In the spring of 2008, Dr. Lin initiated a research project using a newly formulated, non-invasive scientific approach to search for the tomb of legendary Mongolian leader Genghis Khan. The GeoEye Foundation awarded Dr. Lin’s team a grant of high-resolution satellite imagery they used to define the landscape and create accurate maps for the expedition. Using satellite data and non-invasive, ground-based imaging, the team could identify and study dozens of archeological sites, including ancient burial mounds. With these locations accurately established, Mongolian officials can take protective measures to safeguard these international treasures, preserve the land and protect their cultural history. Dr. Lin’s methodology is summarized in a paper published by the peer-reviewed IEEE journal entitled, “Combining GeoEye-1 Satellite Remote Sensing, UAV Aerial Imaging, and Geophysical Surveys in Anomaly Detection Applied to Archaeology.” The main findings are expected to be published separately next year.
“We congratulate Dr. Lin for his exciting discoveries. We are proud that GeoEye’s satellite imagery was used in this innovative and creative fashion,” said Mark Brender, executive director of the GeoEye Foundation. “His work demonstrates the immense range of applications satellite imagery can offer to historical, archeological and cultural studies.”
During the summer of 2010, GeoEye’s satellite images were used in a National Geographic crowdsourcing project, “Field Expedition: Mongolia,” allowing “citizen archeologists” to view images of the Forbidden Zone of Northeastern Mongolia online and plot locations visible from space where Lin’s team should investigate in near real-time. This unique model for combining crowdsourced image analysis with on-the-ground verification is a model that can revolutionize archaeology and many other fields.
“Ultra-high resolution satellite imagery has provided a perspective of our Earth that was unimaginable only a few years ago. This project is only a small example of the power of this data revolution,” said Dr. Lin. “We are now able to map all the various ways in which we interact, inhabit and alter our world. I am grateful for the vision of the GeoEye Foundation in making these valuable resources accessible to advance my research and foster innovation.”
To learn more about Dr. Lin’s archeological process and discoveries, tune in tonight, Nov. 9, 2011, at 9:00 p.m. PT/ET on National Geographic Channel’s “Forbidden Tomb of Genghis Khan.”
About GeoEye Foundation
The GeoEye Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established on the belief that we have a unique opportunity to share GeoEye’s technology and resources to help train others to map, monitor, and measure the Earth. We focus on three specific areas: fostering the growth of the next generation of geospatial technology professionals; providing satellite imagery to students and faculty to advance research in geographic information systems and technology as well as environmental studies; and assisting non-governmental organizations in humanitarian support missions. Since its creation in 2007, the Foundation has made imagery awards to professors and students for studies in climate change, forestry management, archaeology, land use/land cover, national security and many other research topics. The Foundation has also provided imagery to non-governmental organizations for disaster response and recovery, human rights and health and disease monitoring and other important areas of study.