Our team at Interpret Geospatial Solutions have been busy bringing together an historic imagery scanning project called RetroLens, working with LINZ and Councils throughout New Zealand. The work involves digitising more than 600,000 Crown aerial images in the interest of long term preservation, easier access, and better use of this valuable national resource.
The total project cost is estimated to be $5 million, which has been jointly funded by local authorities including Auckland Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, Gisborne Regional Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Southland Regional Council, Tasman District Council and Waikato LASS.
As at June 2016, 150,000 images have been scanned and delivered to the partners. It is estimated Bay of Plenty and Gisborne will be completed in June 2018, Waikato in December 2018 and the remaining regions in 2020. The whole project is expected to be finished by 2021.
Historical imagery is incredibly important for a variety of reasons, including showing changes in land use, identifying where dangerous chemicals were used, showing coastline changes, and archaeology and cultural research. This is a great resource for future planning and making sound economic and environmental decisions.
This website retrolens.nz is now live, so we encourage you to search for an address or location and go back in time to see what the land was like from years gone by. You can also download a copy of the image for your own purpose.