Origins … Or rather … The Search for Origins !
It’s the ODYSSEY that is important
Back to the Future
Dr R.J. (Bob) Williams [Retired]
Geographer & Geospatial Scientist
QUALIFICATIONS – Professional
BA Computing Studies (Canberra CAE)
MSc (Cartography) (U Wisconsin)
QUALIFICATIONS – Trade
Videre Parare Est
THE ROSETTA MISSION BACK TO THE FUTUREAND
This is a big step for human civilisation
ESA’s Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain
Our ambitious Rosetta mission has secured another place in the
We've turned science fiction into science fact today
Warwick Holmes told ABC
from the ESA's operations centre in Darmstady, Germany.
THE ROSETTA MISSION
November 12, 2014 WELCOME
The European Space Agency's
BACK TO THE FUTURE – Ben Bova 1989
I don't think of what I do as science fiction, I
think of it as historical reports of events that
haven't happened yet
Ben Bova# presented the Keynote Address to the ASPRS/ACSM/AUTO-CARTO 9 Conference, Baltimore
Welcome to Moonbase
With the premise that man returns to the moon in 1999 and establishes a permanent base there by 2020, science fiction
author and editor Ben Bova fashions an intriguing “manual'' for pioneers arriving at the lunar community. With 50 detailed
illustrations by NASA artist Rawlings, the guidebook covers Moonbase history, architecture, ecology, transportation, science
projects, jobs, training, industries, tourism, sports (“lunar jai alai''), entertainment, day-to-day life, duties, rights and laws.
Combining fact and fiction in this “future history”, Bova presents a compelling and persuasive argument for mankind's
continual exploration of the moon and the establishment of a base on the lunar surface.
# President Emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction Writers of America, Dr. Bova received the
Lifetime Achievement Award of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation in 2005, "for fueling mankind's imagination regarding the wonders of
AUTO-CARTO 9 Session: Spatial Relations and Data Base Model
Paper and presentation by R.J.Williams titled Geographic Information: Aspects of Phenomenology and Cognition
American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing - American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
Welcome to Moonbase
THE ROSETTA MISSION – Rosetta’s WORLD
January 20, 2014
June 8 2011 — The spacecraft was transferred into a spin stabilised mode
and all electronics except the onboard computer and the hibernation heaters
were switched off
January 20, 2014 – The spacecraft woke up and started post-hibernation
procedures. Rosetta restored communications with ESA’s Operations Centre
and greets the Earth with a “hello world” message.
Rosetta now navigates by the stars using a kind of
small telescope. It is possible that comet dust
surrounding the probe will obscure its view by
scattering the light. To prevent this from causing
Rosetta to lose its way, smart software was
developed to reliably recognise constellations for
navigation purposes even when there is major
interference from dust particles.
September 10, 2014 — Rosetta enters the Global Mapping Phase, orbiting
67/C-G at an altitude of 29 km (18 mi)
Date: 27 March 2014 Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: Star field with comet 67P/Churyumov-
James Cook portrait by Nathaniel
Dance, c.1775, National Maritime
Captain James Cook
…” the ablest and most renowned navigator this or any country hath produced. He possessed all the
qualifications requisite for his profession and great undertakings ...”
- Lord Palliser, Cook's superior in the Navy
"I had the ambition to not only go farther than man
had gone before, but to go as far as it was possible
to go.” Cook’s Second Voyage 1774
James Cook (1728-1779) was a remarkable navigator and explorer, whose legacy is still with us.
His three voyages across the Pacific had profound influence on many areas of human endeavour:
astronomy, marine surveying, cartography, geography, natural history and anthropology.
Cook was the first to map the coastline of eastern Australia, New Zealand and many islands of the
Pacific. He sailed further south than any explorer before him.
Amongst Cook’s great achievements was his ability to navigate with a chronometer to calculate
longitude. This transformed mapping.
The Endeavor was not only on a voyage of discovery. It was also a
laboratory for testing the latest theories and technologies, much as
spaceships are today.
BACK TO THE FUTURE – James Cook 1768-71
Voyages of Discovery
THE ROSETTA MISSION – Philae’s WORLD
November 12, 2014
As Philae approached Comet 67P/
Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12
November 2014, the lander's
downward-looking camera ROLIS
(ROsetta Lander Imaging System)
took images of the descent.
