FINANCE Minister Sammy Wilson has said that using the latest sophisticated technology has delivered vast improvements to the work of mapping surveyors.
The Minister was speaking during a visit to a new housing development at Woodside Park, Loughbrickland where members of the Land & Property Services (LPS) mapping survey team demonstrated the procedures and technology used to update large-scale maps.
The mapping division within Land & Property Services (LPS) has responsibility for the updating of the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland® (OSNI®) Large Scale mapping.
Sammy Wilson said: “The work the mapping surveyors carry out in updating OSNI maps has a vital role across all government departments and local authorities in supporting efficiencies, policy making, operational delivery and communication with the public.
“Up to date maps are particularly important for LPS Land Registry, DOE Planning, DARD and Emergency Services. Until recently there has been a focus on urban change, however DARD has now identified the need for more frequent update of field boundaries to support grant and subsidy payments – this is just one example of how valuable the mapping service can be not just to government but to the rural community also.”
Throughout the years advances in surveying equipment has improved the accuracy of the LPS (OSNI) mapping. The improvements in efficiency and accuracy provided by modern satellite positioning devices have delivered a step change in map surveying which means that modern mapping is considerably more accurate in terms of absolute accuracy (the accuracy of any given point on the face of the earth).
Map updating is carried out using both aerial photography and topographic surveying methods by LPS Land Surveyors and Photogrammetrists. Minister Wilson was shown the Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) devices and Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) technology such as GPS used by surveyors to assist the survey.
Concluding the Minister said: “It was interesting to see the technology surveyors use to capture the changes on the ground such as walls, fences, sides of roads, dwelling houses, etc. The address of each new house is added along with new developments and roads to the mapping and Pointer® databases which can then be used to inform decisions such as planning, grant subsidies and land registration.”