A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending and presenting a poster at the Geological Remote Sensing Group’s annual conference in Piccadilly. Burlington house is an amazing place and setting, and it was nice to be in central London for a few days.
The majority of the focus was on two emerging technologies and their use in a geological context – hyperspectral satellite Remote Sensing (I’ve learned tons about ASTER!) and InSAR, a hot topic due to the recent launch of Sentinel 1. Some of the RADAR images on display were truly amazing, and the accuracy of InSAR always astounds me, I may try and have a look at it myself if I get some free time in the coming months.
On the photogrammetry end there were three good presentations on the topic, with one particularly interesting one done by a member of the Danish Geological Society, Eric Sorenson. They flew an airplane and had a simple GPS-IMU setup attached to a Nikon 800D and managed to acquire some impressively accurate models of a near vertical cliff. Considering access to these cliffs is nearly impossible as they are surrounded by water this represents a good alternative to laser scanning.
Rita Matildes from Lisbon university subsequently presented her research into coastal erosion in Portugal over the last 30 years and had been using SfM technologies to try and modernise the process and increase accuracies. A GoPro had been used to try and reconstruct the scene but speaking with her afterwards it seems the calibration wasn’t successful and so the 3D models were error prone. Good food for thought!
Lastly DLR presented a really awesomely cool mission where they built a camera specifically to do a survey of Mount Everest. This included high dynamic range cameras and multiple angles attached to a glider which managed to produce a beautiful point cloud of the entire mountain. Check out the video of the project here.
These three presentations showed the applicability of SfM technologies in environments that aren’t well suited for other types of data capture.
UAVs came up at multiple points within talks, and I’m hoping to get involved in some disaster response GIS at some stage over the course of my studies as it’s an extremely important and interesting field in general.
All in all it was a very enjoyable first conference experience and I should look forward to many more in the next few years. For now though, back to work.