French National Centre for Space Studies president Jean-Yves Le
Gall, left, French president Francois Hollande, centre, and former
French minister and astronaut Claudie Haignere, right, wear 3D
glasses during a broadcast of the Rosetta mission at the Cite des
Sciences, Paris. Photograph: Jacques Brinon/AP
Francois Hollande enjoying a 3D presentation about
the mission at the Cite des Sciences in Paris
BACK TO THE FUTURE – RASVY 1985
Manned and Unmanned Vehicles – A Big Idea!
Perhaps the most significant military breakthrough related to computer
technology of the future will be the rendering of integrated circuitry
invulnerable to enemy sabotage. This, combined with high speed,
secure data communications to the field, will permit the transfer of
vital information about the terrain and its effects in real time to the
ground commander currently operating on that terrain. Intervisibility
and mobility computations and realistic computer-generated views
will be components of this information.
A more profound area of application is expected in the field of airborne
navigation systems. It will include both military and civilian aircraft,
particularly low-flying manned and unmanned weapon systems. In
all these cases, DTMs will afford real time information about the terrain
below and the effects of distant terrain on the aircraft whether it is using
terrain matching for navigation or making use of natural cover to
avoid enemy detection.
Royal Australian Survey Corps
Digital Terrain Modelling: An Overview
15 April 1985
Elevation model produced in 1985
Mount Macedon, VIC
Elevation model produced in 1985
BACK TO THE FUTURE – RASVY 1981
Terrain Matching Navigation
The Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) guidance system
provides position data by measuring and comparing actual terrain
profiles with the digitally stored relative terrain elevations along the
mission route. TERCOM assists with the flight navigation and target
Royal Australian Survey Corps
Future Tactical Applications of the Digital Topographic Database
AUTOMAP Fourth Edition, December 1981
TERCOM navigation "maps" consist of a series of strips of land that the missile is expected to
fly over, encoded as a series of altitudes. Since a radar altimeter measures distances, height
over the ground, and not an absolute altitude, the maps generally encode a series of changes in altitude,
not the absolute altitude itself. Additionally, the strips of land on either side of the expected path are also
A series of such maps are produced, typically from data from radar mapping satellites. When flying over water, contour
maps are replaced by magnetic field maps.
The missile's radar altimeter feeds measurements into a smaller buffer, which periodically "gates" the measurements
over a period of time and averages them out to produce a single measurement. The series of such numbers held in the
buffer produce a strip of measurements similar to those held in the maps. The two are compared to overlay the buffer's
strip on the known map, and the positioning of the strip within the map produces a location and direction. The guidance
system can then use this information to correct the flight path of the missile.
During the flight to the target the accuracy of the system has to be enough only to avoid terrain features. This allows the
maps to be relatively low resolution in these areas. Only the portion of the map for the terminal approach has to be higher
resolution, and would normally be encoded at the highest resolutions available to the satellite mapping system.
BACK TO THE FUTURE – RASVY 1950-60s
a stereoscopic photograph with the two images superimposed and printed in different colors, producing a
stereo effect when the photograph is viewed through correspondingly colored filters.
UK Military Survey
Anaglyphs were first developed in the mid nineteenth century. A Frenchman, Louis Ducos du Hauron, first printed
anaglyphs in 1891. His process consisted of printing the two negatives which form a stereoscopic photograph on to
the same paper, one in blue (or green), one in red. The viewer would then use coloured glasses with red (for the left
eye) and blue or green (right eye). The left eye would see the blue image which would appear black, whilst it would
not see the red; similarly the right eye would see the red image, this registering as black. Thus a three dimensional
image would result.
A stereo-plotter uses stereo photographs to determine elevations. It has been the primary method to plot contour lines on
topographic maps since the 1930s.
The Royal Australian Survey Corps
(RASVY) had a long time association
with UK MILSVY and used the same
equipment until 1966 when the WILD
B8 stereo-plotters (below) were
introduced into service. This analog
stereo-photogrammetric equipment uses
During the 1950s and 1960s
UK Military Survey (MILSVY)
used the Multiplex stereo-
plotter (right). This equipment
In 1966 I, then Sapper Williams (left), undertook a six month
Basic Topographic Surveying Course at RASVY School of
Both the Multiplex and the WILD B8 equipments were used on
THE ROSETTA MISSION – Ptolemy’s WORLD
January 20, 2014
Ptolemy is the first example of a new concept in space instrumentation, which has been devised to tackle the analytical
challenge of making in situ isotopic measurements of solar system bodies. The instrument concept is termed
'MODULUS' which is taken to mean Methods Of Determining and Understanding Light elements from Unequivocal
Stable isotope compositions.
