OpenTopography Blog

Information and discussion related to high-resolution LiDAR topography for the Earth sciences

Posts from November 2010

EGU 2011 Session - Digital Landscapes: Quantitative Interrogation & Use

Posted on Tue, November 30, 2010 by Chris Crosby in Meetings

Via Paolo Tarolli, an announcement about a session at this year’s European Geoscience Union Meeting in Vienna.  The session emphasizes analysis techniques for high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) of Earth, seafloor or planetary landscapes:

Dear colleagues,

we would like to draw your attention to the session GM2.4/NH10.3/PS10.2 “Digital Landscapes: Quantitative Interrogation & Use” at next year’s (2011) EGU General Assembly in Vienna.

This session is about quantitative techniques (e.g. GIS, geospatial) applied to digital landscapes and the exciting, objective results that these facilitate; we actively seek submissions from different backgrounds (geology, geomorphology, planetary geomorphology, geophysics, archaeology & anthropogenic disturbance).

For full details of the session, please refer to, and see the abstract below.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is January, 10th 2011, but if you want to apply for support (e.g. students) you must submit your abstract by December 3th 2010 at the latest.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of my co-convenors.


Paolo, Paola, John, Sanjeev, Lara, and David

p.s - Abstract

Are you working to be objective, robust and reproducible in your work interrogating digital landscapes (DEM, DTM or DSM) of the Earth, seafloor or planetary landscapes? Have you developed quantitative methods that have produced, or will produce, exciting observations that will lead to a better understanding of a geomorphic process? In geomorphic we include both natural processes and those creating a human fingerprint in the landscape.

This is an inter-disciplinary technical session about quantitative techniques (e.g. GIS, geospatial) applied to digital landscapes. It aims to bring together workers analyzing digital landscapes to exhibit the best techniques, cross-fertilize best practice, and illustrate what can be achieved and what challenges remain. Possibilities, problems and solutions encouraged.

Features identified or parameterized could include volcanoes, craters, gullies, fault scarps, drumlins, or those reflecting anthropogenic disturbances such as deforestation, new urban areas, or land-use change.
Natural processes constrained could range from mass-wasting to volcano formation. We also welcome work where landscape properties, e.g.
roughness, are analyzed, as they form critical inputs into models. Much interest is expected in high-resolution DEMs, but any data source is welcome.


Marie Curie Fellow,
Institute of Inland Waters
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
Anavyssos, GREECE

Adjunct Professor
Polytechnic University of Marche, ITALY

Visiting Researcher
Interdepartmental Research Center for Cartography, Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and GIS (CIRGEO)
University of Padova, ITALY

adr: viale dell’Universita 16, Legnaro (PD) 35020, ITALY
ph: +39 (049) 8272695
fax: +39 (049) 8272686
skype: paolopaolo525

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National Academy report on Precise Geodetic Infrastructure

Posted on Mon, November 22, 2010 by Chris Crosby in NewsPublications

Earlier this month a National Research Council report entitled Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource was published via the National Academies Press.  The report, authored by the National Research Council’s Committee on the National Requirements for Precision Geodetic Infrastructure and the Committee on Seismology and Geodynamics, is freely available in PDF format.

The emphasis of the report is on:

Recognizing the growing reliance of a wide range of scientific and societal endeavors on infrastructure for precise geodesy, and recognizing geodetic infrastructure as a shared national resource, this book provides an independent assessment of the benefits provided by geodetic observations and networks, as well as a plan for the future development and support of the infrastructure needed to meet the demand for increasingly greater precision. Precise Geodetic Infrastructure makes a series of focused recommendations for upgrading and improving specific elements of the infrastructure, for enhancing the role of the United States in international geodetic services, for evaluating the requirements for a geodetic workforce for the coming decades, and for providing national coordination and advocacy for the various agencies and organizations that contribute to the geodetic infrastructure.

Within the context of the types of LiDAR topography data emphasized by OpenTopography, the report highlights the importance of a strong geodetic infrastructure for topographic mapping, and specifically for providing the necessary control to produce high-accuracy (centimeter) LiDAR surveys.  Also highlighted in the report is the importance of precise geodetic infrastructure to allow LiDAR to be used in the future as a geodetic observing tool with millimeter accuracies (also requiring improvements in LiDAR ranging precision), for research and applications related to the coastal zone, wetlands, earthquake faults, landslides, flooding, ice sheet dynamics.  The report highlights LiDAR as a example of a rapidly progressing geodetic technology with significant societal impacts:

...many aspects of geodetic techniques, technologies, and data analysis are progressing rapidly today; such trends will likely persist in the foreseeable future. For example, societal applications of geodetic imaging, using active remote sensing tools such as radar and LiDAR with increasing spatial and temporal resolution and improving accuracy, will probably contribute powerfully to this progress.

Download the Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource report from the National Academies Press.

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