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Academic Showcase Impresses at Geo Week

image of Academic Showcase - Ezra Che, OSU

Geo Week celebrates the innovative solutions and processes that help us to better understand our world, whether that’s through the latest in lidar sensors, photogrammetry techniques or utilizing emerging technologies like AI to drive the industry forward. With better maps and better data comes better decision-making, and the industry is on the move. At Geo Week 2023, the Academic Showcase featured posters from some of the leading geospatial programs at universities and colleges.

From Geo Wee News by Carla Lauter.

But this innovation is not limited to private companies or a trade show floor – there are innovative projects happening at universities across the globe. From advanced techniques for mapping the previously unmappable to training the next generation of geospatial scientists, universities offer a unique opportunity for innovation.

Students from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, for example, set out into the desert of the American Southwest to try and discover evidence of previous civilizations that falls between the resolutions of traditional ground-based archaeology and the resolution of images provided by satellites. By using a UAV-mounted lidar, the students were able to capture evidence of new features at previously worked archeological sites – leading to new insights about the previous inhabitants at sites dating back to 5,000 years. At the Academic showcase, students also shared a VR representation of one of their drone flights – putting the wearer in the perspective of the drone.

At Oregon State University, students have access to a brand-new laboratory equipped with the latest survey, terrestrial, laser scanning, robotics, UAS/UAV lidar and even hydrographic survey and sonar equipment. A unique site in Willamette Falls provides the training ground for students learning new techniques. Tumwata Village (formerly known as Blue Heron Paper Mill) located by the Willamette Falls in Oregon City, Oregon has a very intriguing history and was recently purchased by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde with the intent to restore the falls to their natural state and preserve some of the oldest structures. In survey “boot camps” students covered the area with many techniques and tools including the latest in drone tech, which can provide data for future uses of the site, as well as being a hands-on teaching experience.

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