Geography Matters

Human & Physical Geography.

Devastated by an earthquake, followed by hurricanes, people in Haiti lead some of the most desperate lives in the world.  Aid agencies are trying to help, but getting the right supplies to the right place is hard when there are no accurate maps detailing the roads.  This is where Geography and technology step in:

This means maps, of people and buildings and roads, but of course there are no maps that are kept up to date frequently enough to be of much use.

So geographers have turned to drones and mapping software to correct the deficiencies.

 The drones are fully autonomous; you tell them what area you want them to image using Google Maps, turn them on, chuck them into the air, and then kick back as they fly around snapping pictures for you, guided by GPS.

Clever software from a company called Pix4D does all the hard work of stitching images together and georeferencing and orthorectifying everything, to the point where it can all just be dropped straight into a system like OpenStreetMap for aid agencies and local people alike to use almost immediately.

In a matter of hours the work is done, and supplies, medicine, and food can be delivered to the places most in need.

pretty cool, and very helpful.  Geography Matters.

40 maps that explain food in America | Vox.com

40 maps that explain food in America | Vox.com.

New Digital Elevation Maps and Data

Grand New View of the Canyon : Image of the Day

On October 17, 2011, NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) released a significantly improved version of a digital topographic map of Earth based on data from ASTER. Known as a global digital elevation model, the map was created from stereo-pair images; that is, sets of two slightly offset two-dimensional images were merged to create the three-dimensional effect of depth.

The maps drape an aerial photo over a digital elevation model, creating a three-dimensional view.

“These data can be used for a broad range of applications, from planning highways and protecting lands with cultural or environmental significance, to searching for natural resources,“ said Mike Abrams, ASTER science team leader at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The map is available online to users everywhere at no cost.

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