Bluesky and Getmapping Embrace Cloud GIS for Governmental Aerial Photography Users - 21/05/2019

Bluesky and Getmapping, suppliers of aerial photography to the UK government, have signed an agreement with online mapping specialist GeoXphere to encourage the wider use of Aerial Photography for Great Britain (APGB) within the public sector. Having been awarded the APGB contract in 2018, Bluesky and Getmapping are offering the latest and most detailed aerial photography available, free at the point of use, to more than 4,500 government organizations. GeoXphere developed XMAP, a cloud-based, entry-level GIS, to provide widespread desktop access to a range of mapping resources such as APGB data.

In use across local government, XMAP allows users of all technical abilities to access, analyse and share data for a variety of applications.

“The APGB contract has the potential to revolutionize the adoption of aerial photography within the public sector by removing financial barriers to use,” commented Chris Mewse, managing director of GeoXphere. “By also removing technical and financial barriers, through the use of XMAP, we can further support the Government’s Geospatial Commission aims and objectives.”


A cloud-based, entry-level solution, XMAP provides desktop access to resources, via the cloud, reducing the need to download and store large volumes of data. Accessed through a simple web browser, XMAP includes common mapping functions such as search, print, measure, edit and analyse, and makes them available across an organization not just to the specialist GIS users. An advanced administration dashboard allows an administrator to control permissions, editing rights and structure of the data, making XMAP a viable corporate solution. 

“We have already had excellent take-up and feedback from organizations that are perhaps more used to integrating geographic data within their daily workflows and decision-making,” added Rachel Tidmarsh, managing director of Bluesky. “By signing an agreement with GeoXphere we hope to extend this even further by making significant inroads into sectors such as town and parish councils that have previously been unable to afford appropriate software.”

Geospatial journey

“The beauty of XMAP is that it is accessible, easy to implement and easy to use, yet has all the functionality required by a variety of users,” added Gil Melham, managing director of Getmapping. “This makes it an ideal choice for organizations that are just starting out on their geospatial journey or are wanting to provide more widespread access to geospatial data across their organization.”

For more specialist users, the APGB contract covers 3D height models; 5 metre Digital Terrain and 2 metre Digital Surface Models (DTM/DSM), and 50 centimetre Colour Infrared (CIR) imagery. Bluesky and Getmapping are also keen to work with other suppliers of software and solutions to the public sector to further encourage the use of APGB data.

Last updated: 15/12/2019