Constant-Scale Natural Boundary Mapping to Reveal Global and Cosmic Processes

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Springer Science & Business Media, Sep 6, 2013 - Science - 116 pages
Whereas conventional maps can be expressed as outward-expanding formulae with well-defined central features and relatively poorly defined edges, Constant Scale Natural Boundary (CSNB) maps have well-defined boundaries that result from natural processes and thus allow spatial and dynamic relationships to be observed in a new way useful to understanding these processes. CSNB mapping presents a new approach to visualization that produces maps markedly different from those produced by conventional cartographic methods.

In this approach, any body can be represented by a 3D coordinate system. For a regular body, with its surface relatively smooth on the scale of its size, locations of features can be represented by definite geographic grid (latitude and longitude) and elevation, or deviation from the triaxial ellipsoid defined surface. A continuous surface on this body can be segmented, its distinctive regional terranes enclosed, and their inter-relationships defined, by using selected morphologically identifiable relief features (e.g., continental divides, plate boundaries, river or current systems). In this way, regions of distinction on a large, essentially spherical body can be mapped as two-dimensional ‘facets’ with their boundaries representing regional to global-scale asymmetries (e.g., continental crust, continental and oceanic crust on the Earth, farside original thicker crust and nearside thinner impact punctuated crust on the Moon). In an analogous manner, an irregular object such as an asteroid, with a surface that is rough on the scale of its size, would be logically segmented along edges of its impact-generated faces.

Bounded faces are imagined with hinges at occasional points along boundaries, resulting in a foldable ‘shape model.’ Thus, bounded faces grow organically out of the most compelling natural features. Obvious boundaries control the map’s extremities, and peripheral regions are not dismembered or grossly distorted as in conventional map projections. 2D maps and 3D models grow out of an object’s most obvious face or terrane ‘edges,’ instead of arbitrarily by imposing a regular grid system or using regularly shaped facets to represent an irregular surface.

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ConstantScale Natural Boundary Mapping in Context
ConstantScale Natural Boundary Mapping Technique
Interpretation of CSNB Maps
Mapping the Earth
CSNB Mapping Applied to Regular Bodies
CSNB Mapping Applied to Irregular Bodies
Mapping the Sky
The Future of CSNB Mapping
About the Authors

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About the author (2013)

Pamela E. Clark, PhD grew up in New England. Inspired by President John Kennedy, she decided as a child to explore outer space. She thought, “If they can put a man on the moon, they can put a woman (me) on Mars!” She obtained her BA from St. Joseph College. There, she had many opportunities to participate in laboratory research with Sr. Chlorophyll (Dr. Claire Markham) and Sr. Moon Rock (Dr. Mary Ellen Murphy) as well as to coordinate an NSF interdisciplinary undergraduate field research project. While obtaining her PhD in planetary geochemistry from the University of Maryland, she worked at NASA/GSFC outside of Washington DC and the Astrogeology Branch of the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona, simulating, analyzing, correlating, and interpreting lunar X-ray spectra. She was a member of the group, led by Isidore Adler and Jack Trombka, that pioneered the use of orbital x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers to determine the composition of planetary surfaces. She participated in the Flagstaff Lunar Data Consortium, the first attempt to create a common format database for all the remote sensing data from a planetary body. After completing her PhD, she joined the technical staff at NASA/JPL, worked with the Goldstone Solar System Radar group, and expanded her remote sensing background to include radar, thermal and near infrared studies of planetary surfaces with particular emphasis on the study of Mercury’s surface. Dr. Clark organized a briefing team to promote a mission to Mercury, and for a while edited the Mercury Messenger newsletter. Springer published the first editions of her book “Dynamic Planet: Mercury in the Context of its Environment” and “Remote Sensing Tools for Exploration”. She eventually returned to Goddard to work with the XGRS team on the NEAR mission to asteroid Eros. Dr. Clark is the science lead in a group initiated by Steve Curtis to develop new paradigms for the design of space missions and vehicles. She is currently involved in developing and evaluating surface science scenarios, tools, technologies, and architectures, and for space missions to extreme environments, with particular emphasis on the Moon and Mars. Dr. Clark has done several stints in academia, including Murray State University in Kentucky, Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Catholic University of America in Washington DC. She has developed courses in analytical and environmental chemistry, geochemistry, physical geology, mineralogy, optics, planetary astronomy, remote sensing, and physics. Her goals include exploring under every rock to increase the sense of wonder about the solar system.

In Massachusetts under the informal tutelage of Robert Frost, Chuck Clark received an unusual childhood education in architecture. Frost, facing a trip to South America and frustrated by conventional maps’ “stretchy edges,” charged Clark to “Make me a map a heron can use . . . to get to Brazil!” At first, Clark succeeded only in tearing his father’s road maps, but, undaunted, at ten he began drafting, and by sixteen was a cartographic technician with the US Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville, Florida. Crestfallen to learn from his supervisor, Cleve Powell, that “nobody draws world maps anymore. That’s all done numerically,” he set aside his boyhood task and soon enrolled at Georgia Tech, where he showed promise in perspective drafting, freehand sketching, and partial differential equations. After graduation, he migrated to Mbandaka, Zaire, to help Millard Fuller and others found Habitat for Humanity. Later, relying on Frost’s principles—learn to steer water, and to make the part speak for the whole—Clark designed and built museum exhibits that garnered national praise for their “narrative architecture,” and inspired Fred Rogers to add a stoplight to the set of his television show, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. At forty-four, Clark was challenged to illustrate certain global symmetries and asymmetries in Earth’s land-water distribution that colleague jim hagan had compared to Egypt’s Great Pyramid. (Clark’s response is within, at Figure 1.3a.) He next made a map showing watersheds, which he discussed with Athelstan Spilhaus, maker of “world maps with natural boundaries.” Clark realized his odd approach was not only distinct from 450 years of tradition, it also used ideas of another childhood mentor, Marston Morse, and, moreover, like his museum exhibits, cloaked form with content. Talks with NOAA’s Dave McAdoo and NASA’s Paul Lowman led to maps of asteroids and acquaintance with the planetary science community. Conference abstracts and posters over the last decade, and especially the concept-extending insights of coauthor P. E. Clark, have explored the possibilities of global maps with constant-scale natural boundaries. (Clark and Clark share New England roots, and, although they have not done the genealogy, may be distant relatives.) When not mapping, Chuck Clark may be found in Atlanta, GA, designing and building pole-type structures, enjoying rambunctious grandchildren, and completing a memoir of his encounters with Frost and Morse.

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