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Aerial survey specialist Bluesky has created a highly detailed digital photomap of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in South Wales from archive survey images in conjunction with Old Aerial Photos. Using original film rolls from the early 1990s Bluesky scanned and georeferenced more than 1,000 individual images to create the map-accurate dataset of the Gower Peninsula for the Central Register of Aerial Photography for Wales, part of the Welsh Assembly Government. The images are part of an archive of more than 500,000 historically important photographs, dating back to the 1960s and covering the whole of Wales, England and large parts of Scotland, which are exclusively available from Bluesky.

The Central Register of Aerial Photography for Wales maintains information about all major aerial survey cover of Wales, as well as holding an extensive collection of aerial photographs dating back to the 1940s. The Central Register is a comprehensive source of information and advises all interested parties including divisions of the Government, other public and private sector organisations and members of the public.

“This dataset will complement our existing digital collection as we already hold cover of this area from 2000 and 2006,” said Derek Elliott, Aerial Photographs Officer. “The digital dataset is easy to use and demonstrates the potential that exists both within this and other archive collections.”

The original images are part of an historical aerial photography collection housed and managed by Bluesky. Dating from the early 1960s the collection comprises over 360,000 individual frames stored on 2,000 rolls of film covering the whole of England and Wales and a large proportion of Scotland, at scales ranging from 1: 2,500 to 1:25,000, in black and white and colour.

“This is the first time these images have been available in this form,” said James Eddy, Technical Director of Bluesky. “By using state-of-the-art technology we can produce 21st century solutions from 20th century images, creating a valuable, and irreplaceable, record of landscape change and providing a valuable tool for monitoring coastal erosion, land use change, boundary disputes, urban growth and rural decline as well as providing individuals with an historical record of their own property or neighbourhood.”

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