IC3DM 2009 Paper:
Three-Dimensional Visualisation of the Tectonic movement over Mexico by means of the Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements

Marquez B., Ledesma I., Gonzalez J., Ascencio M., “Tri-dimensional Visualization of the Tectonic Displacement of Mexico Using Global Position System Metrics”, Proceedings of 1st. International Conference on 3D Maps and Springer Lecture Notes on Cartography and Geoinformation, Dresden, Germany, August 2009.


The proposal of the current work is to design a system that allows to observe (in a three- dimensional representation) the movement of the Earth‟s crust based on the data obtained and proc- essed from the global positioning system (GPS). Several actual solutions present the information about each GPS movement component (latitude, longitude, vertical) with a set of static two- dimensional graphics; these tools are useful and comprehensible for those who are experts in the matter, however, the need of analyze the informa- tion from another perspective and create a set of presentations from the results that achieve the un- derstanding of the phenomenon over a wider audi- ence are the motivations of the current work. The proposed system has been build to be used in the Geography Department at the University of Gua- dalajara, Mexico, in the ambit of the Earth‟s crustal movement researches over Mexico.

The system is being developed over the java pro- gramming language and its 3D modeling libraries and data base connector. The focus of this system is to provide a way for all kind of audience to per- ceive the depth and distance from one sphere to the other. Each sphere represents the position of one of the GPS stations and the animation shows how the stations move over the time since 1993.

The use of a three-dimensional environment pro- vided by Java 3D approaches the user to a more real perception of the movement of one station from the others and gives clues to find patterns in the group movement.

The next aim will be to involve stereoscopic capa- bilities for ease of perception in a three-dimensional environment that represents the strain and com- pression between two crustal plates and the defor- mations manifesting within a single plate.
The studies about the Earth‟s crustal movement over Mexico are based on the set of 15 permanent stations, and one of the benefits of this system is to lead in a better comprehension of the phenomena to derivate in the proposal to establish more GPS permanent stations in those areas considered more complex in tectonic activity.

Conference Book

Published on behalf of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) by Dresden University of Technology
Institute for Cartography
D-01062 Dresden, Germany
Editor: Manfred F. Buchroithner
Editorial Staff: Ulrike Schinke, Steffi Sharma, Jana Simmert
Printing: TUD, Institute for Cartography
Cover: Beyer Building, the major landmark of the Dresden University of Technology
Programme: Brosinnadel, Saxon Switzerland
Abstracts: Lilienstein, Saxon Switzerland
Notes: Hohe Liebe, Saxon Switzerland
All photographs taken by Ulrike Schinke in 2009.
© Institute for Cartography, Dresden University of Technology August 2009

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