All posts by Matteo Luccio

Kirk Norton, NPS land surveyor for the AT, sets up a foresight in Pennsylvania with help from members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail club on the hill above him. Credit: Nicole Wooten.

Mapping the Appalachian Trail

How the AT was created and surveyed, from Avery’s wheel to GPS The Appalachian Trail (AT) is very old, very long, and iconic. Completed in 1937, it stretches 2,189 miles through 14 states, 88 counties, 168 townships, eight national forests, six national parks, two national wildlife refuges, and more than 65 state game lands, wildlife...

Boeing K65438

Tracking Aircraft in Flight

From surveillance methods using ground-based radar to space-based systems, it’s more complex to track aircraft than you might think. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board, was both tragic and stunning. The loss of a modern commercial aircraft operating in government-controlled airspace, which remains unexplained, represents...

John Heiser, a senior environmental research engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) collects solar data at the Long Island Solar Farm—a 200-acre, 32 MW facility located on the BNL campus.

Maximizing the Sun

Solar energy grows in part due to aerial imaging and surveying. Solar power is booming in the United States. “Every three weeks,” President Obama said in his 2015 State of the Union address, “we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008.” Geospatial technologies—especially remote sensing and surveying—play an important...

Feature: Surveying Cultural Heritage

To help preserve and manage cultural heritage sites, an interdisciplinary team is using 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry to model the sites at high resolution—meeting unique challenges with innovative techniques and creating novel opportunities for surveyors. CyArk, a nonprofit organization dedicated to digitally preserving and sharing the world’s cultural heritage, uses laser scanners to generate...

Feature: Hydrography by Remote

Surveyors in parched California measure sedimentation levels in a reservoir using a small, remote-controlled boat integrated with a survey-grade RTK. Before they even start taking measurements, surveyors often have to deal with such practical challenges as how to access and move around in their survey area—which may be rocky, filled with dense vegetation, or obstructed...

Navigating Without Addresses

New codes aim to bring billions of people into the geospatial market. When we mail a letter to an address in an industrialized country or navigate to that location, we rely, without giving it much thought, on a centuries-old system of street names and numbers, augmented in the case of mail by the later invention...