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Aerial photography dates

Request for information – FOI144450


This enquiry concerns The Somerset Levels, the subject of current concern and interest.

Could you please tell me when the last aerial photograph was taken of The Levels, an area covering Bridgwater and the countryside to the North extending to the Bristol Channel and, particularly, to the South-East of Bridgwater?

It would be really helpful, also, to know the altitude from which any photograph was taken, and whether copies of any material are available.

Our response

Thank you for your e-mail of 29 January 2014, which we acknowledge, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

Ordnance Survey does hold aerial photography from Bridgwater town centre captured on 16 July 2008. There is a small area of imagery that only covers the extent of the town, but if you can be more specific on the area of interest, with perhaps post code or national grid coordinates, we could check to see if this imagery extends to your area of interest. Upon receipt of further location information, we will consider providing this imagery to you under the Freedom of Information Act.

Under Section 16 of the FOIA ‘the duty to provide advice and assistance’ Ordnance Survey does hold orthorectified imagery tiles of 1km square which is created using National Grid control points and a digital terrain model (DTM). This means that the distortions inherent in a flat photograph of a three-dimensional object (the earth's surface) are more completely and accurately corrected. An orthorectified image is positionally more accurate, and geometric fidelity (shape) is retained in all terrain, including hilly areas. Also, a consistent scale is maintained throughout the image (as per a map), and future imagery updates will be in the same position

The most recent orthorectified imagery of central Bridgwater was captured on 7 March 2010. As advised above, the general area you have detailed as being of interest is vast, and our search has therefore focused and provided information from central Bridgwater.

Copies of orthorectified tiles, supplied with metadata which does stipulate the altitude, are available for purchase from our OS Mastermap® Imagery Layer product. Further information about OS Mastermap Imagery Layer can be found on our imagery layer web page.

Internal review

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:

FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

E-mail: foi@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

  • Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
  • Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
  • Failed to provide the information you have requested
  • Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
  • Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

E-mail: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

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