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 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 »

The Human Aspect of Town Planning

October 22nd, 2013 by Ryan Hamilton

I am currently in the middle of a business trip visiting our data resellers in Europe. Though my days have been filled with meetings and discussions of geospatial data and solutions applications, my evenings have been spent partaking in the British tradition of the Public House. From a geographer’s point of view, the pub is great example of how the design of towns has changed over time. Historically, to become a town in Britain, there needed to be two things: a church and a pub. The church was there to keep morals in line and the pub was there as the place for news and ideas to be exchanged. As towns grew, the pubs and churches multiplied to make sure they stayed within walking distance.

 As towns grew and the walk home from the pub became longer and slightly more treacherous after a long night of deep conversation, more pubs were built. Today, if you visit any British city you will find that it is almost impossible to go three blocks without finding a pub. It’s apparent that planners of the time felt that pub-and-church layouts along with comfortable walking distances were key factors in historic town design.

However, with cars replacing feet as our primary means of getting around, cities today are expanding with what seems to be very little thought or logic placed on their design. This not only makes for unsightly and uninteresting cities but leads to safety issues. In 2011, 9,878 people died in drunk driving crashes in the United States; one every 53 minutes. In comparison, the entire UK had only 430 fatalities, even though the average British citizen drinks almost three times as many alcoholic drinks per year than the average American. That’s 1100 pints to 470 pints.

As I sit in Britain typing this, it’s hard to believe how different the two countries are. From food and drinks to the preferred mode of transportation and the layout of our cities. I suppose it’s time I stop typing and walk across the street to the pub.

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Category: Oblique view of terrain data

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