Frequently Asked Questions


About My Photo


Delivery And Returns

Shopping And Payment



What is GeoStore?

GeoStore® is an online service operated by Airbus Defence and Space Ltd, allowing you to purchase accurate imagery and other data from an extensive bank of aerial survey material. The GeoStore site has two sections: one geared towards home purchases and the other aimed at the business user.

What can I buy on GeoStore for the home?

GeoStore offers photographic prints (framed or unframed) and digital files for the home user.

What business services are available on GeoStore?

GeoStore offers extensive aerial imagery data (print or digital), height data and access to a range of advanced services for the professional user.

Can I access GeoStore from any browser?

Unfortunately it is not possible to guarantee support for all Browsers, however we have tested against the following:

  • Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.11
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • FireFox 2 & 3

How do I buy?

Follow the steps on the site to choose the location you are interested in, what you would like and how you want your selection supplied. If you are a first time visitor, you will be invited to register before finalising your order. If you have visited before, logging in will fast track this process.

I have bought from this site before, but can’t remember my password.

There is a link that allows you to retrieve a forgotten password on the login area of the site. Use this and we will send an email containing the password to you.

I want to buy a photographic print but I do not know the postcode.

You can search GeoStore by postcode, street name, town or OS grid reference. If a street name/town is found more than once GeoStore will list all search results so you can choose the correct location.

About My Photo

How detailed is my photo?

The photography is captured by taking a digital frame for every 25cm on the ground, allowing us to give you a sharp and focussed picture. You can preview your photo at full detail using the zoom bar.

What size photographic print can I order?

We offer two sizes of photographic print: 12 x 16 inches (305 x 406 mm) and 16 x 20 inches (406 x 508 mm).

I want a different sized print to the ones offered – can you do this?

We can cater for many requests, particularly for larger format and mounted versions for display and corporate use. Just call us for further advice and pricing on 0345 117 3010.

How up-to-date is the photo?

Countrywide photographic prints are captured on a 5 year rolling programme. Depending on your chosen area, the picture may have been taken between 1999 and 2006. All photography is done during the Summer period, but the colour may vary according to the growth state of the vegetation at the particular time of year in which the photo was taken. You can check the year the photography was taken by selecting the “date of capture” display option. This will give you a colour mask and key on your display preview.

My area of interest isn’t currently available for the date I want. Are there any plans to update it?

All the data on GeoStore is refreshed when available and customers can rest assured that the most recent data we have is always accessible via the GeoStore site.

What do the scale options mean?

Depending on the area you want included in your photo, we will scale the image to fit your chosen size. It’s a bit like using the zoom option on your camera. Two scales are available as standard; in our experience these give the best picture quality depending whether you want to focus on a property or get an overview of your part of town. When you select each of the options, the depiction on screen of your selected area will change so that you can choose what’s best for you. If you can’t see what you want, then call for advice on 0345 117 3010.

When GeoStore shows an image of the location selected, can I select a specific area for digital files?

Yes, you can select a predefined area or a specific area defined by a rectangle. If you want an irregular shape, please consult our advanced professional services.

How accurate is the imagery on the site?

All our imagery is orthorectified, geo-referenced and accurate to +/- 2 metres RMSE.

How is the imagery captured?

In order to maintain the imagery as the most accurate and recent aerial photography cutting edge digital camera technology is employed. The aerial photography is captured using one of the most advanced digital aerial camera systems available, Leica's ADS40, offering unsurpassed detail and accuracy. The camera is operated from a Rockwell Aero Commander 690A, which is a stable high-winged twin turbine aircraft, with pressurized capability allowing acquisition at altitudes of up to 31,000ft.

What is an orthorectified image?

Ortho-rectification is the process where aerial photographs are registered to a coordinate system and potential measurement errors are removed. Measurements from regular aerial photographs are not consistent across the entire image. Ground terrain, the camera lens and other factors makes measuring distances inaccurate. Ortho-rectifying removes most of those errors. Our digital aerial photography data is processed to co-ordinates captured from GPS (global positioning system) data recorded at the time of flight. This means that the digital files we supply are able to be positioned by Geometric-aware software into the right place. Therefore, your aerial photography will directly line up with geographically accurate mapping or other data captured with similar GPS references.

What is the line in my photo preview?

The photos are made up of 1 square kilometre tiles. The lines indicate the breaks between these tiles. This is purely for information if you are ordering digital data in tile format. They will not appear on your selected photographic print or digital file.

I can see a join (marked colour change) in my photo preview.

Depending on your chosen area, the picture may have been taken between 1999 and 2006. In some cases, you may have chosen a picture that bridges two different capture periods. If this happens, your preview may show a “join” where colours do not match. If this occurs, we will make corrections before despatching your photographic print to balance the colour and matching aesthetically. Please note that the content of the image will reflect the actual real-world position at the time the photo was taken.

