Monthly Archives: February 2014

Laser Scanning Reveals New Parts of an Ancient Cambodian City

Source from: http://www.technologyreview.com/view/516271/laser-scanning-reveals-new-parts-of-an-ancient-cambodian-city/

Amazingly, the entire operation for the data collection spanned just 2 days in April 2012 for a total 20 hours of flight time, capturing imagery that would have taken many years to assemble from the ground, if at all

Layer cake: The top image shows a digital recreation of Agur Wat, with elevation derived collected by LIDAR; the bottom image shows the raw LIDAR digital terrain model, with red lines indicate modern linear features including roads and canals.

Airborne laser scanning has revealed the remnants of a vast urban structure in the vicinity ofAngkor Wat, a famous temple in Cambodia. The study, which will be published soon in the journal PNAS, follows a previous one that showed Angkor Wat to have been one of the world’s most complex preindustrial cities.

Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) is making it easier for archeologists to explore human settlements in tropical vegetation; previous LIDAR work has found evidence of new cities in Central America (see “A Lost City, Found With Lasers”), as well as further enhancing the layout of known settlements such as the Mayan city of Caracol.

For the new study, the researchers used a LIDAR setup emitting up to 200,000 laser pulses each second from a helicopter. Amazingly, the entire operation for the data collection spanned just 2 days in April 2012 for a total 20 hours of flight time, capturing imagery that would have taken many years to assemble from the ground, if at all. The LIDAR analysis also appears to have discovered what could be an older city beside Angkor Wat.

The study has revealed new canals, temples, and still unidentified manmade features, confirming a metropolitan area that housed many thousands of people, much as the Giza Plateau Mapping Project is doing for cities surrounding the Pyramids’ construction in Egypt.

As LIDAR technology gets cheaper, it will accelerate our understanding of early human settlements from the lingering geographic footprints we left, traces which can be almost as shallow as a footprint itself. As the authors write in their PNAS paper: “LIDAR technology has recently matured to the point where it has become cost-effective for archaeologists…with sufficient accuracy and precision to identify archaeological features of only a few centimeters in size.”

The Future of Sports Photography: Drones

Drones are being used to film ski and snowboarding events at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as you may have noticed. But the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sports photography is far from a passing gimmick. In fact, you should expect more and more athletic events to be filmed by drone.

Remo Masina isn’t involved in shooting the Olympics, but he’s already familiar with drones’ finesse for filming winter sports: He uses them to film skiers for commercials. The drones are quieter and cheaper than a manned helicopter (though they can still cost up to $40,000), he told the Associated Press, and they allow the filmmaker to get much closer to his subject.

Drones are also more flexible than cable-suspended camera systems, which are also present at the Winter Olympics. While live transmission is tricky—it requires an extra transmitter, which weighs on the drone—Masina says he’s flown such devices at over 40 mph while delivering live, high-definition video.

Masina says that drones are “for sure” the future of sports broadcasting. UK company HeliPOV, which provides drones on which to mount existing cameras, has some great examples of just how cool the resulting video can be:

 

It won’t take long for drones to be fully integrated into sports broadcasting: One company is already prototyping drones that automatically follow an athlete from a few feet away—perfect, they say, for downhill skiing. And drones are also making appearances at events smaller than the Olympics:

30th Birthday Apple and one day in making.

Source from: apple.com

Fifteen locations on five continents, all shot in a single day: January 24