Bluesky International has launched a new 3D data capture program in the U.S.  The MetroVista product suite sees high resolution imagery, both vertical and oblique, captured simultaneously with high accuracy, wide scale 3D data using an advanced Leica camera.  Described as the world’s first hybrid sensor, Bluesky has been operating the Leica CityMapper camera commercially for two flying seasons in Europe.

Bluesky was the first aerial survey operator in Europe to deploy the new camera and has already captured MetroVista data for cities across the UK including London, Manchester, Newcastle, and Bristol.  The CityMapper sensor will be based at Bluesky’s American headquarters in North Adams, Mass., and will be available for deployment across the northeastern United States.  3D data is used for smart city modeling, infrastructure and building planning, risk assessment, and environmental modeling.

Bluesky’s CityMapper, used to produce the MetroVista data, includes a traditional vertical camera as well as survey-grade oblique cameras.  Specially designed for 3D city modeling and urban mapping, the sensor also includes LiDAR technology to accurately collect elevation data even into the shadows, which are common in urban environments and make photo-based data collection difficult.  The CityMapper sensor also collects color infrared data, which can be used to aid greenspace mapping and vegetation studies.

This announcement builds on a period of significant expansion by Bluesky, whose international network includes offices in England, the Republic of Ireland (EIRE) and the U.S., production facilities in the UK and India and flying bases in the UK, Ireland and America.  Bluesky, originally established in 1996, has captured millions of square kilometers of aerial survey data in more than 15 countries.