Planetary Cartography

Craters and Projections

6609.2 - An Online Planetary Exploration Tool: “Country Movers”

Thursday, July 6
3:10 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Harding

Despite the new advances in planetary spatial informatics and the new, ever higher resolution spatial datasets, results in astrogeologic investigations are rarely communicated towards the general public by maps. Planetary maps are typically produced by astrogeologists for other professionals, and not by cartographers for the general public. The authors developed an application that uses cartography as the basic tool to aid the virtual exploration of other planets and moons, using the concepts of size comparison and travel time calculation.

Description of the tool
“Country Movers” (http://countrymovers.elte.hu) is a platform-independent online tool (App) that visualizes size differences, distances and travel times on planetary surfaces. The app works in the following way.
The outline of a chosen country or U.S. state can be displayed and moved on the surface of another planet or moon (currently, Mars, Venus, the Moon, Io, and Titan), keeping its original size. This comparison can be done either on the surface of a rotatable globe model or on a 2D map in Web Mercator projection. This latter can also be also used to illustrate the area distortions of the map projection. When drawing the country outlines on different extraterrestrial bodies, the radius differences of the bodies are taken in account.
The second tool can be used to draw a polyline and calculate travel time between the two end points, in various units (using the maximum speed of a walking astronaut, an automatic rover, or a human-driven rover).
Users can learn about the sizes of surface features on other planetary bodies and describe the new geographical environment contained within the borders of the “new country”. Using the screenshot feature built into the Country Movers tool, users can save the current view including any traverses and continue working on it in another image processing application where they can add “fictional” human settlements and roads in that area, learning the concepts of planetary physical geography, toponymy, cartography, and mission and city planning.

Methods
The website offers two different views: a flat map in Mercator projection, and a virtual globe. The visualization is based on the Cesium API, an open-source WebGL based virtual globe engine.
Maps of various Solar System bodies are provided by the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography and Eötvös Loránd University, and added to Cesium as tiled imagery. Maps of the Moon and Mars are color coded relief maps with color scheme designed for the given celestial body. All other maps have spacecraft imagery as a background and are completed with toponyms, spot heights and landing sites (where available).
When calculating the current place and shape of a dragged polygon, spherical trigonometric equations are used, keeping its original shape and size.

Conclusions
Country Movers is a webcartographic tool that enables students learn playfully about local and planetary physical geography and geology, toponyms, landing site selection and cartography. With proper teacher assistance, in a classroom environment or individually, students can learn the complex process of landscape evaluation and city planning, based on the interpretation of photomaps or digital terrain models, using moveable outlines of terrestrial political units and a tool that can measure and output distance in travel time units.

Acknowledgements
This research is financed by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH), grant ID: PD 111737.

Mátyás Gede

Senior lecturer
Eötvös Loránd University

Mátyás Gede is a senior lecturer at the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. His main fields of interest are globe digitising, virtual globes, webcartography and map projections. He is the vice chair of the ICA Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mátyás Gede

Henrik I. Hargitai

Postdoctoral Researcher
NASA Ames Research Center

Henrik I. Hargitai (Ph.D., 2007) is a planetary geomorphologist and media historian. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the NASA Ames Research Center. He taught planetary geomorphology, planetary cartography, typography, and media history as a senior lecturer at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary since 2002. He has a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences and Philosophy (Aesthetics). His study fields include planetary cartography, fluvial geomorphology, and the history and localization of planetary nomenclature. He participated in two Mars Desert Research Station simulations. He is the chair of the ICA Commission on Planetary Cartography.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Henrik Hargitai

Mátyás Gede

Senior lecturer
Eötvös Loránd University

Mátyás Gede is a senior lecturer at the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. His main fields of interest are globe digitising, virtual globes, webcartography and map projections. He is the vice chair of the ICA Commission on Cartographic Heritage into the Digital.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Mátyás Gede


Assets

6609.2 - An Online Planetary Exploration Tool: “Country Movers”

Slides

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for An Online Planetary Exploration Tool: “Country Movers”