15. September 2016

'm4 moun­tains – the fourth di­men­sion': DLR pub­lish­es new book with Rein­hold Mess­ner

Book cov­er of 'm4 Moun­tains - Die vierte Di­men­sion'
Image 1/4, Credit: Verlag Piper/Malik.

Book cover of 'm4 Mountains - Die vierte Dimension'

In 200 pages, Ste­fan Dech and Nils Spar­wass­er (both DLR), to­geth­er with moun­taineer­ing leg­end Rein­hold Mess­ner, show some of our plan­et's fas­ci­nat­ing moun­tains in a com­plete­ly in­no­va­tive way.
The au­thors present the book in Berlin
Image 2/4, Credit: Reiner Zensen.

The authors present the book in Berlin

The au­thors Ste­fan Dech, Rein­hold Mess­ner and Nils Spar­wass­er present their book at the press con­fer­ence in Berlin.
Mat­ter­horn por­tray­al
Image 3/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Matterhorn portrayal

Ad­vanced pho­togram­met­ric pro­cess­ing method­ol­o­gy de­vel­oped at DLR's Earth Ob­ser­va­tion Cen­ter (EOC), com­bined with very high res­o­lu­tion op­ti­cal satel­lite da­ta, make it pos­si­ble to mea­sure and dis­play huge moun­tains, like the Mat­ter­horn, in a pho­to­graph­i­cal­ly re­al­is­tic man­ner and with un­prece­dent­ed qual­i­ty.
Mount Ever­est por­tray­al
Image 4/4, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Mount Everest portrayal

Ad­vanced pho­togram­met­ric pro­cess­ing method­ol­o­gy de­vel­oped at DLR's Earth Ob­ser­va­tion Cen­ter (EOC), com­bined with very high res­o­lu­tion op­ti­cal satel­lite da­ta, make it pos­si­ble to mea­sure and dis­play huge moun­tains, like the Mount Ever­est, in a pho­to­graph­i­cal­ly re­al­is­tic man­ner and with un­prece­dent­ed qual­i­ty.

With a new Ma­lik Ver­lag publication, 'm4 Mountains – Die vierte Dimension' (m4 mountains – the fourth dimension), the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) presents another image book from the world of satellite-supported Earth observation. In 200 pages, Stefan Dech and Nils Sparwasser, together with mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner, show some of our planet's fascinating mountains in a completely innovative way. Advanced photogrammetric processing methodology developed at DLR's Earth Observation Center (EOC), combined with very high resolution optical satellite data, make it possible to measure and display huge mountains in a photographically realistic manner and with unprecedented quality. With a selection of 13 mountains and personal recollections of the experiences of outstanding mountaineers, Reinhold Messner condenses the history of alpinism and supplies a kind of 'fourth dimension (m4)' to three-dimensional maps generated with Earth observation technology. Messner points out: "The images produced by DLR gave me the possibility to communicate the history of alpinism in an entirely new way."

Combined with specially produced topographic maps, supplemental geographic information and succinct information graphics, individual portraits emerge that capture the unique character of each of the mountains.

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m4 Mountains - Die vierte Dimension
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Credit: DLR

Data for calculating a highly precise terrain model were acquired over a period of two years in close cooperation with the French space agency CoRoT Spe­cial and European Space Imaging in Munich. For this purpose, the recording parameters for the employed Pléiades and WorldView satellites were optimised step by step in consultation with DLR scientists. When flying over the target area, the satellites' measuring and recording instruments acquired data for three images in quick succession. For each pixel, a corresponding point in the image 'triplets' was identified at the EOC using the so-called 'semi-global matching' methodology. As in human vision, a three-dimensional terrain model can be reconstructed from the angular differences in the individual images. Finally, photorealistic virtual images of the mountains could then be created on the computer using the generated elevation models and the colour information contained in the individual spectral channels. These can be viewed from any direction and can be flown around virtually.

Thanks to this method, readers can obtain a spectacular view of 13 rocky masses from perspectives that are not possible with conventional approaches. "By combining a scientifically generated picture with authentic recollections from mountaineers, the challenges posed by the mountains can be experienced in a unique way," explains Dech, co-author and one of the directors of the Earth Observation Center.

Terrain models are essential resources for spatial planning and analysis. For this reason, DLR developed the TanDEM-X mission, which has generated the best complete terrain model of Earth's surface. For the extremely detailed images shown in the book, however, even higher resolution optical data were used, which are only available for specific locations.

"Science – it leads to knowledge for a worthwhile future," wrote Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the DLR Executive Board, in her introduction to the book. "If we are to reach this goal, the science community must communicate better with society at large and overcome interdisciplinary limitations. Unusual and fascinating projects such as this one are a step in the right direction."

Contact
  • Elisabeth Schreier
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Oberp­faf­fen­hofen
    Telephone: +49 8153 28-1787
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Köln
    Contact
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Dech
    Di­rec­tor DFD
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter (DFD)
    Earth Oberser­va­tion Cen­ter (EOC)
    Telephone: +49 8153 28-2885
    Fax: +49 8153 28-3444
    Münchener Straße 20
    82234 Weßling
    Contact
  • Nils Sparwasser
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Ger­man Re­mote Sens­ing Da­ta Cen­ter (DFD)
    Sci­ence Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Vi­su­al­i­sa­tion
    Telephone: +49 8153 28-1316
    Fax: +49 8153 28-1313
    Münchener Straße 20
    82234 Weßling
    Contact

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