Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Floodwater data

Here is an image of flooding in eastern Bolivia from the Dartmouth Flood Observatory, which is under the direction of Dr. G. Robert Brakenridge, [that's a pdf of his Curriculum Vitae] at the University of Colorado. The Observatory uses satellite imagery to automatically search for and document anomalous surface water across the entire earth, on a daily basis. A wide range of data products are available for free from the site, including maps of individual flood events from around the world, and records from measuring stations along rivers, including the Amazon. GIS has really brought a huge amount of data within reach of researchers in many fields, because GIS software can easily be run on a laptop computer, and so much more data is now available. More precise information on flooding is important to understanding how raised field farmers in Mojos lived with these annual cycles.

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