MODULUS was named in honour of Thomas Young, the initial translator of the Rosetta stone, whose name is
immortalised by the measure of elasticity known as Young's Modulus.
The scientific goal of the MODULUS concept is to
understand the geochemistry of light elements, such
as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, by
determining their nature, distribution and stable
Finishing touches to the
Ptolemy experiment now
on board the Philae lander
CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY was an ancient
Hellenistic mathematician, geographer,
astronomer, and astrologer.
Ptolemy was the author of several scientific treatises. The second is the Geography, which is a
thorough discussion of the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world.
Ptolemy also devised and provided instructions on how to create maps both of the whole inhabited
world (oikoumenè) and of the Roman provinces. In the second part of the Geographia he provided
the necessary topographic lists, and captions for the maps.
Ptolemy defined Geography as “a graphic representation of the whole
known part of the world, along with the things occurring in it”.
Ptolemy later defined Chorography as the study of its smaller parts--provinces, regions, cities, or
ports. Ptolemy implicitly would include the making of views (not simply maps of small regions) in
this category, since he claims that chorography requires the skills of a draftsman or artist rather
than those of a scientist, which are needed for the practice of geography.
The term chorography fell out of use in the Renaissance as city views and maps became more and
more sophisticated and required a set of skills that required not only skilled draftsmanship but also
some knowledge of scientific surveying. The term was replaced by CARTOGRAPHY.
A printed map from the 15th century
depicting Ptolemy's description of the
Oecumene. Oecumene is a term
originally used in the Greco-Roman world
to refer to the inhabited universe (or at
least the known part of it).
BACK TO THE FUTURE – Ptolemy C. 150AD
Harley, J.B. and David
Woodward (Eds), The
History of Cartography,
Volume One: Cartography in
Prehistoric, Ancient, and
Medieval Europe and the
University of Chicago Press,
Chicago, 1987, p.183.
THE ROSETTA MISSION – OSIRIS
January 22, 2015
Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of
surface features and with many processes contributing to its
activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution.
GETTING TO KNOW ROSETTA’S COMET
The OSIRIS (Optical, Spectrocopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System)
scientific camera, has imaged some 70% of the surface to date: the remaining
unseen area lies in the southern hemisphere that has not yet been fully
illuminated since Rosetta’s arrival. The scientists have so far identified 19
regions separated by distinct boundaries and, following the ancient Egyptian
theme of the Rosetta mission, these regions are named for Egyptian deities, and
are grouped according to the type of terrain dominant within.
Rosetta comet's diverse terrain stuns scientists
The frozen surface of comet 67P is a diverse
landscape that includes dust dunes, huge icy
boulders, towering cliffs and deep crevasses,
according to new data from the Rosetta
Five basic – but diverse – categories of terrain
type have been determined: dust-covered;
brittle materials with pits and circular structures;
large-scale depressions; smooth terrains; and
exposed more consolidated (‘rock-like’)
BACK TO THE FUTURE – CSIRO 1970s
– RASVY 1978Terrain Pattern Maps for Planning
CSIRO TERRAIN PATTERN MAP
Digitised by SSGT Bob Williams
SHOALWATER BAY AREA - QUEENSLAND
RASVY TRAFFICABILITY MAP
During the period December 1978 – February 1979 (then)
SSGT Bob Williams, a member of the Royal Australian Survey
Corps (RASVY), worked in collaboration with the Directorate of
Engineers – Army, the Joint Exercise Planning Staff (JEPS),
and Dr Joe Walker and his staff at CSIRO’s Division of Land
Use Research to digitize terrain pattern maps compiled by
CSIRO and using software written by CSIRO’s Bruce Cook to
form the basis of Trafﬁcability Overprints for the Shoalwater
Bay Training Map. A series of overlays that showed GO-NO
GO areas under a range of environmental conditions and a
series of overlays that showed FIRE RISK areas were
compiled for use by JEPS (Joint Exercise Planning Staff) but
these were never published.
