Complete Elevation Dataset of Western Europe from Intermap Meets Needs of INSPIRE
As the European Union continues to work toward fulfilling the mandate to integrate spatial information services expressed by the EUâs Directive 2007/2/EC INSPIRE â Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community, one digital mapping organization has reached a significant milestone that could help geospatial professionals meet that mandate.Intermap Technologies has announced the completion of the data acquisition phase of NEXTMap Europe, an ambitious countrywide 3D mapping program that includes high-resolution elevation data and orthorectified images for all of Western Europe.According to Brian Bullock, Intermap president and CEO, âThe completion of the data collection for NEXTMap Europe is a feat of tremendous significance. Never before has a commercial enterprise endeavored to collect a database of uniformly accurate 3D elevation data and orthorectified images of entire countries, let alone nearly half a continent. A project of this magnitude is not only unheard of, it provides an enabling foundation for the development of a variety of applications that rely on high-quality and consistent elevation data.\"NEXTMap Europe represents the first collection of high-resolution three-dimensional elevation data and images on a pan-European countrywide basis. Fully-processed datasets for Great Britain and Germany are already available, and processed datasets for the remainder of NEXTMap Europe will be available by March 31, 2009. The collected data includes more than 80 billion elevation measurements and 1.3 trillion image pixels.A companion program, NEXTMapÂ® USA, will finish collecting data for the 48 contiguous states of the United States, as well as Hawaii, in early 2009.Intermapâs efforts are a prime example of how the GIS / geospatial industry is helping to construct a much-needed pan-European spatial data infrastructure (SDI). Specifically, NEXTMap Europe provides the highly reliable trans-boundary datasets necessary to enable the SDI to meet INSPIRE-mandated requirements. These new datasets will benefit geospatial professionals in the areas of environmental management, carbon emission reduction, fuel efficiency improvements, engineering planning, intelligent transportation systems, risk management for flood and windstorm damage, irrigation, telecommunications/wireless network planning, aviation safety, and wind energy.The fragmented and incomplete datasets previously obtainable, at varying scales and availability, are now countered by precise elevation data that covers the whole of Western Europe at a consistent scale. The datasets provide for the general applications of geometric information: visualization of information layers and compositing of information derived from multiple sources. The comprehensiveness and consistency of NEXTMap Europe â the project encompasses all Western European countries at a uniform scale â is what appeals to the INSPIRE directive. Every attribute in Western Europeâs landscape â from natural features to manmade structures â now has a GPS address known to an accuracy of 2 meters horizontally and 1 meter vertically.NEXTMap Europeâs data integrity has been validated by 11 independent agencies, including the Ordnance Survey, the University of Stuttgart, the Environment Agency of England & Wales, and University College London.
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