The sheer numbers involved with NEXTMap Europe are staggering: 80 billion elevation measurements describing 2.4 million km2 of Western Europe to an unprecedented level of detail.
Our NEXTMap Europe countrywide mapping program is complete and datasets for most of Western Europe will by fully processed by March 2009. Data for Great Britain, Germany, and France (30 November) are already commercially available and data for other countries will be added to our library as it is fully edited. According to Brian Bullock, Intermapâs president and CEO, âthis 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 of 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.âNEXTMap Europe\'s national datasets will include digital terrain models (DTMs) and digital surface models (DSMs), at levels of precision and detail that have never been available: 1.0-meter vertical accuracy RMSE (root mean square error) with 5-meter post spacings. The datasets also include black-and-white and color orthorectified radar images, containing over 1.3 trillion pixels each, at 2.0-meter horizontal accuracy RMSE. In addition, Intermap is creating contours, 3D road centerline geometries, and other high-resolution geospatial products as part of the program.âEuropean companies and governments, and international enterprises will benefit greatly by having access to such a comprehensive dataset,â continued Mr. Bullock. âAs initiatives mandated by the European Union affect companies across a wide range of industries and countries, weâre pleased to be in a position to meet their geospatial needs.â (For more information on one of those initiatives, see the INSPIRE section below.)The ever-growing geospatial market will benefit from this new foundational layer in the areas of geographic information systems (GIS), environmental management, carbon emission reduction, fuel efficiency improvements, engineering planning, transportation, automotive, recreation, risk management for flood and windstorm damage, irrigation, telecommunications/wireless network planning, aviation safety, wind energy, 3D visualization, online virtual tours, topographic maps, and computer games.NEXTMap Europe has its roots in NEXTMapÂ® Britain, which was itself a massive undertaking when it was originally conceived in 2000. Imagery for Scotland was added to the program in 2002, and, in 2006, Intermap made the decision to include most of Western Europe. Three Intermap aircraft, equipped with the companyâs proprietary interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IFSAR), flew a total of 484,430 km (301,000 miles) of flight lines for the program.While many individual Western European countriesâ datasets are now âon the shelfâ and more are added as processing is completed, the entire dataset of NEXTMap Europe will be finished in March 2009. 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.Data collection and processing for NEXTMap USA, the companion program to NEXTMap Europe that contains elevation data for the contiguous United States and Hawaii, is well underway; that entire dataset will be available in December 2009. For more information about the programs, visit www.Intermap.com.The INSPIRE DirectiveThe Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) Directive became official on May 15, 2007. INSPIRE is intended to address the inconsistent, fragmented, and incomplete nature of geospatial datasets across the European Union.Officials from the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union recognized the problems of organizations â from the national tiers down to the community government levels â using datasets of varying qualities and completeness to accomplish their geospatial goals. Primarily, the INSPIRE directive intends to create a European spatial information infrastructure that delivers integrated, uniformly accurate services, such as visualizing information, layering of information from different sources, and analyzing spatial and temporal data.NEXTMap Europeâ comprehensiveness â the project encompasses nearly all Western European countries at a uniform scale â applies directly to INSPIRE. 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. âWe realize that INSPIRE will comprise a number of important spatial data components,â said Brian Bullock, Intermapâs president and CEO, âand Intermap is proud that NEXTMap Europe will help meet the requirements of the initiative.â
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