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Capturing NZ at scale

24 January 2024

Aerial Surveys Limited (ASL) is New Zealand’s oldest aerial surveying company with over forty years of capturing data at scale all over the country. A presentation given as part of the end of year Remote Sensing User Group meeting in November 2023 provides some detail on how foresters are able to search the vast amount of data archives using our website ( www.aerialsurveys.co.nz ) to find existing data, whether it is historical, most recent or even upcoming data in the near future.

Digital imagery is available from 2010 through to 2023, while our LiDAR library is from 2007 through to 2023. Both the imagery and LIDAR datasets can be searched using a graphical map window with the ability to peruse the data for any year selected using the slide bar. Clicking on any particular dataset will provide basic metadata on data specifications, dates and the survey reference number. A “Copy Reference” button can be used to paste the reference detail into the ASL contact form to request additional information and pricing.

ASLs historic film-based archive library stretches between the years 1943 through to 2010. It is currently a text-based search with the ability to filter using key words, selecting North or South Island or individual regions. A slide bar provides the ability to narrow the search to a start and end date which can be useful for foresters involved in pre-1990 ETS work to narrow the search around that date. A contact form can be used to request more information and pricing from ASL.

ASL has recently purchased two photogrammetric scanners from LINZ after the completion of their project to digitise the entire crown aerial film library. The purchase of these scanners ensures we are able to preserve a scanning service within New Zealand. In addition, ASL owns a film archive of around 350,000 aerial film negatives which will be scanned over the coming years.

For forest owners and managers who are after the latest imagery and LiDAR data, ASL has developed a portal which provides a map-based search of the most recent imagery delivered, new data being processed or areas where capture is in progress or planned. Users are able to upload their areas of interest and compare with existing project extents. When planned areas are close by, or partially cover the client’s areas, foresters can contact ASL to discuss extending the project capture over their area to obtain new data products at a reduced rate, eliminating most of the mobilisation costs that would be included if it was priced as a standalone project. Access to the ASL portal is under a non-disclosure agreement with secure access.

ASL will soon be launching a new subscription-based model to provide access to a New Zealand wide 3D mesh base map for use in the users GIS platform. The photogrammetric 3D mesh is created from rural stereo imagery from the most recent regional capture programs. The 3D mesh model will be continually updated with the latest imagery which will provide the most realistic and current 3D model of New Zealand.

The presentation can be viewed on the Tools for Foresters website here.

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