May 24 2009

Some thoughts on geography

updated 2009 05 26

I’ve been waiting for some property boundary issues to resolve in SL, and it’s sort of pitiful to see how long that can take.  It’s with ever more regret that I find myself on the Mainland.  But that hasn’t kept lots of real-world interesting stuff from taking shape.

The following video is not new.  In fact it’s about a year old, but somehow I hadn’t seen it until tonight and I found it somewhat encouraging. Thanks for O’Reilly and Where 2.0 for bringing these two on stage together!

And the following pean to Google Earth did inspire me, personally. Hey, I was reading road maps at 5, covered my wall completely with National Geographic maps at 10, learned to navigate with nautical charts at 12, read aeronautical charts and completed an urban planning project at 14. Sometimes, it’s fun in rare moments when it’s dark overcast and I’m in an exotic place for the first time and I don’t know the way north; more often, I’ll savor the feeling of knowing which way is north while dreaming.

Meanwhile, back at the lab, the global set of county terrain is being compiled into an ESRI Terrain Dataset. This will include over 360 million masspoints, merging both interpolated 2-foot interval contour vertices together with FEMA LiDAR mass points, plus break lines and waterlines from photogrammetry. The goal is to use the ESRI Terrain data as a format to stage everything together to produce 30cm grid interval DEM in the urban areas. With luck, we’ll have that ready about the time that the latest photo mosaic finally gets loaded into ArcSDE successfully. Maybe grids from the Terrain can help create very detailed 3D county models. Hey Wei – we still have inverted terrain in Google Earth at the quarry on San Pedro Point! ;^)

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