Topics:  gladstone, laser, queensland, shipwreck, technology

Queensland at forefront of innovative mapping technology

BIG PICTURE: An aerial image of part of the central Queensland coast taken using ESRI’s Geographic Information Systems technology.
BIG PICTURE: An aerial image of part of the central Queensland coast taken using ESRI’s Geographic Information Systems technology. ESRI AUSTRALIA

QUEENSLAND is at the forefront of the use of innovative mapping technology for mining, archaeology and natural disasters.

Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) implements the use of laser beams to survey either land or sea.

Dr Dipak Paudyal, principal consultant for remote sensing and imaging at ESRI Australia, says GIS will broaden perceptions of our environment.

"These are exciting times for technology," Dr Paudyal said.

"We monitor land surfaces and changes such as vegetation, erosion, water levels and coastal surfaces. We are also able to work with organisations in natural disasters during response and recovery."

Advanced technology is now being harnessed as an instrument to better understand the world around us, including what lies beneath.

Remote sensing and GIS enables maritime archaeologists to reconstruct 3D visuals of the ocean floor, without ever getting their feet wet.

"Through computer animation, we are able to build a real-world version so precise and so accurate, it's as if we were diving ourselves," Dr Paudyal said.

To reconstruct a model of a sunken vessel, two laser beams are directed into the ocean, one to penetrate the ocean floor, and the other is used to reflect back to the surface.

"Depending on the time taken for the second beam to reflect back, information is gathered regarding the depth of the vessel, the materials it is comprised of and even the colour," he said.


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