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Tech Maps & # 39; Lost Cities & # 39; on National Geographic

Imagine what Pompeii looked like before the lava hit, or like the Mayan pyramids before the jungle took over. Over the last decade, scientists have used a new wave of accessible technologies to explore human settlements that have long since been abandoned. For example, instead of requiring an expensive aircraft and expensive crew to fly flight sensors, researchers can mount them on cheaper drones and steer them into previously unreachable areas. The resulting data can tell you more about the past and the future than ever before.

This is the premise of Lost Cities starred with Albert Lin a new television series that premiered on Sunday, October, at National Geographic 20.

Lin, engineer and National Geographic Explorer, uses cutting-edge tools to illuminate centuries-old cities in the most beautiful places on earth. Ground radar reveals buried structures without disturbing the landscape. A drone-mounted remote sensing method called LIDAR ̵

1; short for "Light Detection and Ranging" – fires lasers at objects to generate data that Lin visualizes with 3D mapping software. The results suggest how the ruins probably looked when they were new.

"It's like a window into a world we've never had before," says Lin Mental Floss. "It shoots millions of laser pulses per second through the air – by digitally removing the top layer of everything above the ground (trees, brushes, cacti), wash away the past, and suddenly these fingerprints – experiments remain How We Organized Over Time. "

For the six-episode series, Lin and the team of storytelling experts were dispatched to the South Pacific, the Middle East, and the United States, Andes, the Arctic, and other destinations explains that while most sites are known to archaeologists, they have never been so accurately mapped in three-dimensional detail.

In the first episode, Lin travels to Nan Madol, an enigmatic complex of temples and other structures on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei With the help of local explorers and local guides, Lin and the team scan the ruins and digitally erase trees, water and forest vegetation to match the former size of the To reveal complex.

"Technology and innovation have always been the gateway to going beyond the threshold, and seeing what's around the corner," says Lin. "When we first see these worlds for the first time since their departure, it is almost like canceling the burning of the Library of Alexandria, we can take the synthesis of knowledge of all these turning points in our human journey and imagine a better future . "

Lost Cities with Albert Lin celebrates its premiere on Sunday, October 20, at 10:09 pm and continues Monday, October 21, Sept. 10 at National Geographic.

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