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AcademicBlog posts on the academic world, teaching, research and so on.

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Testing Pix4Dmapper for UAV-based 3D Modeling

The Department of Geosciences at Mansfield University recently approved the purchase of Pix4Dmapper, a software that renders 3D models photogrammetrically through a proprietary algorithm. This option is significantly cheaper and more accessible than using LiDAR or other 3D remote sensing technologies, and according to the DJI specs, should be nearly as accurate.   Read more
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3D Printing a Topo Map of Tioga County, Attempt One

Hot off the build plate, the Tioga County topographic map. There's definitely some refinement needed on the text, especially at the bottom of the map where the letters were apparently too thin for the printer to properly parse. It also has some print flaws, little bubbles and whatnot on the surface that we're trouble-shooting. But, progress! Read more
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3D Printing Topographic Maps from DEMs

Through trial and error, I've developed a workflow that seems to effectively translate a DEM into a model that is printable using the Z18. While it is perhaps not ideal in its efficiency, I have been able to get from a DEM to a printable file within about 15 minutes. I am posting the workflow here to both help others seeking to produce maps using 3D printers, as well as hopefully getting some feedback on a more efficient workflow that I have not yet uncovered. Please, feel free to suggest any alternatives in the comments! Read more
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Drones and Society: A Presentation to the 2014 PA Digital Government Summit

On Friday, December 5, MU colleague Lee Stocks and I were honored to give an invited presentation to the 2014 Pennsylvania Digital Government Summit in Harrisburg.

Here are the slides from that presentation.

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The Google App's "Grand Canyon": the Current State of Extended Knowledges and Voice+AI

Is the national park land the *only* Grand Canyon that Google recognizes as a potential destination or feature of curiosity? What are the motivations behind the exclusion of information about the physical feature itself, and the apparent stance of willful ignorance on other points of access for tourists, such as the Hualapai Tribe's West Rim attractions? Read more
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COPLAC 2014 URC Conference Posters

Three Mansfield University Geoscience undergraduate students presented their research at the COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference this past weekend at Keene State College in Keene, NH. I was the co-adviser of two of these projects, along with my colleague Lee Stocks. Read more
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Cave Densities in WV - Applied Geography Presentation

Here are the slides from the talk I co-presented with my Mansfield University colleague Lee Stocks at the 2014 Applied Geography Conference in Atlanta this past Thursday. The presentation resulted in our paper being published in Papers in Applied Geography, volume 37. Read more
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Resolution and Coverage Testing for Phantom 2 Vision+ UAV Imagery for Mapping

A few days back, I sent up our new DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ above the Mansfield football stadium for some imagery testing, and published a blog on doing lens corrections for mapping. Now, I'm going to take those corrected images to the next step and test their resolution and coverage to see how effective this equipment is for providing high-quality, high-resolution and low-cost remote sensing imagery for mapping applications. Read more
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Lens Correction on DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ for Mapping

The new prevalence and inexpensive nature of UAVs has given cartographers and spatial scientists a great new tool for creating extremely high-resolution (both spatial and temporal) maps of places. At Mansfield, we've got several platforms that we're using. Read more
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Fun with Maps: Resolution Test GIF

I took the Phantom 2 Vision+ out to do some resolution and lens correction testing this morning. Part of this required using the football field on campus, since it provides some nice measured straight-line geometry that can be used to gauge the resolution and correction to ensure accuracy. But, while I was doing this, I messed around a little bit with the resulting imagery and made a little animated GIF Read more
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