Intermap's 3D terrain map extends Norwich Union's flood map to Scotland

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23 Mar, 2005 Norwich Union Insurance has acquired Intermap's three-dimensional terrain map of Scotland in order to extend its flood mapping project across Great Britain. The Norwich Union Flood Map uses Intermap's Digital Terrain Model (DTM) to provide detailed and accurate information on the height of land in river catchments. Created electronically using sophisticated airborne radar, Intermap's NEXTMap Britain map gives highly accurate heights above sea level at 5 metre intervals across the whole of Scotland, England and Wales. 

According to researchers at Dundee University, it is estimated that the risk of flooding in some parts of Scotland is expected to double in the next 80 years because of climate change and global warming. Areas of particular risk include river basins, such as the Clyde, which would experience a 50% increase in flooding by the end of the century. Most of Scotland's coast, which lies below 5 metres, could also be vulnerable to flooding, as sea levels are predicted to rise by between 80 mm and 300 mm over the next 50 years. Flooding in inland areas is also expected to rise by 10% to 20% in the same period. At present, 93,000 properties in Scotland are at risk from coastal flooding and 77,000 are at risk from inland flooding, which causes around £20 million worth of damage every year. 

The Norwich Union Flood Map covers extents and depths of river flooding for 7 return periods, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 250 and 1000 years. Using modern digital mapping technology and recognised hydrological modelling techniques, the risk of flooding can be ascertained for individual properties at a sub-postcode level. This spreads the risk more accurately than has been achievable before and provides more accurate premiums. In many areas, people will benefit directly because in some cases the new map may indicate that their property is not in fact at risk or won't flood as previously thought. 

"There has been enough flooding in Britain since we embarked on this project for us to feel confident that our flood map is now the best tool available for assessing risk for individual properties," said Jill Boulton leader of Norwich Union's flood team. "Intermap's Digital Terrain Model of the landscape has provided us with consistent land height data for all the river catchments across England and Wales and now Scotland from which to model the return periods," continued Boulton. 

Notes for editors 
NEXTMap is the name given to Intermap's national program for mapping the terrain of whole countries in unprecedented detail. This program, which employs Intermap's radar (IFSAR) mapping technology to capture elevation and imagery data, is the industry benchmark for accuracy and affordability. The data is obtainable for areas as small as 2 sq km and available at different resolutions and price points for use with a wide variety of computer software, including CAD, GIS and modelling. The data can be used in a wide range of commercial applications, including engineering, transportation, navigation, flood mapping, environmental assessment and management, mobile network planning, simulation and 3D visualisation. Major NEXTMap Britain data users include the Environment Agency, Norwich Union, and the National Assembly for Wales, the Scottish Executive and the British Geological Survey. 

NEXTMap Britain data is sold under license directly through Intermap's own online store at or through its network of distributors. 

About Intermap 

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Intermap employs more than 250 people worldwide, with offices in Calgary, Ottawa, Munich and Jakarta. Intermap is publicly traded on the TSX Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol IMP. For more information, visit 

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