In March 1972 the NSW Government invited CSIRO to participate in a joint
study of land use on the South Coast of the State. CSIRO was asked to
undertake a pilot survey of resources in the area to provide a ‘rational basis for
planning decisions on a wide variety of land uses’.
The report titled Land Use on the South Coast of New South Wales (1978)
includes a Chapter by Bruce Cook on Computer Methods.
LAND USE ON THE SOUTH COAST OF NEW SOUTH WALES
TRAFFICABILITY AT SHOALWATER BAY
J.Walker and A.P.Spate, Woodland Ecology Unit, Division of Land Use Research, CSIRO, July 1976
THE ROSETTA MISSION – Rosetta and Philae
Voyage of Discovery – The Search for Knowledge
Artist impression showing Philae
separating from Rosetta and descending
to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-
The European Space Agency's unprecedented mission of cometary
exploration is named after the famous 'Rosetta Stone'. This slab of volcanic
basalt - now in the British Museum in London – was the key to unravelling the
civilisation of ancient Egypt.
French soldiers discovered the unique Stone in 1799, as they prepared to
demolish a wall near the village of Rashid (Rosetta) in Egypt's Nile delta. The
carved inscriptions on the Stone included hieroglyphics – the written language of
ancient Egypt – and Greek, which was readily understood. After the French
surrender in 1801, the 762-kilogram stone was handed over to the British.
By comparing the inscriptions on the stone, historians were able to begin
deciphering the mysterious carved figures. Most of the pioneering work was
carried out by the English physician and physicist Thomas Young, and the
French scholar Jean François Champollion. As a result of their breakthroughs,
scholars were at last able to piece together the history of a long-lost culture.
Just as the Rosetta Stone provided the key to an ancient
civilisation, so ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will unlock the
mysteries of the oldest building blocks of our Solar
System – the comets. As the worthy successor of Champollion
and Young, Rosetta will allow scientists to look back 4600 million
years to an epoch when no planets existed and only a vast swarm
of asteroids and comets surrounded the Sun.
The Philae obelisk is one of two obelisks
found in upper Egypt in 1815.
The inscriptions on it are in Egyptian
hieroglyphs and in ancient Greek. The
obelisk, in keeping with its bilingual nature
and the "translation" metaphor of the
Rosetta space mission, gives its name to
the mission Philae robotic lander.
“So! The Pharaohs, the tombs, the monuments, the great civilisation who built them –
you’re not interested in them. But, the mummy’s curse you find …”
Grandfather: “Ah yes! I can see that. Alright then.
You shall hear all about it. But, first we must take a trip together”.
Granddaughter: “Where will we start then?”
Grandfather: “At the source of course!”
BACK TO THE FUTURE – Knowledge !
Geography – Chorography (Cartography)
The greatness of the Egyptian civilisation came about by the Egyptians’ ability to manage their
environment and to build their infrastructure. This required “knowledge”:
q knowledge of astronomy,
q knowledge of geometry,
q knowledge of mathematics,
q knowledge of engineering and
q knowledge of organisation.
This dialogue is from National Geographic /
Destination Cinema production Mysteries of
The ‘source’, of course, refers to the Nile
River. The Nile, as the documentary
describes, is the ‘life-blood’ of Egypt and the
greatness of the Egyptian civilisation came
about by the Egyptians’ ability to manage their
environment and to build their infrastructure.
Dr R.J Williams
Quote used at
In presentation titled
KNOW YOUR WORLD THROUGH STORY-TELLING
THE ROSETTA MISSION
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will unlock the mysteries of the oldest building
blocks of our Solar System – the comets
It’s all about KNOWLEDGE and the SCIENCES that are fundamental in the
search for KNOWLEDGE
BACK TO THE FUTURE –
Geography is “a graphic representation of the whole known part of the
world, along with the things occurring in it”
It’s all about KNOWLEDGE and the SCIENCES that are fundamental in the
acquisition of knowledge essential in:
v MANAGING OUR NATION
v MANAGING OUR BUILT ENVIRONMENT
v MANAGING OUR NATURAL ENVIRONMRNT
v MANAGING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE and
v ENSURING THE SAFETY and SECURITY OF OUR PEOPLE
GEODESY and CARTOGRAPHY 16
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