Precise positing – the ability to know your location from a latitude – longitude, or X-Y location, on the earth and how high above mean sea level your feet are firmly planted on the ground to within centimeters. Is this type of information becoming a wave of the future or am I just a geek about it? When I go to the gym in the morning, I am strapped with my fitbit and my Polar Heart Rate monitor which provide me with information about my speed, distance, x-y-z location, and heart rate while I train. Not to mention, providing me with an avenue to publish my activity via social media to participate in competitions with friends. J This type of information can be plotted on Google Earth to see where I have traversed, although, sadly enough when I workout at the gym my traverse is a “dot” as I barely change in x and y or z (height) for that matter, when on a treadmill. On the other hand, when I am outside, my walk changes in all three dimensions which can be displayed quite nicely in Google.
Archive for the ‘Geospatial Information’ Category
On August 20th I posted a blog on a distinguished Intermap employee “Mr. Robert Crawford” who has been in the remote sensing business for nearly four decades. The blog had a snipped of a newspaper article from “CORPUS CHRISTI CALLER dating back to February 18, 1977.
Flood inundation models provide predictions of the depth and extent of a potential flood. This information is then used in the assessment of risk to life and property in the floodplain (e.g. creation of hazard and risk flood maps), and to develop mitigation and restoration strategies. We have seen over the past decade significant advances in flood inundation modeling due to advances in hydrological modeling software coupled with the availability of more accurate elevation data. But how is the accuracy flood hazard and risk maps established? (more…)
Within many of the world’s natural resource rich countries, the mining industry faces a number of key challenges including, but not limited to: prospecting in uncharted land; managing the remote locations of new deposits; gathering multiple datasets to one environment, production delays due to adverse weather; understanding, managing, and averting risk impacts, and bringing supply to market. Moreover, geologists use a vast variety of geospatial datasets that typically include bedrock and surficial geological maps, airborne geophysical survey data, geochemistry of lake-sediment samples, mineral occurrence data, structural lineaments, fold axes and formation contacts, as well as base maps to get the answers they need. Integrating these disparate datasets into one environment is key in understanding natural resource potential, especially in remote locations.
Perhaps a dramatic title for today’s blog, but an interesting article from the World Wildlife Fund that I read on Friday has been on my mind all weekend. The gist of the newsletter topic was to investigate how we can produce more with less water and pollution by working with 100 companies and just 15 raw materials (or commodities). If that tagline tweaked your interest, I bet Jason Clay’s speech on this topic would more than get you to where I was on Friday, thinking about this topic for a few days.
As we geospatial users become knee deep in geospatial data, the web, the cloud, and analytical tools for a host of geospatial applications, I wonder how we respond to the type of thought process Jason encourages. I believe that in order to contribute globally, where geospatial data is used to save the planet, you must get every part of the food chain involved, so that an idea can be sustained over long terms rather than one offs. How may we use geospatial data to provide a better, sustainable carbon footprint for all? How can we get everyone to work together to manage the planet with a sense of urgency? To help preserve the planet, we need work together to preserve biodiversity as a starting point. Jason identifies 15 commodities that are produced in bio-diversity rich geographic locations. He also indicates that the top 100 companies control 25% of the trade of all 15 commodities. By working with 100 companies to promote and accept sustainably-derived commodities (which means they will force or push producers to act sustainably) we can start the process of saving our planet.
Synthetic aperture radar or SAR imagery can be challenging for non-radar geeks to figure out what exactly the SAR image is illustrating. Of course our eyes have little trouble understanding aerial photo images primarily because the cameras used to collected photos operate at similar wavelengths (located in the visible portion of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum) to our eyes. SAR sensors on the other hand, operate in the microwave portions of the EM spectrum which is very different from how our eyes see.
Successful mining exploration relies heavily on the accuracy of the geology map layer that depicts the spatial distribution of geologic units and structure. Often times, however, existing geologic maps vary in quality and accuracy due to differences in purpose of mapping, scale or level of details, inconsistency in nomenclatures, and types of map projection/registration. Conventional mapping methods of bringing existing geologic maps to the desired quality level or standard will entail a large amount of time and effort, and consequently will also drastically slow down mineral exploration. The creation of digital geology maps (map components: topography, structure, and lithology) from the desktop using interferometric syntehtic aperture radar (IFSAR or InSAR) provides a cost effective method, espeically in remote dense vegetated areas.
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors “see” the ground in a different way from optical sensors such as SPOT, aerial cameras, or the human eye; therefore, radar images have certain characteristics that are fundamentally different from those in images collected by optical sensors. The key then to understanding and interpreting radar images lies in the answer to this question: What happens to the electromagnetic energy in a radar pulse as it meets the terrain being imaged, interacts with the terrain, is recorded by the radar sensor, and subsequently is processed to generate a radar image? Answering this question is not easy. However, with the resolution of SAR sensors are getting better and better, details provided in, for example a 50 cm pixel, help our eyes to discern topographic features more readily than ever before.
A career in remote sensing and GIS exists in every imaginable discipline, from environmental science to commercial businesses and much more. Such a career path has a wide range of opportunities available to let you combine your passions or interests with GIS and or remote sensing for a satisfying and successful career. Intermap’s very own Senior Project Manager, who keeps us on track with our large mapping projects where we are currently mapping the diverse landscapes in the Philippine’s and Alaska, has been in the mapping industry for the past four decades.