The application of Imagery collection and Analysis
As in the early days of WWI, low resolution imagery will readily reveal the straight lines that indicate human activity such as roads and cities.
Terrain-related(topographic) features will indicate trade routes, grazing, cultivated and watered areas. Infra-red imagery will reveal springs, the absense of which will eliminate large areas as being uninhabitable.
As in the case of tactical imagery, one confirmed location can be used to branch out in a small perimiter and use terrain to place probable locations for supporting communities to include those communities that support trade routes.
Terrain is of prime importance because it dictates commerce, infrastructure, borders, logistics and defense. As in the case of Cold war analysis, the physical layout can determine the use of a given site.
Drier climates can be evaluated by the use of synthetic aperture radar which can detect tels mostly in level ground.
In tropical climates, the same technology can be used to detect stone-built ceremonial grounds such as those used by the Taino, stone cities such as Macchu Picchu, and stone temple complexes such as those in Cambodia and CentralAmerica.
Recent introduction of digital imagery-related products make low resolution imagery viewable from different angles to include that of an ancient traveller.
This can be seen in the case of access to the 2 ancient copper mines in the Sinai.
Terrain rules out an overland route because of the cost of maintaining garrisons along the way through hostile territory. The terrain in northern Egypt is almost completely featureless, an eastward valley just north of present-day Cairo leads to an embarkation site just south of present-day Port Said. From there one would sail toward the western shore of the Sinai, turn south and reach present-day Ras-Abu- Rudeis, a small coastal plain 80 miles southeast from Port Said that is close to both ancient mines.
Economic factors, as in the case of the military will focus on low resolution imagery being used to cue other technologies that can confirm potential sites. One current approach in use is that multi-spectral collection. In order to fully exploit this approach, real-time cueing must be made possible, otherwise the possibility of economizing collection will be limited.
The cost of real-time collection is prohibitive. Possibly the most feasible solution would be to have low resolution imagery and radar collected while using infra-red data in real-time. In this way, you have global coverage in 2 imaging technologies while the existence of water will confirm or rule out inhabitable areas.
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