the planes that photograph Spain to the millimeter and uncover urban irregularities

Lorraine GamarraFOLLOW, CONTINUE
Updated: 05/23/2022 09:57 a.m.
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Have you extended the porch of the house? Have you recently built a pool in your backyard? If you live or have a house in Andalusia, the Region of Murcia or Extremadura and you have done some homework that you have not declared in the Land Registry, be careful: the Treasury watches over you from the air.

In a matter of days or weeks, planes will fly over these areas in what is known as photogrammetric flights that are carried out periodically and capture digital images of every inch of the selected territory and will go to the National Geographic Institute. And from there, to different administrations, including the Treasury, to verify urban irregularities and other aspects.

These flights, which are usually commissioned from the IGN, have been carried out periodically every three years since 2004 with the aim of obtaining digital aerial photographs.

To do this, each year flights are scheduled that cover a third of the entire Spanish territory in order to complete the entire country every three years. For this, it is planned to capture images of Andalusia, Extremadura and the Region of Murcia, while last year images of the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, the Valencian Community, Catalonia were captured -these last two also have their own means to carry out flights on their own- .

Aerial photography tasks today at 6000 feet in the vicinity of the approach to 24L of #Barcelona. These operations are coordinated both in advance and in real time. Thanks to #Teamwork the fluidity and safety of the traffic arriving in Barcelona is guaranteed. 😉👍 pic.twitter.com/tg5cTmkVU5

— 😷 Air Controllers 🇪🇸 (@controladores) May 10, 2022

The images, although captured centrally by IGN, have multiple uses. Although before each organization developed its own flights for specific purposes, the waste of money and resources that this meant forced to change the photogrammetry system and for a few years it is the IGN that is in charge of the flights and distributes the photographs obtained among the Autonomous Communities and other administrations.

Although they have different purposes, such as cartography and geographic information in general, or forest management, hydrography, etc., one of the main uses of these images is to update the Cadastre.

About 2 million homes with irregularities

In the case of the Ministry that María Jesús Montero now directs, cadastral regularization campaigns are carried out, which, as its name indicates, has the purpose of incorporating urban and rural real estate with construction into the Real Estate Cadastre, as well as modifications that have been carried out to check whether they have been declared correctly or not. If you have built a swimming pool, expanded your house or added certain elements and you have not communicated them, this is the way to check it.

make yourself handsome in Valencia that they photograph you,
also that someone prepare the pocket when a little letter from the cadastre comes to him....... pic.twitter.com/cnfCMUkcIa

— RadarSpain 🇪🇸🇺🇦 (@RadarSpain) May 9, 2022

The data that appears in the cadastre is the basis with which the value of a property is calculated and has an impact on the amount of different taxes such as the IBI, the Plusvalía or the IRPF taxation.

Cadastral regularization is
a process that began in 2013 the then Minister Montoro
and that, after ending in 2016 -later extended until 2018-, uncovered irregularities in nearly two million homes. Most of the frauds
according to the report published by the ministry
, undeclared constructs were related. 37.5% were dwellings that did not exist in the official registers, and in the north of Spain they accounted for more than 50% of the total irregularities.

In the
Community of Madrid and the Canary Islands, the most common were rehabilitations
or undeclared housing extensions, while throughout the territory nearly 100,000 built and undeclared swimming pools were detected.

Although no sanction is applied, the owners who are discovered must pay a fee of 60 euros for each property to be regularized,
in addition to paying the corresponding IBI with the increase in value
and arrears in lien payments of a maximum of four years.

At present, the ministry does not have any new cadastral regularization campaign active, but in future ones that come, the aforementioned aerial photos will be the tool they will use to carry out the pertinent verifications.

It's time to photograph this area today...... pic.twitter.com/4gNs7LTSDr

— RadarSpain 🇪🇸🇺🇦 (@RadarSpain) May 16, 2022From the air, the different heights of a building can be distinguished

With these flights, and after the incorporation of the Lídar technology available to the IGN, the different images that are captured have a high level of precision that allows distinguishing both the type of terrain and the heights of buildings, vegetation or bridges. The resolution of a lidar map allows differentiation even between different surfaces, identifying urban areas, wooded areas, etc.

The flights, which are contracted through public tender, are usually carried out during the same times of the year, when the best weather conditions for capturing images can be guaranteed. In the Peninsula, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta and Melilla it is usually between May 1 and September 30, while in the Canary Islands it depends on the height of the sun above the horizon.

Beyond the urban aspect, the next flights that capture images of the Canary Islands, for example, will also serve to update
the new terrain left by the La Palma volcano
after its eruption, with an orography completely different from the one shown on the maps after its last capture.

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