OPS 4-20
Remote sensing urban landscapes: 3D tools for landscape architects

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Exhibit Hall, Baltimore Convention Center
Héctor Tarrido-Picart, Harvard University
Michalis Pirokka, Landscape Architecture, Harvard GSD, Somerville, MA

(Remote sensing) Mapping, has been developed as a key component of landscape ecology since the invention of photography. During the 20th century, landscape ecology has been ruled by a "geographical" component that was used to study ecological values and urban structures embodied mainly in immense sites. Today, due to a number of technological innovations, the techniques that are available are plenty and the means to enhance the ecological mapping techniques are easily accessible. This project proposes the use of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology as a mapping and analytical tool, as today it can be operated not only for military purposes, but also for research and private sectors. This technology provides the means to generate high resolution maps in both Visible and Near Infra Red spectrum for multiple uses, including coastal erosion control, forestry and habitat management.


First from balloons and later with planes and UAVs, remote sensing mapping managed to quickly win the attention of ecologists as a new mapping method. Today it is nearly impossible to deal with topics in landscape ecology without the use of data collected by remote sensing. This innovative mapping technique is gradually entering the design discourse and as any new technology and theory that tries to inform or supplement the design discipline, remote sensing mapping, is possible to lead towards new associations that can shift the way of thinking, and alter and renegotiate the renewal of theory, history and cartography that characterizes the design discourse.