Aerial Imagery Divulges Britain's Hidden Land for Mapmakers - 23/06/2016 is using the latest aerial photography from Bluesky to produce bespoke maps of rural farms and estates. As one of the leading producers of customised mapping for private landowners in the UK,’s map products are used for a variety of applications, including rural safety. The detailed maps are increasingly being produced for landowners who have employees working in remote locations.

In addition to the more traditional uses of maps, there is a growing requirement from landowners to be able to share important navigational information with third parties, commented Anthony Pelly, managing director of Rural Design Studio, trading as For example, if there was an accident, being able to guide the emergency services to the exact spot could be critical. Distilling local knowledge on locations and how to access locked gates, dirt tracks and paths can potentially save minutes and – in some cases –lives, and this information is just not available from off-the-shelf maps, he added.

Accurate coverage

Using up to date accurate aerial images purchased from Bluesky’s online Mapshop, uses the latest GIS and CAD software to produce the maps, which can range in size from small water- and tear-proof folded pocket maps to large decorative wall hangings. Working with farms, large country estates, vineyards and orchards, fishing clubs and hunting properties, the maps provide a comprehensive overview of the landscape and operations within. 

For rural areas, especially those that are privately owned, aerial photography is often the only accurate and definitive source of information for map making, continued Pelly. Having used a variety of different websites in the past, Bluesky Mapshop offers the most up to date and accurate coverage for current map projects and the broadest selection, in terms of different ages, for historical mapping or change analysis.

The raw data used to create many of’s maps is purchased from Bluesky’s online Mapshop, which offers complete nationwide coverage of aerial photography from multiple epochs, 3D models (digital terrain and surface models DTM / DSM), Lidar data, thermal mapping and Bluesky’s National Tree Map. Visitors can also download geological, land cover and flood maps, as well as places of interest, census areas and collections of themed data such as farming, marine and habitats.

Photo credit: Christopher Jeney,

Last updated: 24/01/2021