Over the next day or so you will see press releases announcing that Ordnance Survey has signed up to be the sole agent for Pictometry in Great Britain. Pictometry is the technology that fuses oblique aerial photography, with orthomodels and geospatial feature data to produce a roamable intelligent images from which you can interrogate spatial data and make accurate measurements.
Microsoft Live local has a basic version of pictometry data, which they call “Birds Eye Images” available for selected US cities. – As a Brit though this makes be think of Fish Fingers !!
This is clearly a bit of a departure for the OS as we will be distributing more than just information, Pictometry is one of the first geospatial fusion products, where to provide very rich information in an intuitive way, there needs to be a very tight binding between the source data, processing algorithms and the client application – in some ways this is similar to the route adopted by geo-exploration products like Google Earth.
Over time I have no doubt that there will be more standardised data models and methods to allow these types of applications to become more interoperable but we are today taking our first steps.. exciting times indeed and a great way to give users access to the rich geospatial data “behind the map”.