An Oblique View of Terrain Mapping

Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton
Ryan Hamilton majored in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado and has been employed within both the LiDAR and IFSAR mapping worlds since 1998. His interests (that all appear to be tied to mapping) include blue water sailing, backcountry skiing and big mountain and downhill mountain … More »

Mother Nature’s Slide of Hand Creates New Island in Pakistan

September 27th, 2013 by Ryan Hamilton

In the world of remote sensing temporal changes are much more relevant in some data than others. Imagery and infrared can change in real time while terrain and bathymetric data tends to change more slowly. So, as a terrain provider, it is an advantage to not have requirements for continuous updates.

Typically a terrain data set collected in the last 10 years is considered new data, while an air photo from that vintage would be considered historic archive with very little value. Of course humans can change terrain quickly but with the exception of a few natural catastrophes, geomorphological changes are so languid that we come to expect terrain to stay the same. So when this new island off the cost of Pakistan popped up (yes pun intended) it had me rethinking the pace that terrain can change.

Our floods here in Boulder did much the same. Rivers have been redirected and road beads are completely gone. Overnight terrain can change as quickly as imagery and just sneak up and surprise us, reminding us not only how dynamic and powerfully the earth is but also what a prankster Mother Nature can be.

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Category: Oblique view of terrain data

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