Project Related

New Tunnel Project In Peru Through Andes

From ENR:

In the mountains of Peru a tunnel-boring machine named “Pacha Mama” is grinding through the heart of the Andes under rock as deep as 6,890 ft. It is carving away at a 20.2-kilometer-long tunnel through the South American Continental Divide to deliver water to arid coastal farmland.

This is a really interesting project, known as the Los Olmos project, and a nice little article. Normally for a civil tunnel project you drill geotechnical holes beforehand to know what kind of material you’re dealing with. In this case, because of the depth, they don’t have that luxury, so all decisions will be made on the fly. The depth of the tunnel creates some very challenging rock mechanics and logistics problems as well! (Illustration by Odebrecht)

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Software Updates

Embeded Google Earth in Web Pages

Google has just released an API, or application programmer’s interface for Google Earth that allows website developers to embed a google earth application in any website. Users will have to have Google Earth installed on their systems and they will need a plugin which aside from a browser restart, installs rather painlessly. So now instead of seeing a Google map embedded on a web page, you will start seeing an instance of Google Earth so you can pan around in 3D. Pretty Cool. Check out an example and some video from Google after the break.

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Geologic Hazards

Sidoarjo Mud Volcano 2 year Anniversary

On May 29, 2006, the Sidoarjo mud volcano began erupting between 7,000 and 150,000 cubic meters of mud per day and it presently has no signs of stopping. A new report by scientists from Indonesia’s Institute of Technology Bandung and the UK University of Durham set to be published in the journal GSA Today confirms the early UN Report that an oil drilling rig was the cause of the disaster that has displaced an estimated 30,000 people. The report also indicates that the volcano, now named Lusi, could potentially collapse by as much as 146 meters (why not round that huh?). They say that the weight of the mud has already caused ground subsidence on the order of 14 meters near the center.

Images show the source of the mud flow, before and after. Acquired and processed by CRISP, National University of Singapore IKONOS image © CRISP 2004

Reuters story by way of Geology.com. See the University of Durham news release also. For a summary of the first year and the formation of the volcano, see my original post on the topic.

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Geologic Hazards

Pittsburgh Area Has 49 Active Landslides

The Pittsburgh area has  49 active landslides or retaining wall failures in 29 neighborhoods according to a Pittsburgh Public Works Department survey. The estimated cost to fix 24 of those issues effecting public land is $7.4 million, which the City doesn’t have. Story source: Pittsburgh Live by way of Geology.com. (Map by BOB NEWELL/TRIBUNE-REVIEW)

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Geologic Hazards

Sichuan Earthquake Update

[Updated May 30, 2008] I forgot to publish this post to the front page, whoops! The two links still have excellent information. In particular, Dave’s Landslide Blog has coverage of the many landslide lakes and the efforts to breach some of them. [/Update]

The latest numbers according to AFP, Worldwide News Agency, is 71,000 dead, missing or buried and over 5 million homeless. There were many victims that were buried by landslides and rockfall. In the past few days 200 rescue workers have been buried by mudslides.

For more coverage on landslides related to the earthquake, I recommend Dave’s Landslide Blog. Geology.com also has very comprehensive coverage as well. (AFP Photo)

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Miscellaneous

Dam Safety News Highlights

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials publishes monthly news items related to levee and dam safety and associated projects. Their April news items were just published this week and there are several interesting items. Read on for more info.

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Articles

VBA and Excel for Engineers and Scientists – Part 2

In this long awaited second article in the series, I will dive into the meat of the VBA programming language, including code containers, data types, variables, math operators, built-in functions, flow control, and even debugging.. In the end, you should be able to code some fairly complex things including custom worksheet functions that you can use in your spreadsheet just like a regular formula. Also in this article I give you a sample spreadsheet with some useful utilities that you can use right away.

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No Picture
Miscellaneous

Video: State of Geoweb and Geospatial Technology from Google, ESRI and Autodesk

The O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference just wrapped up last week in Burlingame, CA. It is a big deal for developers, geographers, GIS developers, GPS equipment manufacturers and anyone else interested in location web services, GIS, mashups, and the so-called Geoweb. There were two presentations by some high profile players that may be of interest to the readers of GeoPrac.net. I have video versions of both after the break.

First, a presentation titled "State of the GeoWeb" given by Google Earth and Maps Director, John Hanke with some help from Jack Dangemond of ESRI. I think it gives you some interesting insights into the direction things are headed, particularly with some of the upcoming releases of ESRI GIS software and the interplay between location data that people have been producing for some time now and new ways of tapping into it using the web. Kind of a long presentation at around 30 minutes.

Second, Geoff Zeiss of Autodesk, Inc. (makers of AutoCad etc.) gives a presentation titled "Convergence of Architectural and Engineering Design and Location Technology". It deals with bridging the information created by different disciplines such as engineers, architects, trades and contractors into something more productive and usable using techniques such as 3D visualization and simulation. Length is approximately 15 minutes.

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