Intermap's 3D Terrain Data used to Explore, visualise and evaluate in 3D

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12 May, 2005 Accurate measuring and analysis of footpaths in Powys is just one innovative use to which Intermap's NEXTMap Britain digital landscape map is being put. When using the NEXTMap digital terrain model, Environment Systems, a leading geographic and environmental information consultancy were able to measure paths in 3D and identify a 50km difference when compared with the same analysis undertaken with normal topographic maps. 

Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, local authorities now have to look after the network of public access rights of way that criss-cross their territory. In Powys, these responsibilities are brought into sharp focus by virtue of its size. The county covers an area of 519,700 hectares, approximately a quarter of the area of Wales and includes the popular tourist areas of the long distance Offa's Dyke Path and scenic mid Wales uplands. Intermap's NEXTMap Britain digital landscape maps can help the governmental authorities manage their network of public access rights of way. 

The NEXTMap Britain dataset enables the rise and fall of the land to be viewed in software and calculations can be made from cross sections. The data set includes an orthorectified radar image or 'ORI' which provides a greyscale image of surface features. The key advantage of this type of image is that it is derived from RADAR pulses, which accentuate features, such as vegetation, trees, embankments, buildings, etc. far more than is possible with aerial photography. In predominantly rural areas this proves invaluable, making it easier to correlate with maps and aerial photography to highlight areas, which might otherwise require a site survey. The time saved by being able to do much of the analysis from behind a computer screen in the office makes the use of this technology compelling. 

"We are so enthusiastic about NextMap Britain because it has allowed us to offer so much more to our clients," said Katie Medcalf of Environment Systems. "Not only does it allow us to interrogate the landscape in three dimensions from the comfort of our offices, but it can also be combined with current and historic aerial photography to provide 3D visualisations. One aspect of the data, which was particularly rewarding was to produce visualisations and analysis for remote and difficult to reach areas such as islands and uplands. The Disabled Ramblers Association and others are enthusiastic about using this data to increase access and awareness of our countryside. NEXTMap data can also be combined with other datasets such as those provided by the Quickbird earth observation satellite for landscape and habitat assessments". 


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, the National Assembly of 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 270 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 

About Environment Systems 
Environment Systems is a geographic and environmental information consultancy. The company delivers innovation in the application of geographic information to the environment, agriculture, land and property sectors. Environment Systems is a reseller and developer of the NEXTMap Britain data products. For more information on Environment Systems, please visit 

Editorial contact: William Allbrook on tel. 01666 826641 
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