3D Printing a Topo Map of Tioga County, Attempt One

Recently, I’ve been working with several MU Geosciences students to refine the method we’ve developed for 3D printing topographic maps from DEM files.  While printing topography isn’t necessarily new in and of itself, we wanted to create a method that we could publish for wide use, and wanted to ensure that the method is cartographically sound as well.  To fully refine the method, we’ve been experimenting with various aspects of 3D printing maps.  The first, after our proof-of-concept model that included only topography at 1:24,000 scale, was to print a complete map of Tioga County. Continue reading “3D Printing a Topo Map of Tioga County, Attempt One”

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. Continue reading “Drones and Society: A Presentation to the 2014 PA Digital Government Summit”

OU Presentation on UAVs

This week, I was honored and privileged to give a couple of presentations to students and faculty in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. This is a presentation on using UAVs for mapping applications that I delivered to a remote sensing class on Tuesday.

Continue reading “OU Presentation on UAVs”

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. In a future post, I’ll be looking at how much distortion remained in the imagery after the lens correction process.

Continue reading “Resolution and Coverage Testing for Phantom 2 Vision+ UAV Imagery for Mapping”

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 — the latest acquisition is the midrange “prosumer” UAV, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. At less than $1,200 for a pretty incredible array of features, it’s a pretty good bargain (at least in the realm of scientific equipment, which generally has the same mark-up as illicit drugs) and a great place to start if you’re wanting to experiment with UAV mapping. Continue reading “Lens Correction on DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ for Mapping”

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. Continue reading “Fun with Maps: Resolution Test GIF”

Resolution Tests for MU UAV Imagery

In preparation for Mansfield’s new imaging UAV, I performed some tests with our primary imaging camera today to determine the potential resolution of the sensor, spatial coverage, and its viability for various imaging applications. In estimating the potential power of our sensors, it appears we might be capable of mapping on a scale that is largely unseen (“micro-mapping”), with the drone potentially capable of providing very high resolution remotely sensed imagery. However, testing was needed to confirm such possibility before application of the technology in the field.

Continue reading “Resolution Tests for MU UAV Imagery”

Launch M-01 – September 14, 2013

This past Saturday, Mansfield University hosted its first night football game since 1892, back when it hosted the first ever night football game. Some 121 years later, the university finally installed lights at its (“sprint”) football stadium and had a big party with it. To kick off the balloon mapping program at Mansfield, I planned to send up a balloon over the event to capture some aerial photos of the stadium and to do some mapping.

Luckily, I had a great crew of MU Geography & Geology students who took the reins so I could sit back and supervise. Continue reading “Launch M-01 – September 14, 2013”

Launch M-01-T – September 13, 2013

Tomorrow evening, September 14, Mansfield University is hosting its first night football game since 1892, back when it hosted the first ever night football game. Some 121 years later, the university finally installed lights at its (“sprint”) football stadium. As a way to kick off the balloon mapping program at Mansfield, I thought we would send up an imaging balloon over the stadium to capture the evening. Continue reading “Launch M-01-T – September 13, 2013”

Vernacular Region of “Up North,” Wisconsin

Since moving to Wisconsin over a year ago, I’ve been trying to learn as much about the local topynymy and places of interest. One place that’s come up repeatedly when talking to students is “Up North,” referring to the relatively sparsely settled northern portion of the state. This “Up North” area is important to Wisconsin’s tourist economy and cultural identity. Many Wisconsin residents own property in the region, specifically to support their recreational pursuits. Continue reading “Vernacular Region of “Up North,” Wisconsin”