Blue Marble Monthly — May 2018

Blue Marble Monthly - satellite imagery

News on a Pulitzer Prize-Winner, GIS for Renewable Energy, and a Chance to Win a Copy of Global Mapper

A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away*), wind-driven machines were widely used as a reliable and clean means of generating energy. The picturesque windmills scattered throughout the low countries of Europe provide historic evidence of wind energy being used for centuries. Fast forward to today, far more advanced wind power is being produced as a solution to modern energy challenges.

During the second week of May, Blue Marble will send a team to the AWEA Windpower Conference in Chicago to showcase the expanding use of Global Mapper in the wind energy sector. In this edition of Blue Marble Monthly, we explore some of Global Mapper’s spatial data processing and analysis capabilities that have proven to be indispensable for renewable energy planning and development.

We also share some exciting news about how Global Mapper Partner Aerial Filmworks won a Pulitzer Prize, and as always, we test your geographic aptitude in the Where in the World Geo-Challenge.

*May the fourth be with you.

Aerial Filmworks

USER STORY | Aerial Filmworks Wins Pulitzer Prize

Blue Marble is pleased to pass along our sincerest congratulations to our partners at Aerial Filmworks, who, in collaboration with USA Today, were recently awarded a Pulitzer Prize in the Explanatory Reporting category for their project entitled “The Wall”. Their work involved a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Using a custom extension in Global Mapper, Aerial Filmworks technicians generated real-time, augmented reality overlays on aerial video that visually depict the border location.


On Friday, June 8th, Aerial Filmworks will be hosting a special Blue Marble User Conference (BMUC) in Los Angeles. This event will provide an opportunity to learn about the behind-the-scenes details, and the important role of Global Mapper in the project.  Click here to register for BMUC.

wind farm in Global Mapper

PROJECTIONS | Global Mapper for Wind Energy Planning

In this blog entry, we explain the online resources and tools available through Global Mapper that can help estimate resources and terrain modifications, and create a visualization of the preliminary plans of a wind project. We’ll do this by simulating a simplified planning process for a wind farm to arrive at a 3D visualization of the project.


slope direction shader in Global Mapper

DID YOU KNOW? | The Slope Direction Shader

Digital Elevation Models are a peculiar variant of raster data. While they are comprised of an array of pixels, similar to an aerial image, the pixels do not typically contain a prescribed color. Instead, the visual representation of the data is dynamically controlled and Global Mapper includes numerous options for customizing the elevation display. Did you know that you can also adjust the rendering to reflect the local slope characteristics? One of the options is to display the azimuth or bearing of the slopes using a customizable color scheme. This allows you to quickly and easily discern south facing slopes (or north-facing in the southern hemisphere) as optimal sites for a solar power installation.



OUR TRAVELS | Blue Marble Racks Up Air Miles in April

The Blue Marble office was particularly quiet in April. Offices sat empty, parking was easy to find, and there was no line for the microwave at lunch time. The reason for this relative tranquility was because many of us had been dispatched to various distant outposts around the world on company business. During the month, Blue Marble sent teams to the Netherlands, Malta, Australia, Florida, New Zealand, New Orleans, and several other locations. On returning, we asked each to share some highlights of their travels.


 view shed tool in Global Mapper

VIDEOS | The Visual Impact of an Energy Project

In this 3-minute video, we follow the steps for conducting a view shed analysis that allows us to see the visual impact of a project like a wind or solar farm. The tool highlights the clear line of sight of an installation by using elevation data, the project’s location, height, and radius.

This and previous Blue Marble Webinars and Webcasts can be viewed at Blue Marble YouTube Channel and on the Webinars page on the Blue Marble web site.



Where in the World Geo-Challenge

April’s Geo-Challenge saw another potential flashpoint. While the push-pin indicating the location of a cape was intended to be planted on the Cape of Good Hope, representing the southwestern tip of the African continent, many correctly pointed out that Cape Point is but a few hundred meters away so, after lengthy adjudication, it was decided that both were acceptable. Crisis averted! Check out the answers here to see how well you fared with the other four locations. The winner for April and recipient of a copy of Global Mapper is Matt Leavitt.

At the risk of inciting more controversy, why not try your luck in May’s challenge.


See complete terms and conditions here.

Events | Where Blue Marble Will Be Next

Upcoming Events

AWEA WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition 2018
Chicago, IL | May 7 – 10

GEO Business 2018
London, UK | May 22 – 23

International Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing Conference
Riva del Garda, Italy | June 4 – 7

Anaheim, CA | June 5 – 7

Blue Marble User Conference in LA
Los Angeles, CA | June 8

European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers Annual 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark | June 11 – 14


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