If you’re bummed that [email protected] hasn’t quite succeeded in pinpointing our friendly extraterrestrial neighbours, National Geographic is offering up another ambitious project you can get involved in at home: surveying the Mongolian region thought to house Genghis Khan’s tomb.
NatGeo’s Valley of the Khans project allows armchair archaeologists to sift through satellite imagery of the region – multispectral shots provided by the GeoEye-1 and Ikonos satellites – and mark what they think could be ancient roads, rivers or other anomalies. And that’s only one aspect of this high-tech effort.
At the University of California in San Diego, researchers are employing a HIPerSpace (Highly Interactive Parallelised Display Space) wall – seen above – to visualise huge expanses of the Mongolian region, scaling into the billions of pixels.
And then there’s the StarCAVE, an Earthquake-proof, 3D visualisation room which surrounds researchers with images in better-than-HD resolution – it’s a few square feet of Northern Mongolia, perfectly reproduced thousands of miles away in California.
You can find out more and join the Field Expedition team for the Valley of the Khans project over on National Geographic’s site. And if hunching over your laptop wasn’t exactly how you envisioned your swashbuckling archaeological adventure, you can always compliment your pyjamas with an Indiana Jones fedora. [National Geographic’s Valley of the Khans Project]