Come to see our fieldwork in Quito about "Informal Growth Surveys" at Harvard University.
The expected population growth of the 21st century is pushing us to develop new techniques that improve the living conditions of our society. For this occasion, we are proposing a novel survey technique that is seeking to assess informal growth on some of its most pressing issues: structural condition, economical input and evaluation of the physical flows within a settlement. This will be possible thanks to the on-site geometric extraction from the settlement to analyze.
During our stay in Quito, we will demonstrate the process required to assess different informal settlements around the world. The experiment will be carried out in collaboration with local students on two different neighborhoods: “Solanda” and “Lucha de los Pobres”. We will teach the students how they can perform this analysis with the minimum resources and will show them in a workshop how to extract the information from the pictures to make the cloud of points. In this way they will have the opportunity to apply this survey technique elsewhere.
To do so we will use cameras incorporated on drones that, by taking photographs from different angles of the neighborhoods, will extract a three dimensional cloud of points that will be used for the further physical and digital analysis. The science of extracting point clouds from photographs is called photogrammetry.
Once we have the three dimensional mode, the possibilities to assess the settlements are multiple:
Firstly, due to the practice of informal growth, the structure can be overloaded or can exceed the dimensions recommended to absorb natural phenomena.
Secondly, thanks to the measurement of volume increase from the original condition and to the material prices from a specific location, we will be able to extract the economic input that a certain householder has done in their home. With this, we can locate models to follow and recommendations for others that are not being able to develop as well as their neighbors.
Thirdly, the geometric values will provide estimations of inhabitants, therefore an infrastructural analysis can be done in order to assess if the physical flows of a certain settlement is adequate. If not, it will help to detect the flaw on the system.
Finally, the extraction of these models from undocumented settlements around the world is a social heritage that is in danger due to globalization. The documentation of these areas is key for further studies from multiple disciplines that can provide key strategies for our future settlements.
Secondary Cities in the developing world are rapidly growing urban areas that are regional hubs for commerce, services, and governance in developing countries that often do not have adequate planning mechanisms for future development and growth. This symposium will focus on the foremost data collection tools and technologies used to map urbanization in such cities. It is part of the Secondary Cities initiative, a global collaboration of universities and organizations supported by the Humanitarian Information Unit of the Office of the Geographer of the State Department.
The aim of the symposium is to bring together organizations and individuals involved in innovative mapping activities and solutions for emergency preparedness, resiliency planning, and urban sustainability. The symposium will open with a half-day session to provide a hands-on venue to explore and assess online, open sources tools for mapping and creating geospatial data for cities. The 2nd day is a full day with sessions including: 1) Secondary Cities overview; 2) case studies of dynamic city data collection; 3) interactive assessment session of tools as linked to emergency preparedness, resiliency planning, and urban sustainability; 4) solutions/lessons learned. The product from this symposium will be a white paper on dynamic tools as well as a position paper on how dynamic mapping is achieved in Secondary Cities.
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