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Archive for August, 2009

Satellite Images of Killer Typhoon Morakot Hitting East Asia

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Typhoon Morakot claiming over 461 lives and many are still missing as it battered East Asia. Parts of the region experienced their worst flooding in half a century. A record 120 inches of rain fell during the weekend causing significant damage, at least 9.0 billion Taiwan dollars (281 million US) in agricultural damage another 570 million in Tourism, while 70,000 or more homes were left without power and 850,000 homes without water, according to officials.

These high resolution QuickBird satellite images captured the unleashed flooding, mudslides and destruction including the Chin Shuai Hotel in Chihpen, Taiwain. To view the high resolution images click on image.

typhoon morakat, tawain

Typhoon Morakot, Tawain – QuickBird Satellite Image (0.61m)

Typhoon Morakot, Taiwan

Typhoon Morakot, Taiwan – QuickBird Satellite Image (0.61m)

The typhoon Morakot hit mainland China Sunday afternoon, where it claimed many lives as authorities ordered more than a million people to evacuate several provinces. In China three and four story apartment buildings collapsed and buried taking an unknown number of residents.

More than 8.8 million people in the three coastal provinces and in Anhui province as well were affected by Morakot, which forced local authorities to relocate 1.4 million.

To view CNN video Scenes of Morakot click here.

The use of satellite images and aerial photography helps aid researchers to view storms such as flooding, landslides, earthquakes and hurricanes on both a local and a regional scale.

Disaster management and rescue organizations now widely use remote sensing and geographical informations systems (GIS) when it comes to preparing, monitoring, investigating and recovering from disasters like Typhoon Morakot.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

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Lost Roman City of Altinum Revealed through Near-Infrared Aerial Photography

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Researchers revealed the ancient Roman City Altinum in Northern Italy using infrared aerial photography. Due to a severe drought in 2007, the dryness of the landscape enabled the team from the University of Padua to see evidence of 2,000-year-old structures beneath the soil.

Altinum was both strategic and beautiful. The discovery of the Venetic funeral inscriptions show that it dates to 100 BC. Altinum plays an important role researchers say in the history of Venice because its inhabitants colonized the northern lagoon islands when fleeing from Barbarians from the 5th to the 7th centuries AD. Today, about 11% of the lagoon is permanently covered by open water, and around 80% consists of mud flats, tidal shallows and salt marshes.

Altinum

Altinum3

Credit: Andrea Ninfo et al., Science (31 July 2009)

Researchers used near-infrared aerial photography combined with digital elevation modeling techniques to view the structures. Infrared photography is exquisitely sensitive to vegetation stress. It provides a unique view of the Earth’s vegetation and other features of the planet’s surface. This unique aerial view, created by a combination of wavelengths, gives researchers a means to better understand what is happening on the Earth’s surface. This allowed researchers to reveal archaeological features such as churches, city walls, gates and even a theater. The city was enclosed by walls and gates and was surrounded by a network of rivers and canals.

Remote Sensing including aerial photography and satellite imagery have become increasingly important tools for archaeologists, as these systems link information to precisely calibrated physical locations, and integrate information drawn from multiple sources. The usefulness of aerial photographs for identifying and analyzing archaeological sites was recognized from the early days of aviation and imagery is now available from an array of aircraft and high resolution satellite sensors such as GeoEye-1, QuickBird, IKONOS, Spot-5 and LIDAR that provide even greater potential for investigating and mapping archaeological sites.