OpenTopography

OpenTopography provides high-quality geographic data relating to earth science as well as a platform for researchers to share their own data. Based at the University of California, San Diego, OpenTopography is an ambitious project that “facilitates community access to high-resolution, Earth science-oriented, topography data, and related tools and resources,” and is funded through the National Science Foundation.

You can search or browse the project’s datasets via an interactive data map and a data catalog, both found under Data. Most of these datasets are available in Lidar point cloud format, and many are also available in other formats, such as raster or Google Earth.  Check it out!

opentopography

California Releases Interactive Public Geoportal

California has adopted a massive, interactive online database of location-based government data that includes over 1200 publicly available data sets from 25 state entities.

The California State Geoportal collects geospatial data from government agencies including housing, water, transportation and health information. The data is compatible with geolocation software and is designed to be shared, layered onto maps and analyzed.

The portal was designed by ESRI.  Check it out!

calgeoportal

Mapping 2019-nCoV

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of an outbreak of “pneumonia of unknown cause” detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China – the seventh-largest city in China with 11 million residents. By January 23, there was over 800 cases of 2019-nCoV confirmed globally, including cases in at least 20 regions in China and nine countries/territories.  As of this writing, there are now 17,485 confirmed cases and 362 deaths!

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Operation Bird’s Eye

Operation Bird’s Eye is a photographic collection of nearly 400 overlapping aerial images which form a continuous strip spanning the United States from coast to coast. Beginning in Ventura, California and ending over Long Island, New York, these nine by nine inch prints capture a sliver of the American landscape as it looked in 1948. The images were captured during one continuous flight, and when joined together the physical prints stretch 192 feet, showing a slice of land 2,700 miles long.

The flight from which these images were captured took off from the Air Force Flight Test Center (now Edwards Air Force Base) in Muroc, California at 7:40 AM local time on September 1, 1948, first gaining altitude out over the Pacific Ocean before turning east. The plane was a Republic XR-12, an experimental aircraft of which only two were ever built. It was outfitted with K-17 cameras able to shoot a continuous roll of film up to 200 frames. The camera shot at 50 second intervals throughout the duration of the flight, at a constant altitude of 40,000 feet, resulting in a field of vision of around 130 square miles.

The purpose of the XR-12 was photo reconnaissance, and Operation Bird’s Eye was meant as a demonstration of its capabilities. The plane, able to fly high and fast enough to avoid conventional enemy aircraft and fighters, was essentially a flying photography laboratory, with the crew able to process film mid-flight. The Operation Bird’s Eye flight broke records as it crossed the continent, capturing the longest span of aerial photos ever accumulated in a single trip to that point. After 6 hours and 55 minutes, the crew landed at Mitchel Field in Garden City, New York on Long Island.

Click below to read more and check out the images!

operationbirdseye