What will my framed print look like?

We set out to deliver a picture you would be proud to hang in your house. Your photograph will be professionally presented in a glass fronted frame (according to your selection) ready to hang.

Will my print fade?

GeoStore photographic prints are produced to full photo quality print standards on professional photographic paper. They will not fade or smudge like laser or inkjet printed pictures would.

Can I have a picture outside England?

We are planning to introduce aerial photography of Wales very soon and Northern Ireland later in the year. If you have a specific requirement now, please call us on 0345 117 3010.

Are Certificates of Authenticity (COA) available?

GeoStore will NOT issue COA’s for any digital data purchased online, but will only provide this for images taken directly from its physical film stock. This is so we can ensure that we are providing the exact date of capture and check that we provide precisely what you require.

If written/signed confirmation of the date of an image (either current or archive) is required (e.g for a planning dispute) Airbus Defence and Space Ltd. can provide this in the form of a document explaining why the imagery was taken, for what purpose and when. This document will incur extra costs if required.

Please contact us on 0345 117 3010 to discuss your requirements.

Can you supply archive/older imagery?

Airbus Defence and Space Ltd does hold some archive photography, mostly dating from the early 1980’s onwards. This imagery is more expensive to buy and takes a while to supply. This data is not held digitally and will be produced on a customer-by-customer basis.

Please contact us on 0345 117 3010 to discuss your requirements.

I’m interested in other data, can you help?

Yes, GeoStore does supply other geospatial data. Please call us on 0345 117 3010 to discuss your requirements.


What is a jpeg/TIFF/ECW? What format do I need?

All these formats are digital images and all are used for different purposes.

  • TIFF - Tagged Image File Format. A physically large file more suited to designers, graphic designers and powerful GIS applications.
  • Jpeg - A smaller compressed image file. This is suitable for most home users and is the most easily “transported” file and the most common.
  • ECW - A small compressed image file really only suitable for GIS applications and specialist software.

What is a tile?

A tile is a one square kilometre area of aerial imagery, consistent with those used by the Ordnance Survey National Grid system.

What is a mosaic?

A mosaic is when these “tiles” are stitched together to form one image.

At the checkout there is an option for ‘mosaic’ – what is delivered via this option?

When selecting an area for purchase on GeoStore, you may notice some fine black grid lines intersecting the image. This is because our data is stored in “tiles” which are 1 square kilometre in size and consistent with the OS National Grid. When purchasing data, you can either have your area of interest delivered in these tiles or as one image (a mosaic).

If you want your imagery as one file, please select the mosaic option and refresh the shopping basket to ensure your selection has been saved.

Please note that we are unable to mosaic very large areas or certain data types together (e.g. Tiffs) because of the physical size of the data.

Delivery And Returns

What delivery methods are available?

GeoStore offers 4 methods of delivery:

  • Unframed prints are delivered by first class post.
  • Framed prints are delivered by courier.
  • Data files can be delivered to you via download.
  • Data can be delivered to you on either CD or DVD by first class post.

How long will it take for my photographic print/framed print to arrive?

We aim to despatch your order within 7 working days of processing your payment. We guarantee to send it within 28 days. If you have not received confirmation of receipt of your order within 7 working days please call us on 0345 117 3010.

How will my order arrive?

If you have ordered a customised print, this will be rolled/packed in a tube and sent by first class post. If you have ordered a customised framed print GeoStore will deliver by courier to your door. Framed prints will be wrapped in bubble-wrap, before being packed into the appropriate size box. The courier will require a signature from you to accept receipt. For further details please review our delivery policy.

Can I have a picture delivered as a gift to someone else?

Yes – you can specify a different delivery address to your own billing address. The delivery note does not include any information about the price paid, so we can deliver a gift direct. Please note that a framed print will be delivered by courier and must be accepted in good condition (see Returns Policy for further details).

Can I have delivery outside the UK?

Our delivery costs assume UK mainland delivery. If you would like delivery elsewhere, please contact us to discuss your requirements – 0345 117 3010.

What if my framed print is damaged?

Your framed print will be delivered by courier. Please do not accept delivery if the packaging is not intact. If you have accepted delivery and subsequently discovered damage, please follow our returns policy.

Can I return a print/framed print?

When you place your order, work will begin on the production of your customised product, incurring material cost. It is therefore only possible to return the product if it is damaged or faulty. For further details please review our returns policy.

I have ordered data via Download. How am I informed when my data is ready?

GeoStore will make the data available for download within a few minutes of receiving your order. Check the detail of 'my orders' where a download button will appear when your data is ready. GeoStore will automatically contact you by email to notify you.

The first email you receive will be a confirmation of order. If you do not receive this there may have been a problem during your checkout process.

