Skip to content

Mapping in 3D

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Drones have rapidly gained popularity in recent years. They are now commonly used by photographers and videographers, law enforcement, the military, and criminologists. At the University of Malta (UM), they are being used as a part of CloudIsle.

Msida monument

CloudIsle, a project headed by Prof. Saviour Formosa (Faculty for Social Wellbeing, UM), is using drones kitted out with laser scanning tools, ground-penetrating radar, and surveying equipment to create 3D maps of Malta. Using billions of data points, the fine details of above and below-ground features can be recorded. This includes precise detail on buildings, as well as the intricacies of the island’s labyrinth of underground caves. The technology will even be used to uncover underwater artefacts at up to 500m depth. The legendary Um El-Faroud and the Xlendi-Karwela-Cominoland trio of wrecks, now transformed into artificial reefs and popular diving sites, are currently under review.

This data’s real-world applications are vast. It can be used to aid Malta’s Planning Authority and ensure building stability, as well as analyse extreme weather and monitor climate change. The Department of Criminology (Faculty for Social Wellbeing, UM) is also employing these tools in environmental enforcement, as well as for spatial forensics and crime reconstruction in scenes related to bombings and homicides.

Fort St. Elmo

CloudIsle is already reaping rewards. The team has discovered and named the Għariebel doline land feature off the Selmunett Islands. They have also created a baseline map of Malta and its seas that can be used to integrate new 3D spatial data.  

Author: Professor Savoiur Formosa

More to Explore

Adrift at Sea: Laws, Morals, and Policies in Malta’s Search and Rescue Region

Since 2016, EU member states have scaled down search and rescue operations that save lives at sea and replaced them with policies intended to reduce the number of migrant arrivals to Europe. These policies of non-assistance and forced returns to Libya render the central Mediterranean one of the world’s deadliest border spaces and force asylum seekers back to a war zone where inhuman and degrading treatment is well-documented. A growing network of civil society organisations continues to challenge these policies in the courts, on the streets, and at sea. This article, the second in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM), Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM, and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM.

Concentration Camps in Libya

Following the NATO-backed overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya descended into a decade of disunity and violence resulting in incalculable suffering and loss of life. Today, much of the country remains a war zone, and migrants in EU-sponsored Libyan detention facilities continue to suffer well-documented, gross human rights violations. This article, the first in a two-part series on migration, is based in part on interviews conducted with Dr Omar Grech, Senior Lecturer in International Law at the University of Malta (UM); Dr Derek Lutterbeck, Deputy Director at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at UM; and Dr Felicity Attard, expert in International and Maritime Security Law at the Faculty of Laws at UM. 

True Happiness

What kinds of happiness are there, and what kinds of happiness should we prioritise? Jonathan Firbank explores Masahiro Morioka’s ‘happiness drug’ thought experiment in the face of an increasingly medicated world.

No comment yet, add your voice below!


Add a Comment