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Peak Northeast of Tabletop

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  • #16
    O.K., I stand corrected. I didn't blow the 1953 map up and counted from the 4,200' contour on the north side. As for how the Marshalls decided, I know they were persuaded to include Gray because Russell Carson wanted it included because it was named for a noted 19th Century botanist, Asa Gray. Carson also suggested including Blake, Cliff, and Couchsachraga that just had a 4,000' contour. As for Armstrong, it certainly looks more like a separate peak than Yard or Emmons for that matter.


    • #17

      I think it would be fair to say that the Marshalls and Carson used the best data they had available at the time (which was subsequently shown to be flawed) and by modern standards, used some subjectivity in their selection criteria. They worked with what they had and with best intentions. It's all good!

      Nowadays we have a wealth of data available and can create peak lists based on whatever amount of prominence, distance, elevation, etc we desire. A modern 4K peak list would look different from the 46er list but that's old news. Hiking the ADK 46 list is more a nod to a tradition than to scientific accuracy. That's all good too!

      I have mixed feelings about field-surveys vs DEM. It's conceivable the 1953 survey captured nuances in the terrain that a passing overhead satellite (or shuttle) failed to detect (or was later 'smoothed out' by a mathematical algorithm). Those nuances are effectively lost to eternity because the survey data is no longer used for the production of modern maps. On the other hand, radar is able to measure elevation in locations where surveyors are unlikely to tread and repeat the measurements more times than a ground survey could afford. It may capture nuances undetected by ground crews.

      Let's assume today's DEMs are 'good enough for government work' but not quite 100% compared to 'boots on the ground', hand-massaged data. However, DEMs are only likely to improve. LIDAR is now employed in terrestrial surveys and is likely to help create even more detailed DEMs. This is the same technology that serves as the 'eyes' for Self-Driving Vehicles. It builds a detailed, real-time, 3D map of the world outside the vehicle in order to guide it safely down the road (at high-speed in the dark and fog, etc). A device that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars now costs thousands of dollars and the goal is tens of dollars. The technology may become as ubiquitous as GPS.

      Cheap LIDAR installed in CubeSats (miniature satellites) could map the earth's surface to sub-meter accuracy (and do so repeatedly over the life of the satellite). Future generations may have access to incredibly detailed maps that make today's offerings seem like scribblings in the sand (or at least as crude as how one currently perceives the 1902 map).

      For the folks at home who don't know how radar is used to measure the earth's surface, it's something like this. Each pinhead represents a measurement point(latitude, longitude, and elevation). You know the distance between pinheads (typically ~100 meters). You use some math to interpolate between the measurement points and create smooth, curved surfaces (B-Spline). Now you have a mathematical model of the terrain and can use it for many things including calculating slope, spot-elevation, a route's elevation profile, etc.

      Last edited by Trail Boss; 01-14-2018, 12:38 PM.
      Looking for Views!


      • #18
        I heard, 2nd hand, that LIDAR data may be used by the AMC 4K committee in the not too distant future, and there may be some changes to the peak list!

        Regarding accuracy, I was watching a documentary about the earthquake that killed several people at Everest base camp a few years ago, and the narrator said that the height of the mountain had increased by 1 cm! It could be that some mountains are surveyed much more often and accurately than others...

        I must say that I was amused by Colvin's results that claimed accuracy to .001 foot!
        Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

        Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
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        Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to