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Satellite Imagery for Easter Island Statue Renovation Project

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Author Topic: Satellite Imagery for Easter Island Statue Renovation Project  (Read 67 times)
Nicole Jimmelson
Superhero Member
Posts: 4259

« on: June 18, 2007, 03:15:53 am »

Satellite Imagery for Easter Island Statue Renovation Project
Houston, TX    Jun 17, 2007 in Web Media

[] Called the Navel of the World, Easter Island is home to over a half-dozen volcanoes and more than 880 statues called "Moai" (pronounced mo-eye). Ranging from just a few feet to more than 30 feet tall, the enigmatic statues weigh up to 150 tons. They were formed from volcanic material from quarries on the slopes of the Rano Raraku volcano sometime after 300 AD. Lying in the easternmost Polynesian island situated on the Nazca Plate at a volcanic and tectonic "hot spot". These statues of Rano Raraku majority of them were transported and erected for a variety of ceremonial structures called "ahu". While nearly all of the moai face toward the interior of the island some of them face towards the ocean and a point on the horizon where the sun sets during the equinox. The Ahu Naunau are shown in the IKONOS satellite image(top) and the Ahu Tongariki are show in the QuickBird image(bottom). Explorer, Captain James Cook gave the island its modern name in 1774.

To view the following images and maps go to:

IKONOS- Easter Island - (Ahu Nau Nau Statues)
QuickBird - Easter Island (Ahu Tongariki Statues)

To view a map of Easter Island of Location of Moai Statues Click Here:
More on Easter Island

First Map of "Moai"

Researchers and archaeologist used satellite Remote Sensing and GPS technology to locate, describe and understand the statues complexities and to supply historical information to the Rapa Nui community and public agencies whom are responsible of the preservation and conservation of the statues.

The spectrum of sunlight reflected by the Earth's surface contains information about the composition of the surface and it may reveal traces of past human activities, such as agriculture, structures and roads, vegetation and all kinds of rocks have distinctive temperatures and emit heat at different rates which satellite sensors can "see" that ordinary vision can not. Remote Sensing can be used as a methodological procedure for detecting, acquiring inventory and prioritizing surface and shallow-depth archaeological information in a rapid, accurate and quantified manner.

Once data and information have been collected researchers and archaeologists will have a better understanding of the symoblic meaning and function of the "moai" statues.


Satellite Imaging News
Satellite Imaging Corporation
Satellite Image Gallery


With over a decade of experience in acquiring satellite images and airborne-sensed data, Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC) provides top quality satellite images and other remote sensing products, geographic information system (GIS) projects, and consultancy services. We are equipped to negotiate for appropriate high resolution satellite images, as well as enhance satellite image data to create accurate, interactive mapping projects.


Monique Romeijn
United States
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