The Earth’s surface is subject to continuous changes that dynamically shape natural landscapes. Global phenomena like climate change play a role, as do short-term local events of natural or human origin. The 3D Geospatial Data Processing (3DGeo) research group at Heidelberg University has developed a novel method of analysis to help improve our understanding of the processes that shape the Earth’s surface such as those observed in coastal landscapes or high mountain. Unlike conventional methods which generally compare two snapshots of topography, the Heidelberg approach can determine – fully automatically and over long periods – when and where surface alterations occur and what kind of associated changes they represent.
The method, known as spatio-temporal segmentation, was developed under the guidance of Professor Bernhard Hoefle, whose 3DGeo group is based at the Institute of Geography and at the University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR). of Heidelberg. “By observing entire surface stories, our new computerized method allows more flexible approaches. Unlike previous methods, we no longer have to specify the individual change processes we want to detect …
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