Saturday, April 17, 2010

Something kind-of cool

So, part of what I do at school is called GIS, which simply stands for Geographic Information Systems. Of course, its not simple at all, but it is pretty cool (once you get the hang of it).
My latest lab is, I think, the coolest so far. This is where GIS becomes useful in the real world, and I can actually imagine people doing this at a real job. This lab required us to georeference aerial photographs and "mosaic" them together. The ultimate purpose of the lab is to estimate the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Mississippi by examining pre- and post-Katrina aerial photography. Pretty cool.
Here are the 3 photos I started out with:
And here is my finished mosaic, which you can see layers the photos on top of one another to create one large image of the entire coastline.

I have a separate digital ortho-image (pre-Katrina) to compare my mosaic to. From these images, I can survey how many buildings were damaged, which roads were inundated, etc.
I think this is a pretty cool lab. I can imagine doing this. Actually, I can imagine that I will have to use similar techniques in measuring shoreline change for my research... cool.
Anyway, that's what I've been doing this morning. I still need to drink 5 more cups of coffee, shower, and then go out in the field with my friend Pat to find some rocks that I'm supposed to be writing a giant paper about. Its not a nice day outside, bleh.

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