A Google Streetcar for Geologists?

October 12, 2017
Posted in News
October 12, 2017 Sam Law

At Imago, we are always looking for ways to extract value from geoscientific Imagery.  With that in mind, we have an idea for what in essence would be a Google streetcar for geologists, using widely available and cheap ($300-400) GoPro cameras in conjunction with our Imago software platform.  Here’s how it would work:

  • As the geologist does a traverse, he captures imagery of outcrops he is interested in by using a wrist- or vest-mounted GoPro camera.  Optionally, the geologist would record video and narrate the geologic descriptions as he traverses.
  • Imago would seamlessly synchronize the images captured by the GoPro to the Imago portal.
  • From there the images would be served as a map service to the customer’s GIS or mapping package, with transcribed audio in the video as text comments accompanying the images.

The Virtual Library of Australia’s Geology…a step in this direction

The Virtual Library of Australia’s Geology (AusGeol) is an open source project which uses geo-located high resolution photography, drone captured imagery, as well as multi-directional imagery to provide a virtual tour of outcrops across Australia. Using this free online resource, you can view a map of Australia, zoom in on the area of interest, click on a sample location, and very quickly view not only a full description of the important geological feature in that area, but also a 3D model rendering of the formation.

While not exactly a “Google streetcar” for geologists”, the AusGeol project comes pretty close, and provides a very rich dataset to anyone with a computer and internet connection.

Next steps

Our “Google streetcar” for geologists concept explained above would complement the AusGeol project and provide that sort of capability to private entities, for their own internal and private use.  In our proposed use case the geologist would highlight something of interest and provide the best view such as a closeup. One advantage over traditional point and shoot/phone cameras in use today is that the workflow would be very simple and much easier to use than current practices, which require many steps and different components to make something like this happen.

So…what do you think?  Should we build this?

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