Geomatics and Topography
Another area of science that deals almost exclusively with geomatics is the study of topography, which is the study of the surface of the Earth as well as other planets, moon, asteroids, etc. In this post we’re going to go over some reasons why geomatics is a vitally important field of study in modern science.
Basics of Topography
Topography deals primarily with the study of the Earth’s surface shape and features, but also extends to other planets and objects in space. The primary study of topography is three dimensional quality data points of items on the surface and various landforms.
The Moon Landing
It’s been over 40 years since we landed on the moon, but even back in the 1960s we used the study of geomatics extensively before our initial landing. In order to assure a safe and secure landing area for our astronauts on the moon, we studied the moon’s surface with incredible depth in order to find a proper landing location and develop a spacecraft that was able to successfully make the landing. The first moon landing decided to land in the Sea of Tranquility, a lunar mare on the Moon’s surface, and the Apollo 11 spacecraft was specifically built to land in this location.
We know that there are thousands of asteroids orbiting the Earth and the other planets. In fact, that is what gives Saturn the ring that we are all familiar with. There are so many asteroid surrounded Saturn that it literally looks like a continuous belt around the planet. Earth has much fewer asteroids orbiting it, but there are still quite a few and scientists use geomatics to measure their size, shape, and the features of their surface. By measuring the size and shape of different asteroids, we can study their orbit pattern and how likely they are to break through the Earth’s atmosphere. This is an area of great study for many astronomers.
Geomatics technology also plays a pivotal when rescue crews go into mountain ranges to save lost or stranded hikers. For example, consider a skier who was skiing through the slopes of the Rocky Mountain Range in Colorado but gets caught in an avalanche. He gets completely buried in snow and needs rescue crews to save him immediately. This is a matter of life and death because if an avalanche covers you, you have a very short period of time to make it out alive.
The same geomatic technology that allows us to measure the depth of the ocean floor now comes to rescue us at some of the world’s tallest peaks. Using data that has been retrieved from topographical studies of various mountain regions, rescue teams will be able to determine which way the snow of the avalanche has fallen and pinpoint the trapped skier’s location. This technology will also allow them to determine where they can safely land their rescue chopper and where they will need to bring their crew.
As you can see, not only do the most advanced scientists use geomatic technology but so do the rescue safety mission crews in mountain ranges across the globe.