Hands-on Tutorials

Plotting continuous and categorical geospatial data scattered in a 3D coordinate system, applied on a mining dataset using Matlab

Canadian Malarctic open-pit mine (photo by the author)

Subsurface borehole data is collected by drilling and extracting rock or soil core and consists of samples scattered in 3D space that measure different continuous or categorical variables. Each sample records: (1) the 3D spatial coordinates represented by an easting, northing, and elevation, (2) continuous variables such as element concentrations, contaminants, ore grades, or temperature to name a few, and (3) categorical variables such as lithology, alteration, or mineralization units.

Implementing MATLAB’s Motion-Based Multiple Object Tracking Algorithm on Hovering Airborne Drone Video Footage

Image by author

Detecting and tracking objects in full-motion video have important applications such as traffic monitoring, security, and video surveillance, among many others. Despite its various uses, most people tend to shy away from doing any computer vision work due to its complexity without realizing there are many libraries and packages available which make implementation straightforward.

Presented here is a simple guide in plain language for understanding and implementing Matlab’s Motion-Based Multiple Object Tracking Algorithm so that you can detect and track moving objects in your own videos. …

How minor figure modifications and visualization decisions can result in clearer, more informative plots

Image by author

The field of data visualization started with the development of fundamental graphical designs by William Playfair in the late eighteenth century and has advanced to the point where trillions of images of statistical graphics are published every year. The importance of good data visualization skills is increasing as the datasets become larger and more complex in the current information age.

Regardless of the targeted use, the most effective designed data graphics are the simplest figures that convey the intended information. …


A Python tutorial for dealing with the biased sampling of spatial data with a realistic example from the environmental industry

Image by author

Often times several decisions regarding a site or region are made based on statistical analyses of irregularly scattered geospatial data. The values of variables of interest for different applications are often impacted differently due to heterogeneities throughout a site. For example, meteorological data such as temperature could be influence by proximity to bodies of water, contaminant concentrations would be linked to directions of groundwater flow, natural resources such as ore, hydrocarbon, or forestry could be tied to the geological mediums in the subsurface.

If areas with anomalously high or low values for a given variable are sampled disproportionately to the…

Getting Started

Quantifying the effects of varying different inputs, applied on a gemstone dataset with over 50K round-cut diamonds

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Sensitivity analyses involve varying a system’s inputs to assess the individual impacts of each variable on the output and ultimately provide information regarding the different effects of each tested variable. Sensitivity analyses are typically used in a variety of disciplines such as in business for financial modeling, or in engineering to optimize efficiency in a given system. If used correctly, the sensitivity analysis can be a powerful tool for revealing additional insights that would have otherwise been missed.

While data scientists are great at modeling and creating actionable information based on the understanding and interpretation of datasets or workflows, the…

Tutorial for retrieving, processing, and visualizing elevation data with an application in the oil & gas industry

Topographical map of Earth using a cylindrical projection and NASA’s bluemarble colormap. Image by the author using the Matplotlib Basemap Toolkit

Topographic maps represent Earth’s 3D landscape as a 2D map and are used to visualize both anthropogenic and natural features in their geographical context. The specific applications for topographic maps vary depending on the scale of the map. Some uses include planning transportation routes, guiding travelers, and delineating the location and extent of specific areas. Topographic maps also serve as excellent basemaps for plotting other geospatial datasets.

Fouad Faraj

Geological engineer with interests in geospatial data processing and numerical analysis for applications in the natural resource and environmental industries.

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