Machine Visualization of Synoptic Topography by DSP

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The field of digital image processing has experienced continuous and significant expansion in recent years. The usefulness of this technology is apparent in many different disciplines covering medicine through remote sensing. The advances and wide availability of image processing hardware has further enhanced the usefulness of image processing. The broad areas of Application of Digital Image Processing include Medical applications, restorations and enhancements, image transmission and coding, color processing, remote sensing, robot vision, hybrid techniques, facsimile, pattern recognition, registration techniques, multidimensional image processing, image processing architectures and workstations, video processing programmable DSP's for video coding, high-resolution display, high-quality color representation, super high definition image processing.

Apart from all these applications the wonderfulness of DIP stems from the fact that the topography of the geographical survey and to obtain the terrain data using the mechanized relief-shading using DIP is the new evolving technology. Computer shaded relief, a derivative of terrain height that frees the portrayal of land form detail from the limitations of artistic (manual) methods, is further extended to mapping topography synoptically. The growing availability of digital elevation data covering large areas exemplified here by the conterminous United States, its 1:100000 scale quadrangles, the Mediterranean seabed, and Italy is opening up new applications for the automated technique. Limited only by the density, quality, and areal coverage of digitized terrain data, mechanized relief-shading shows landforms accurately, as they actually are. It can portray entire regions, and under any lighting condition, in the infinite variety of form that constitutes the true topography.

Machine visualization the science, art, and technology of seeing by means of computer graphics has developed ways to view the unviewable, natural events and processes invisible to the unaided eye because they are too abstract, too complex, too fast, too slow, too remote, too small, or too large .The Earth's topography is a prime example of the last restriction. Customary methods for viewing terrain do not simultaneously provide broad coverage and accurate details. The Earth's surface cannot be seen at 1:1 scale in its entirety and all at once, but only in many small areas visited sequentially in the field. Spatial continuity and context can be obtained only at greatly reduced scales: on contour maps and photographs or on radar images, or often obscured by vegetation, cultural features, and clouds at even smaller scales on satellite images.

Topography, essential to much geologic analysis, contains embedded clues to solving many problems, particularly those of regional tectonics and geomorphology. Although geologists increasingly depend upon research tools invisible to the unaided eye, for example, radiometric ages and magnetic-field reversals, the study of such familiar macroscopic features as the Earth's landforms still contributes vitally to answering geologic questions. Computer visualization by relief shading thus far is the easiest way to obtain both the large-area (synoptic) context, so effective for interpreting surface features, and the accurate detail required to ensure geologic significance .

Recent advances in computer technology -fast machines, spatial-analysis software, mass-produced elevation data, and graphic input/output devices -have converged to extend the visualization of land form detail to large areas . Much of the information encoded in topography can now be extracted by the image processing of digital elevation models (DEM's), large high density X,Y gridded arrays of terrain heights. The synoptic mapping of topographic relief, provides a key to the literature, and illustrates the discussion with computer shaded relief images obtained by the U.S. Geological Survey at several scales. 

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