Initially, Chris Fisher, an archaeologist at the State University of Colorado, founded the Earth Archives to keep records of ancient cities and sites built by the ancient population. However, the current climate situation convinced him that it won’t be long before we lose a very important part of our cultural heritage. With global warming, the terrestrial environment will radically change and many archaeological sites or natural, geological or ecological landscapes will disappear.
“We really have a deadline to record these things before the earth radically changes,” says the researcher, who states that one must begin mapping, documenting and preserving these treasures before they disappear completely.
The researcher uses a technique based on a laser carried by an airplane. The laser scans the Earth’s surface by emitting laser pulses. A particular instrument then measures the time that has elapsed between the impulse being emitted and its return. With this data, combined with those on the position or others such as aerial or satellite photos, it is possible to create a 3D map even of a very large area.
For example, the researcher used this method to map in 3D various cities built by ancient populations and “hidden” in the depths of the Central American or South American jungle. This technique allows you to scan objects on the ground with a resolution of 20 cm, the resolution of a building block explained by Fisher himself.
Therefore, the researcher has promised to map the entire earth area of the planet. The land accounts for about 29% of the Earth’s surface, which already indicates how majestic this purpose can be. The same researcher will proceed in order of importance: “The first mapped areas are most at risk, starting with coastal areas, which could soon be flooded by the sea due to rising sea levels. We will then move to the Amazon.”
All the data will be inserted into an open-source database that can be used by archaeologists, geologists and environmentalists.
How much does a project like this cost? According to Fisher, $15 million would initially be needed to scan most of the Amazon in two or three years.
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