Frequently Asked Questions
About the Cranfield Map Shop
What is the Cranfield Mapshop?
What products and services are available on the Cranfield Mapshop?
How do I search for my area of interest?
Can I select a specific area for digital files?
How do I purchase from the site?
Can I have a photograph outside England and Wales?
About the Soils Maps and Data
What is the source of the soils maps?
What is the scale of the soil maps?
Soils confuse me - do you have simple descriptions of soil anyone can understand?
What happens at end of licence? And what about derived data?
Free Soil Maps for UK Academics
Discounted Soil Maps for Charities
About the Photography and Height Products
What is the source of the photographs?
I require more recent data for my area. When will it be updated?
How geographically accurate are the photographs?
I can see a join (marked colour change) in my photo preview
How accurate is the height data?
Delivery and Returns Policy
What delivery methods are available?
I have ordered data via download. How am I informed when my data is ready?
Terms and Conditions
What are the terms and conditions?
Can I order from outside the UK?
Is using WorldPay to pay online secure?
About the Cranfield Map Shop
The Cranfield Mapshop is a web portal managed and operated by Cranfield Innovative Manufacturing Ltd. Using this website allows you to purchase high quality, up-to-date geographical data, including soils maps, interpreted soil maps, aerial photography and height data. Other datasets and types of data are continually added to the website so it is always worth coming back to see what’s new.
The Cranfield Mapshop offers the ability to search and view your area of interest then purchase digital maps, orthorectified aerial photography. It also offers digital height data in the form of Digital Terrain and Surface Models. The digital products can be downloaded from our secure server.
The interface is simple to use, please follow the instructions and look out for text in the information box. You need to enter your area of interest in the search box; this can be an address, postcode or OS grid reference. Once you press search the area requested will appear in the map window. Use the controls to the left to zoom in and out and to pan across the image. You can change the view to alternative datasets using the buttons on the right. You can also see if there are other dates available for each product by selecting the date (year) buttons at the top.
Yes you can select any area and any size you require. Just use the tools to the left of the map window.
Once you have searched for your area of interest just change the size of the blue box using the controls to the left and press continue. The next page offers you a list of all the products available for that area. Please select as many products as you would like, and select the desired formats, and then continue to the checkout. You will need to register before you can proceed with your purchase.
Easily done! Please press the “forgotten password” link at the log in page. We will email you with your link to reset password.
The Cranfield Mapshop offers full and comprehensive coverage of England and Wales at 25cm resolution or better. There is also about 20% of Scotland available for purchase. We are continually adding to the data, so hope we have your desired area.
About the Soils Maps and Data
The award-winning National Soils Map for England and Wales is the core map on which many of our map products are based.
Most maps in our shop are based on the National Soil Map for England and Wales. This had an original survey density for a 1:250,000 scale paper map. We have since been back and redigitised the new products from the original 1:50,000 field sheets. This means that the linework is significantly more detailed that a 1:250,000 scale map, but we still refer to it as 1:250,000 as that was the original scale.
We hear you, and you are not alone! Soils are confusing. Yes, we have tried as much as possible to provide very simple descriptions of the soils and their properties to support non-soil scientists in their decision making. Also for each polygon, there is a link to our online soils guide (http://www.landis.org.uk/services/soilsguide/mapunit_list.cfm) which provides very, very detailed descriptions of the soils, with diagrams and photographs too, so you can get as much detail as you need.
You are buying a licence to use the data for one year. At the end of the usage period, you must delete all the data from your computers, and other hard drives. This includes any new data that you have derived in any way from the soils maps and data. If you wish to continue to use data derived from our maps, please renew your licence, or please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01234 75 2992 and we can advise you on options.
The classification scheme for England and Wales is provided here online, or alternatively as a downloadable pdf document.
We are happy to support UK universities in offering free access to some soil maps for real bona-fide research, or teaching purposes. Please note this discount does not apply for research which involves a commercial partner (or charity) or government organisation, or for which someone other than the Research Councils is paying for you to undertake the research. If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact us on email@example.com or 01234 75 2992, and we will be very happy to advise. Please note, we are offering free maps and data as a trial service. If we find that this free access is being abused, we will terminate the accounts in question, and may be forced to stop offering free access to our data.
We are happy to offer a 66% discount for registered UK charities on certain soil maps and data.
About the Photography and Height Products
We source our photography from Bluesky - a leading provider of aerial imagery in the UK.
All of the photography on the Cranfield Mapshop is taken using cameras from aircraft. Since 2005 all the photographs have been taken using state of the art digital survey cameras. What will I be able to see in my photo? The detail in the photos is impressive. All of the photos are at a resolution of 25 cm or greater (ie each pixel in the digital photo represents 25cm on the ground, this is often referred to the Ground Sampling Distance (GSD)). Some of the images have a resolution of as much as 5cm, which enables you to see cracks in the pavement. The standard resolutions allow you to see street furniture and inspection covers. How up-to-date is the photo? Much of the data on the Mapshop makes up part of the GeoPerspectives suite of geographic products. The GeoPerspectives aerial photography is updated on a continuous 5 year rolling program, with key areas (cities) being updated more frequently. The oldest data on the Mapshop is from 19999
The Mapshop will always offer the most recent data available, but if you require very up-to-date data, this may be in Bluesky's flying plan, or might require a special survey. Please call Bluesky's sales team on 01234 75 2992 for more details.