A second email will inform you that your data is ready for download.

The time taken to generate this email will depend on the size of the order.

How long does it take for data to be available on the download site?

Small areas ordered online with download delivery are usually supplied within minutes. Larger areas may take several days.

How long will this data be available on the download site?

The GeoStore site will hold your data for 7 days. After this time it may be removed, therefore it is recommended that data is collected and saved elsewhere as soon as possible.

How long does it take for data on CD/DVD to be delivered?

Please allow a few working days for the data to reach you. Although we endeavour to despatch data as soon as possible, we cannot be held responsible for unforeseen delivery problems.

If after 7 working days your order has not been received, please call us on 0345 117 3010 with your order number and details. For further information please see our delivery policy.

Shopping And Payment

What are GeoStore’s terms of use?

Please see our terms of use.

What are GeoStore’s terms and conditions?

Each order item has specific terms and conditions which can be reviewed before order confirmation. Please contact us if you require photos or data for resale or commercial purposes.

Can I order from outside the UK?

You can place an order with us, but we are currently only able to accept payment in UK pounds sterling. Please also note our delivery costs assume UK mainland delivery. If you would like delivery elsewhere, please contact us to discuss your requirements – 0345 117 3010.

How much will it cost?

The price of your purchase will be calculated on GeoStore and displayed to you before you commit to buy. The initial price displayed will be exclusive of VAT and delivery – these will be shown in your shopping basket before you checkout.

How do I pay?

Your payment, by credit or debit card, will be processed on our behalf by WorldPay, a secure online payment system.

Is using WorldPay to pay online secure?

Security is probably one of the most significant concerns for both the shopper and the retailer during an online transaction. In reality an online transaction is probably more secure than a card transaction in a shop or conducted over the telephone or by fax, as the information transmitted online is highly encrypted using complicated logarithm combinations. GeoStore uses WorldPay for the management of online payments. 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, the public web servers are certified by Thawte, a public Certificate Authority, ensuring that both the shopper and retailer can have confidence that nobody can impersonate WorldPay to obtain confidential information. During the transfer from GeoStore 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. Data storage on WorldPay systems, and the communication between WorldPay and the worldwide banking networks, is regularly audited by the banking authorities to ensure a secure transaction environment. The company also ensures that it stays up-to-date with the latest versions of any third-party code used, and continually reviews its own proprietary code.

Can I have a VAT invoice?

A receipted invoice will be sent by email when your WorldPay transaction has been completed. For businesses wishing to be invoiced on a monthly basis, please call us on 0345 117 3010.

Height Data

What is Lidar?

Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) is a height model which is supplied as both a digital terrain model (DTM or a bald earth model) and a Digital Surface Model (DSM).

A DTM will show the ground of the earth and nothing else. No houses, buildings or vegetation. A DSM will show features such as buildings and trees. Note that Lidar does not penetrate water, therefore the surface of a lake will appear flat in the DTM.

The best way to explain the principle of Lidar is by using a torch, shone against your hand in front of a wall. The first thing the torch “sees” is your hand. The Lidar laser gathers this data (aka first pulse return) and creates a Surface Model (DSM) Some of this light filters through between your fingers and hits the wall. This is like the Terrain Model (second pulse return) that the Lidar scanner creates.

How accurate is the Lidar data?

Our Lidar data has been independently tested on several occasions and has found to be better than +/- 15cm vertically and +/- 43cm horizontally.

What formats can Lidar data be delivered in?

The Lidar data supplied via GeoStore is deliverable in a variety of formats ( more are available on request, please ask for details ). Both DXF and DWG files are "vector" datasets. This means that the data is visible and can easily be interpreted as a height model using the eye alone when using software packages such as AutoCAD. The vectors you will see will be derived from these points.

ASCII Grid Lidar data is very different. This is delivered as a text file which will contain a list of values. These values correspond to heights of the data. This data will only be useable and viewable using specific GIS - please do ensure you check format compatibility with your software prior to ordering.

I’m not sure what format Lidar data I want and am unsure whether it will be suitable for my application. Can you help?

Lidar is currently one of the most accurate and best value height datasets available. Should you be unsure of what format could suit your application best please contact support. We have a wide variety of samples available for trial use.

Can I buy a print of the height data?

Sorry, the only height data we deliver is for use in specialist applications and we cannot provide prints of this data for display. The emphasis is on the end user to create models using our data, the height data we provide is vector data and not an image.

What does “horizontal spacing” mean and how will I know if I require 1 metre or 2 metre data?

Lidar data is acquired by firing a laser from an aircraft down into the earth (as described above). This is not a “continuous” beam and the laser is used every 1 metre or 2 metres. Therefore, 1 metre horizontal spaced data means a Lidar point has been acquired once every metre or once every two metres. This data is built up into a grid of points.

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