Manchester Unveils World'92s First 3D Map of Urban Trees Created by Bluesky

A computer-generated map of Manchester’92s urban trees has been created by aerial mapping company Bluesky.’a0 The first project of its type in the world, the 3D map is helping authorities across Manchester understand the impact of urban trees on the environment, public health and the aesthetic qualities of the region. Derived from recent aerial photography Bluesky’92s ProximiTREE is an accurate map detailing the precise location and extent of trees and their proximity to buildings and other landscape features.

Commissioned by a consortium of organisations headed up by Red Rose Forest and including local authorities, the Homes and Communities Agency and the University of Salford, the ProximiTREE data will be used to provide a greater understanding of the benefits trees can provide across the community.

’93A previous tree audit undertaken using basic aerial photography had revealed some really interesting results, with levels of tree cover higher than expected but very uneven,’94 commented Mike Savage Operations Manager of Red Rose Forest. ’93We were really keen to extend the study across the entire region so when we learnt Bluesky had developed a product that would not only meet our basic needs – mapping the location of trees – but would also provide additional, highly valuable data we were very excited.’94

Red Rose Forest is the Community Forest for central and western Greater Manchester, working with local communities, businesses and partners, to develop well-wooded, multipurpose landscapes and improve the quality of life in the area. Some of the questions Red Rose Forest are hoping the Bluesky ProximiTREE data will help them answer include ’91Which stretches of main roads are lacking in trees?’92, ’91How does tree cover relate to maps of air quality?’92 and ’91Does tree cover impact on the Urban Heat Island effect or to risk of flooding?’92.

Mike Savage continued, ’93Tree audit data can be used in a variety of ways ’96 obviously it’92s great for mapping trees in parks and open space but we are more interested in understanding the benefits trees provide across the whole community. Using Bluesky’92s ProximiTREE data we aim to come up with plans to maintain existing tree cover and increase this vital resource across Greater Manchester.’94

Bluesky’92s ProximiTREE uses overlapping aerial images to map the location, height and extent of a trees canopy. Suitable for use in most desktop Geographical Information Systems (GIS), web mapping applications and Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages both 2D and 3D versions of the map are available and ProximiTREE works alongside existing Bluesky datasets such as 3D buildings, terrain models and aerial imagery.

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Notes for editors

Bluesky is a UK-based specialist in aerial imaging and remote sensing data collection and processing.’a0 An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies.

Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography, 3D landscape/cityscape visualisations and prints and also runs a national mapping centre, providing digital mapping, satellite imagery and aerial photography including ultra-high resolution imagery of cities and towns.

For further information visit’

Red Rose Forest is a leading environmental regeneration initiative and the Community Forest for central and western Greater Manchester. We are a partnership of Natural England, the Forestry Commission, the Metropolitan Boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Trafford and Wigan and the Cities of Manchester and Salford. Over forty years we are working to develop well-wooded, multipurpose landscapes to transform a large part of Greater Manchester into a greener, healthier and more satisfying place to live, work and invest.’a0 At the heart of our strategy is the involvement of a wide partnership of local communities, businesses and other partners in the environmental, social and economic regeneration of the area. For more information visit

For further information visit’

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