Flying Tv Cameras Could Make Maps History

John A. Ciampa wants the world to be mapped with airborne video cameras. The Rochester Institute of Technology professor says still video images could be more accurate than conventional maps for many uses, including property surveys. Ciampa has invented a system that calculates the precise latitude and longitude of every dot on a video image. The idea is to start the camera at a known set of geographical coordinates. Then, measure the distance and direction you move from that position by keeping track of landmarks such as steeples, rocks, and trees as they move through the range of view. That kind of on-the-fly measurement is too complex for a person, but it's easy for a computer.

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