Marin and Sonoma Counties in California are both rich in water and land formations because of their excellent topology. However, this also makes land mapping and surveying quite challenging. Fortunately, the advancements in modern technology made it possible to address these feats. This article lists down some new land mapping technology implementation in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
GIS stands for the geographic information system. This is merely a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing information such as spatial location. The layers of information are organized into visualizations in the form of maps and 3D scenes. In Marin and Sonoma Counties, GIS is used to monitor changes in topology brought about by natural weather occurrences.
The maps produced through the GIS technology are easily shared and embedded in apps that can be virtually accessed by anyone authorized to do so, regardless of their physical location. The data garnered through GIS can also be integrated into many different layers using spatial location. The data is also composed of geographic elements that include imagery, base maps, and features that are linked to spreadsheets and tables, making data analysis effortless.
1) Real-Time Data
GIS technology is further innovated over the past couple of years such that in these modern times, you can already acquire real-time GIS data. According to seasoned California land surveyors, this feature improved GIS mapping systems significantly because this allows users to act on the changes in the topology of an area promptly. Apart from real-time data, the information retrieved is also more accurate and relevant, which paves the way for more informed decisions.
Apart from land mapping though, real-time GIS data also proves to be beneficial for emergency management services. In this case, they can generate crisis maps based on a combination of satellite imagery and remote sensor readings, as well as statistical models and crowd-sourced data. Rest assured that there are still ongoing refinements to ensure that real-time GIS data analysis is relevant and accurate.
2) Artificial Intelligence
GIS now also incorporates artificial intelligence, which proves to be beneficial when it comes to tracking changes in an area over time. While Sonoma County is surrounded by vineyards and farms with plenty of open spaces, there are still researchers who want to know how land use impacted air pollution in the area. In this case, the GIS incorporated with artificial intelligence helped them analyze traffic patterns at different times of the day along the area related to the harmful particles suspended in the air.
In this case, GIS relied on the user input and manual updates to identify the traffic patterns, as well as the adjustments necessary to refine the machine learning algorithm. Through the artificial intelligence capability integrated into the GIS technology, greater predictive capabilities are achieved. It should be noted though that the integration of AI in GIS is still evolving, which means that there is still room for more improvement.
Remote sensing is another land mapping technology implementation used in the Marin and Sonoma Counties. In this method, measurements of the earth are made using sensors on airplanes or satellites. The data collected by the sensors are in the form of images. From there, users will be able to manipulate, analyze, and visualize the images accordingly. More often than not, this remote sensing technology is integrated with GIS.
Through remote sensing, the physical characteristics of an area are detected and monitored. This is achieved by measuring the reflected and emitted radiation at a distance, which is typically from an aircraft or a satellite where special cameras are integrated. These cameras take images of large areas on the surface of the earth, allowing users to visualize a larger area that can be quite difficult to survey when standing on the ground. In this way, changes in farmlands or forests over several decades or years are made possible.
Finally, drone mapping is another land mapping technology implementation used in Marin and Sonoma Counties. In this case, the surveying process is done through the use of drones, cutting the surveying process time in half. As a result, the cost of the surveying method, as well as the workload of the specialist in the field, are reduced. Aside from this, there are various other reasons why drone mapping is now used for surveying. Apart from being more efficient and saving time, drone surveying is also becoming an industry standard. It is also quite easy to complete survey projects in areas that are difficult or dangerous to access.
In drone surveying, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is used to capture aerial data with downward-facing sensors that can be RGB or multispectral cameras. Images of the ground are then captured several times from different angles. Each of the images captured is tagged with the proper coordinates.
Survey drones are excellent in generating high-resolution orthomosaics and detailed 3D models of particular areas where no other data is available. The images generated by these survey drones can further be processed to produce detailed elevation models, contour lines, and break lines. When it comes to land management and planning, the images taken by these survey drones significantly accelerate and simplify topographic surveys. Rest assured that surveyors are provided with high-resolution orthophotos that enable them to perform distance and surface measurements that are highly accurate.
When drone mapping is used in conjunction with GIS, slope measurements can be extracted. This makes it possible for surveyors to detect changes in the earth’s movement and even to measure its velocity.
There are instances wherein the topology of a certain area is quite challenging to survey and map such as those in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Fortunately, there are already technological innovations able to address land mapping and surveying challenges in these areas such as those listed above. When you live in an area such as those in Marin and Sonoma counties, the key is in ensuring that you are leveraging the right technological implementation that will be able to suit your land mapping and surveying needs or other potential applications.