during field surveys. Processed using ArcView GIS (Geographical Information System) the data underpinned the project deliverables which included a written report, maps of both existing and proposed features, workshops and a tour of the study area.
ProximiTREE is derived from the most accurate and up to date aerial photography. Using overlapping images the exact location of every tree can be mapped and the height and extent of its canopy derived. ProximiTREE is suitable for use in most desktop Geographical Information Systems (GIS), web mapping applications and Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages. Both 2D and 3D versions of the map are available and ProximiTREE works alongside existing Bluesky datasets such as 3D buildings, terrain models and aerial imagery.

About Bluesky
Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial imaging and remote sensing data collection and processing.  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, 3D landscape/cityscape visualisations and prints and also runs a national mapping centre, providing digital mapping, satellite imagery and aerial photography including ultra-high resolution imagery of cities and towns. Bluesky is now leading the way developing innovative solutions for environmental applications including the UK’s first nationwide map of solar potential, citywide ‘heat loss’ maps, 3D maps of trees and their proximity to buildings and historical imagery.

About The Ecology Consultancy
The Ecology Consultancy provides clients, in all sectors, with expert advice on wildlife and conservation issues.  The team of specialist ecologists deliver sustainable solutions with the minimum disruption to a project. The comprehensive range of services include: habitat and vegetation surveys; protected species and fauna surveys; EcIA and HRA; GIS mapping; public enquiries; biodiversity research and training; ecological management plans, detailed mitigation schemes, habitat creation and enhancement programmes, BREEAM New Construction, CfSH and CEEQUAL assessments, specialist green roof and green wall advice and design.

About The Green Roof Consultancy
The Green Roof Consultancy is a company jointly owned by The Ecology Consultancy, Gary Grant and Dusty Gedge. Its leading experts in green roofs and walls provide a range of services for anyone involved in their planning, design and construction, including planners, designers, consultant architects, landscape architects, local authorities, main contractors, sub-contractors and small builders.
About Hammersmith London
Hammersmith London is responsible for delivering a Business Improvement District (BID) to Hammersmith; a new type of public-private partnership. Previously known as Greater Hammersmith, Hammersmith London was one of the first UK BIDs and has been broadly recognised as one of the best. Hammersmith London is a not-for-profit organisation providing additional or improved services as identified and requested by local businesses, to the baseline services provided by the public bodies in the area.