The Mapshop offers some of the most accurate aerial photography available, as it has been fully orthorectified. Independent tests have shown the accuracy is better then 1m RMSE across the entire dataset. In many areas it is even much better than this, as much as 20cm RMSE in some areas. All digital files are supplied with associated georeferencing information to allow you to view the images in GIS etc. What is an orthorectified image? The term orthorectified refers to an aerial photography that has been geographically referenced, placing each pixel in it’s correct geographic location, using a DTM. The process removes all errors caused by the camera lens and the undulating terrain, and involves the use of GPS information collected on the ground as well as in the aircraft. All data in the UK is referenced to the Ordnance Survey National grid system. What is a JPG/TIFF/ECW/ASCII? What format do I need? These are all data formats. JPG, TIFF and ECW are all image formats and ASCII is a height data format. JPG and TIFF can be read by many common software packages (they are the same as images from a digital camera). Both JPG and ECW are compressed formats, whereas TIFF is uncompressed. We would always recommend JPG as the file volume is much smaller, and the loss of data during compression is negligible. ECW and ASCII are more specialised formats that only experienced users should request. What is a tile? A tile is a small image that makes up part of a larger image, or a mosaic. Tiles can vary in size, but the standard is 1 sq km. Each tile has it’s own separate georeferencing file. At the checkout there is an option for ‘mosaic’ – what does this mean? A mosaic is one large image made up of many tiles. A mosaic can vary in size, and can be very large and difficult to open. If a mosaic is larger than 2GB (uncompressed) then it will be automatically supplied in ECW format. It will also take longer to process.
Height data is a digital file that depicts the height of the terrain and/or features on the terrain (DTM and DSM). It is in it simplest form a grid of points at a set spacing (5m for example), each with the height of the terrain or feature attached. This type of data allows the user to get a feel for the ‘lie of the land’. Only Professional users should use height data, as it is information rather than an image or a picture
The aerial photography offered on the Cranfield Mapshop is made up of many hundreds of thousands of individual aerial photographs. There may be a time difference of several years between two photos, and they may have been taken at different times of the year.
DTM stands for Digital Terrain Model. This is a form of height data that depicts only the surface of the earth, ignoring features such as trees and buildings.
DSM stands for Digital Surface Model. This is a form of height data that depicts the surface of the earth and features on it, including tress and buildings.
The accuracy of height data offered on the Cranfield Mapshop is better than 1.5m RMSE in the x, y and z.
Delivery and Returns Policy
Your order should be ready within minutes of you placing your order. You will be sent an email to your specified email address once the image is ready to download. This email will give you a link to the file on our secure server for you to download. The data will remain on the server for 7 days. How long does it take for data to be available on the download site? The time it takes to prepare your order is determined by the size of your order, but in general it will be a matter of minutes. However larger orders may take a little longer, perhaps several hours. How long will this data be available on the download site? The data will remain on the download site for 7 days after which time it may be removed. It is recommended that you download the data as soon as you receive the email. If you fail to do this you must reorder the data.
If you check out in error, before you download the data / maps / photos, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01234 75 2992 to discuss a refund. Much like renting a film online, refunds are not available for data that has been downloaded unless there is a problem with the data.
Terms and Conditions
When you purchase data (including photographic or height data, or maps) from the Cranfield Mapshop you are purchasing a licence to use the data. You do not purchase rights in the data. All data offered for lease on the Cranfield Mapshop is copyrighted. Each ordered item has specific terms and conditions and you are licensed to use the data under the specific license terms. You will be asked to confirm acceptance of the terms and conditions before you proceed with your purchase. If you wish to use the data for anything that is not covered by these license terms you will need to obtain written authorisation. Please email us at email@example.com or call us on 01234 75 2992.
The price payable for each data type that is available for your area is calculated once you have selected your area. The price is dependent on the type of data, resolution and size of area. The price displayed is excluding VAT. However this is added before you check out.
You can pay by credit or debit card (all the major ones are accepted). WorldPay will handle the payment on our behalf. There is also an option to open a credit account with us (this is subject to credit checks and is only available for UK businesses), whereby we will invoice you monthly for the data downloaded that month. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01234 75 2992 or email for further details.
We use WorldPay for the management of online payments. WorldPay is part The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, the fifth biggest banking group in the world. WorldPay payment solutions are trusted by thousands of businesses, big and small. The WorldPay payment system uses a combination of both established and innovative techniques to ensure the security and integrity of all sensitive data. Furthermore, Thawte, a public Certificate Authority, ensures that both the shopper and retailer can have confidence that nobody can impersonate WorldPay to obtain confidential information, certify the public web servers. During the transfer from Bluesky to WorldPay, the purchase details are encapsulated using an encrypted and digitally signed protocol. This uses a combination of standard methods such as PGP, RSA and MD5 to ensure that the information passed is secure and tamper-proof. Any communication between the shopper and WorldPay is also encrypted to the maximum strength supported by the shopper's browser using TLS or 128 Bit SSL. Shoppers are also protected from fraudulent use of their card in a "card not present" environment, by their card issuers. The card issuers provide the right for a shopper to dispute a transaction if the goods/services did not arrive or if the card was used fraudulently. The banking authorities regularly audit the data storage on WorldPay systems and the communication between WorldPay and the worldwide banking networks to ensure a secure transaction environment.
An invoice/receipt will be sent via email to your designated email address once the WorldPay transaction is complete. The invoice will contain full VAT details. If you have a credit account we will issue a VAT invoice to you monthly.
Yes. Having an account means that you can download data without having to go through the WorldPay system every time, and each transaction can have a unique ID making it easy to track at your end. This service is aimed at high volume users. You will be subject to credit checks and it is only available for UK businesses. We will invoice you on a monthly basis. Please email us at email@example.com or call 01234 75 2992 for more details.