3D Mapping
July 22, 2009 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Durango Bill's Home Page. With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon, the origin and formation of the Colorado River, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World.

But if geology and 3D mapping isn't your thing, Bill also entertains and informs with his evaluations of creationism and religious cultists, an energy/oil analysis, gaming probability analysis, graph and number theories and applied mathematics. Durango Bill is a busy dude.
posted by netbros (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Of course you can see the same thing in Google earth. And there you can even fly through it in the flight simulator.
posted by delmoi at 5:51 PM on July 22, 2009

Dude is something of a crank. Wasn't able to see that the conservapedia article on gravity was a plant, and republishes this:

"Solar energy is not a viable replacement. He made the comment that it would take 84 square miles of solar panels to replace the energy that a single gas station sells on a single day. It would take solar panels covering all of New Jersey to replace the energy dispensed by just 100 gas stations in a single day. Exxon has 3,000 gas stations in the US and only has 13% of the market, and in his words "Do the math" nothing else is feasible to replace oil as an energy source!"


Assuming a 15,000 gallon storage tank is sold every day (10 pumps x 12 hrs x 100 gallons per hour per pump is 12,000 gallons), that's 2e6 megajoules of energy we need to produce every day.

84 square miles is 217e6 square meters, each getting 1kW of peak insolation, for a nominal generating peak of 217 gigawatts. With 25% actual insolation that's 54 gigawatt-hours of available energy per day, or ~194e6 MJ. Assume 10% solar cell -> battery efficiency, and we get ~20e6 MJ, an order of magnitude greater than the MJ vended by the gas station each day.

And, of course, gasoline engines are only about 20% energy efficient, compared to 90% or so for electric. So the bottom line is that replacing gasoline with solar for our daily driving would require under 2 square miles of solar panels (plus somewhat more to cover transmission line loss over the grid to the charging station).
posted by @troy at 8:08 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I flubbed the 217 gigawatt -> 54 gigawatt-hour step above. That's actually rather conservative, assuming only an hour of power generation per day getting 25% average insolation.

6 hours of sunlight at 20% average insolation would but the gigawatt hours up to 260, nearly a factor of 5 increase from the above and reducing our gas station equivalent from 2 square miles of panels to ~250 acres.

posted by @troy at 9:38 PM on July 22, 2009

river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them

It does look that way, but the entire area has been lifting upwards while the river has maintained its same course, sort of like pushing a board through a stationary band saw.
posted by stbalbach at 6:56 AM on July 23, 2009

..exactly what the FPP link says.. with some cool topo maps
posted by stbalbach at 7:02 AM on July 23, 2009

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