Terraserver aerial images for trip planning? | High Sierra Topix  

Terraserver aerial images for trip planning?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Terraserver aerial images for trip planning?

Postby SSSdave » Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:15 pm

Any of you others use those aerial images for trip planning? Well if not maybe the following will add a new resource for a few of you.

The last month given the onslaught of winter, have been wiling away a fair amount of time trip planning. I have a huge pile of mutilated 7.5 minute topos that I'll puruse for ideas. Also have a few of the topozone CD's. When I'm looking at areas I've never been to, I often also like to bring up terraserver in order to look at aerial images. Near timberline looking areas with scattered trees are always more appealing than the highest bare rocky canyons with patches of turf and barren icy waters. So I'll bring up terraserver and go into topo mode in order to zero in on some location. Then when sufficiently zoomed in switch to aerial mode to see what it looks like. Trees show up as little black specs. Lakes are dark, and meadows or turfy areas somewhat dim while granite is always lightest. Metamorphic rock areas definitely look different than granite. There is much to glean from these crude views. For prospective campspots in such areas, I always look for where clumps of trees are, and then mark them on my topo. More often than not those spots are exactly where we end up camping since in alpine zones mid summer the high midday sun is to be avoided hiding in some shady camp spot looking out at the scenery.

Hikerduane just put up a thread about an area I haven't visited, The Pinnacles basins off of Piute Creek. The first link below is zoomed out some and shows big Three Island Lake in the upper left quadrant. The second link shows some of the lakes in the East Pinnacles basin. One of the lakes is shaped like South America. There are certainly a few scattered trees there too, certain to be whitebark pines. In order to re-discover one's point of reference, terraserver has both an aerial and topo tab which one can toggle between that maintain exact positioning. One thing I always am fascinated by looking at these Sierra aerials is how strongly granite joint cracks crisscross landscapes. Far more apparent than when hiking about. One notices how trees tend to fill such little crack ravines as that is where more organic debris and soil has accumulated. ...David

http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T ... Y=2579&W=2

http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T ... =10320&W=2

This next link is to well scenically admired Pioneer Basin that for some reason I've never managed to visit though have had plans to through the years. So I recently documented a trip into that which starts down at the Edison ferry dock and goes up Mono Creek. After a layover day in Pioneer Basin, my trip goes back down canyon to Second Recess and I climb up to the Lower Mills Creek area that I've been to three times in the past. But for this Pioneer Basin, I wanted to figure out where to camp at? First I had marked up my paper topos with little red arrows for all the prospective spots I might drag my 4x5 to for photos with notes on the time of day to do such. That gave me a good idea about where to centralize a campspot in order to be able to reach the various shooting locations more easily. And I am always looking for a place that offers a good view if possible instead of some place down in a blocking hole or ravine. So here is the exact spot I selected. In topo zone a red cross appears at the center of the map display and is a way I like to indicate exact map locations to others over the internet:

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n= ... ayer=DRG25

So it is right next to one of the smaller ponds rather than the lakes most people are more likely to camp at. The pond is atop a bench with unblocked views to the south. It is the views south towards the Abbot - Gabb peaks I expect to be most interesting. And since those peaks are distant due south, the pink nightwedge that rotates around from east-southeast towards the south at dusk might make a nice shot reflecting in the pond. In any case we always consider any spot I figured out like this as a mere prospect and then when actually there, scour the area carefully for the finest camping. Now this aerial image shows the little pond has trees next to it where I expect some other soul has already smoothed out a nice spot there beneath some stunted canopy of branches to commune with the chipmunks. ...David

http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T ... =10370&W=2



User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby ERIC » Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:50 pm

Excelent thread! Thanks for posting. Lots of good remote sensing resources out there on the web. Many of them are free.
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix
User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Location: between the 916 and 661
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby hikerduane » Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:46 pm

Cool! Now that I got here, my map is at home. If only the terrain was that smooth while hiking over it. I'll be back to compare my map with the images. Thank you!

I've been by Pioneer Basin too, but was headed for bigger fish at the time. Down Mono Creek, to Bear Creek and Basin, over Italy Pass and Morgan Pass to Mosquito Flat.
User avatar
hikerduane
Founding Member
 
Posts: 1194
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:58 am
Location: Meadow Valley, CA, Carson City, NV
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Ranboze » Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:45 pm

I've been using Google Earth lately and really like it. Although it is possible to use it via google, I downloaded the free version in order to have increased functionality, like tilting the map to get a much more realistic impression of the landscape. The resolution is better in some areas than others, and the sierras, unfortunately probably dont have as good as resolution as the mountains in SoCal. Very cool though.
Walking outside is where I find what's inside.
User avatar
Ranboze
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:35 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby copeg » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:00 pm

Cool thread. Its been a goal of mine for a little while now to write a java applet or program that uses this satellite, topo, and other data to render these 2D images into movable 3D graphics images for trip planning...oh if I only had the time :retard: One of these days :)
User avatar
copeg
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby ERIC » Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:29 am

Ever heard of Lidar imagery? There are a few companies out there who create such maps, and they are pretty darn accurate (down to 6 inches, I think).

Image
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix
User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Location: between the 916 and 661
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Postby copeg » Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:27 am

admin wrote:Ever heard of Lidar imagery? There are a few companies out there who create such maps, and they are pretty darn accurate (down to 6 inches, I think).


Very cool Eric.
User avatar
copeg
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Google Earth

Postby jdub » Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:52 am

If you are into mapping, you need to check out Google Earth. http://earth.google.com/

Really cool.
User avatar
jdub
Founding Member
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Coarsegold, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Google Earth

Postby ERIC » Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:00 am

jdub wrote:If you are into mapping, you need to check out Google Earth. http://earth.google.com/

Really cool.


Yep. MSN just came out with their own version of GoogleEarth as well. Plus, there are a ton of additional sites out there that do the same, although most aren't as flashy as GoogleEarth. But, many times GoogleEarth only has access to very old, low-res imagery of certain areas and one or more of the alternative sites has better imagery of those areas. GoogleEarth relies on older, free imagery that just about anyone can get a hold of if they know where to find it. Many of the other sites are run by companies that acquire their own imagery, and because of this, they often times have newer and higher quality imagery than GoogleEarth has access to.

On a side-note... Does anyone know how GoogleEarth does 3-D models for some city landscapes (see San Francisco as example)? They incorporate a database they have of blueprint specs for many of the larger cities in the world. (This is similar to what trailblazer was thinking of doing with topo map data of the Sierra Nevada). I think they also incorporate a photogrammetry technique called stereoscopy in areas where they have access to higher resolution imagery (2M or better). Stereoscopic imaging or 3-D (three-dimensional) imaging is a technique to create the illusion of depth in a two-dimensional image, by displaying multiple images at the same time. It’s pretty similar to how they create 3-D movies. And, if the imagery is high resolution and the process is done correctly, you can determine a pretty good estimate of elevation and scale. It's basically a poor man's Lidar! :computer:
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix
User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Location: between the 916 and 661
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests