British Geological Survey purchases Intermap's Scottish 3D terrain map

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26 Jul, 2005 Intermap has won a contract to supply its three-dimensional digital terrain map of Scotland to the British Geological Survey (BGS). The contract comes a year after BGS purchased Intermap's digital terrain data of England and Wales. Since that time over 50 different uses have been developed within the BGS for the data providing the justification for the purchase of the Scottish terrain map. 

For geologists, seeing the landscape in three dimensions yields valuable information for geological interpretation. When used in conjunction with bore samples, if the surface layer is mapped accurately in three dimensions, it gives a good impression of what is going on at depth. Modelling strata in three dimensions-widely in use by the construction industry, developers and planners- has many applications from risk assessment of unrecognised geo-hazards such as landslides and subsidence, to resource assessment of sands and gravels. 

Intermap's NEXTMap Britain elevation data has fulfilled its promise to become one of the most frequently used datasets across the BGS programme. The main outputs from the dataset's interpretation have been revised geological line work, maps of landslides and terrain features such as glacial landforms, three-dimensional viewing, geological modelling and more efficient air photo processing. 

The NEXTMap Britain dataset fills a niche not filled by any other digital elevation dataset available in the UK, providing consistent national coverage but at high resolution. At the detailed 1:10,000 scale used for geological mapping, photogrammetry and LIDAR provide highly accurate terrain data, but the former has to be generated as required on a project-by-project basis at a high cost, and LIDAR coverage is mostly limited to flood plains. NEXTMap Britain's national coverage of high-resolution data is now available everywhere to supplement the existing, but less detailed, national datasets already used by BGS. 

Notes for editors 
NEXTMap is the name given to Intermap's national program for mapping the terrain of whole countries in unprecedented detail. Elevation and imagery data is captured using Intermap's high-resolution radar (IFSAR) mapping technology. 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. 

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Intermap employs more than 280 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 

British Geological Survey 
The BGS is a public sector research establishment part of the National Environment Research Council (NERC). Established in 1835 today BGS survey and monitoring activities provide the scientific knowledge needed to understand engineering ground conditions; natural hazards; groundwater, mineral resources and climate change impacts. This knowledge is used in land use planning, coastal zone protection, pollution and waste management. BGS also carries out commissioned research which serves the specific interests of government departments and agencies, local government and the private sector, in the UK and internationally. 


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