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Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 13:31 GMT


UK

Internet 'Domesday book' goes online

You can look at the area where you live...

A map described as the first complete aerial record of Britain is being put on the internet.

The map is being hailed as a "Domesday book for the Millennium", which offers a detailed photographic snapshot of the country at the turn of the century.


The BBC's Emma Simpson: "The UK is being captured on camera like never before"
It enables users to take a "virtual flight" over the country.

They can download digital images up to a scale of 1:2,000 which show minute detail down to cars, trees and animals.

Users can zoom in close enough to make out cricketers on a field, sunbathers on a beach or crowds on a city-centre street.

The map will enable professional users to charter changes such as housing patterns, coastal erosion, loss of natural habitats, and urbanisation.


[ image: ...and even your own house]
...and even your own house
To everybody else it will offer a record of where, and how, they lived at the end of the millennium.

The map is being created by the Millennium Mapping Company, which has spent six months photographing the country from four aircraft.

It has taken 56,000 individual photographs on 20km of film, which is being scanned, digitised and put online.


[ image: A geographical, social and historical record of the UK]
A geographical, social and historical record of the UK
So far, the company has photographed 85% of England, with the remainder of England, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow in 2000.

The company plans to repeat the flyover every three years in urban areas and five years in rural areas.

This would record and update every change to the UK landscape.

The photographs taken so far should be available on the website from January 2000, with the rest to follow over the next three years.

Privacy groups have raised concerns about the availability of such detailed photographic information on the Net.

Liz Parratt, spokeswoman for Liberty, said: "This raises difficult questions about the limits of individual privacy, and how surveillance technology can be effectively regulated.

"People might worry about how access to this kind of information would be useful to burglars, for example, or what they themselves were doing at the moment the photo was taken.

"We would like to see much wider public consultation and debate about this.



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06 Aug 99 | UK
'Domesday Book' hits the Web





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