Edinburgh Costume wins ESRI competition

tempThis is the second year that Esri has run their Geoween contest on their Instagram page, esrigram. This year, the contest started with Esri posting suggestions for geographically themed Halloween costumes.

The Edinburgh GIS students enjoyed a Halloween party at their field trip in the Scottish Highlands. Amongst various amazing costumes, demonstrator Dave got into the Geoween spirit and dressed up with a quite-amazing drone hat. Dave built a hat which was a remarkable copy of one of our DJI Phantom UAVs . Posing him in front of a large map of Perthshire, I took his photo and posted it on my Instagram account in order to enter us into the contest. This was quickly reposted on the Esri account, and it has been liked by 140 people. We have since found out that Dave’s costume was one of the winners, and that Esri is shipping the two of us a set of Esri pint glasses!

Kathryn Murphy
MSc in GIS


GIS students in the Field

On the 1st November, the Edinburgh GIS students are back from another successful outing to the Kindrogan Field Centre in Highland Perthshire.  Seven groups of students undertook a range of projects overseen by staff members Bruce Gittings, Nick Hulton, Iain Woodhouse, William Mackaness, Alasdair MacArthur, Zhiqiang Feng and Owen Macdonald, together with postgraduate demonstrators Sarah Donoghue and David Cooper and field assistant Ivona Hubova, all members of the GIS and remote sensing team in the School of GeoSciences in Edinburgh.

The students are undertaking a range of projects from mapping using a diversity of UAV platforms, to hydro-power potential, analysing mobile phone signal strength, and marketing the remarkable local archaeology and geomorphology to tourists, all using GIS and remote sensing methods.

EEO-AGI Scotland Seminar Review : Dr. Joanne Nightingale : 16th Oct

What is National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and what sort of work do they undertake? We were fortunate enough to have Joanne Nightingale, Head of Earth Observation, give a fascinating seminar about what NPL does and projects she is involved with.

NPL is a world leading National Measurement Institute that aims to work towards the growing demand for high quality, robust measurements in all aspects in our lives. The uncertainty in measurement is important to consider because they want the most accurate measurement and as the saying goes “measure thrice, cut once.” As a centre for carbon measurement, they support climate change research and a low carbon emission future.

Joanne explains about the department she works in (EO, Climate and Optical Group) and how they strive to provide traceability for all EU earth observation data products for calibration and algorithms applications. This group is working on projects such as Fidelity and Uncertainty in Climate data records from Earth Observation (FIDUCEO) and FOREST (Fully Optimized and Reliable EmissionS Tool). Joanne’s group focuses with TREES (Traceability in tErrestrial vEgetation Sensors and biophysical products) to establish an essential climate variable “traceability through modelling, reference measurements and test-site characterizations.” Their current areas of interest are in fAPAR and Leaf Area Index.

Megumi Sasaki
(MSc in GIS at the University of Edinburgh)

Using Remote Sensing to Scan Egypt’s Pyramids

A Guest Post by Jenny Reilly (MSc in GIS)

The 21st century has come to archaeology and it’s here to stay. The Egyptian Minister of Antiquities has just announced that a technique called Cosmic Ray Radiography (among others) will be used to scan several of the pyramids. This technique was notably used to assess the damage at the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in Japan. Researchers will measure the energy and trajectory of Muons, a particle similar to an electron, which changes trajectory based on the density of what it hits. Researchers hope to make a 3D model of the interior of the pyramids, perhaps finding hidden rooms. This project will be carried out by Cairo University, Université Laval, and Nagoya University and will continue until the end of 2016.

The “Scan Pyramids” project is one of many that will help us to learn more about the ancient world around us. Work like this is imperative to the improvement of the field of archaeology. Up to, and including, the present, archaeology has been a destructive science. In an effort to save the artefacts of the past that we hold so dear, archaeologists must learn how to use and develop remote sensing techniques.

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