04 May 2013

LIDAR Technology is groovy

A friend recently sent me this image that uses LIDAR to model the hydrological history of a river. LIDAR is an aerial derived sensor that collects information (like a photo, but more complicated, if you want to know about the technology, see what NOAA has to say here).
This particular image is of a piece of the Willamette River in Oregon. Besides being absolutely beautiful, this image is really useful for better understanding of many of the world's rivers. We could to better understand the physical dynamic that rivers have as an overall hydro system. This is good for land-use decisions and zoning plans. Technology like this can better inform researchers and policy makers about the dynamic realities of rivers systems so they can make better choices about water resources management.

Glowing landscape shows river history

May 3, 2013 to Data Art by Nathan Yau
DOGAMI Willamette
The poster by Daniel E. Coe shows the life-like historical flows of the Willamette River in Oregon.
This lidar-derived digital elevation model of the Willamette River displays a 50-foot elevation range, from low elevations (displayed in white) fading to higher elevations (displayed in dark blue). This visually replaces the relatively flat landscape of the valley floor with vivid historical channels, showing the dynamic movements the river has made in recent millennia. This segment of the Willamette River flows past Albany near the bottom of the image northward to the communities of Monmouth and Independence at the top. Near the center, the Luckiamute River flows into the Willamette from the left, and the Santiam River flows in from the right.