Geomorphometry 2018 Meeting, Boulder, Colorado

Rivix Software proudly hosted the 5th International Conference of the ISG (International Society for Geomorphometry) in Boulder, Colorado from August 13 to 17, 2018. Meeting attendees received the unique souvenir shown in the image here, which is a metal bottle opener with an actual 3D terrain model of a river basin in Kentucky! The entire drainage divide of the basin is contained within the circular part, with its outlet draining to the top. The meeting took place at the Millennium Harvest House hotel in Boulder, beside Boulder Creek. Keynote speakers included David Tarboton, Greg Tucker and Dai Yamazaki, all known for their work with digital terrain data. The official website for the meeting is at Geomorphometry 2018. The ISG has meetings every two years.

The meeting began on a Monday with talks on the latest developments in digital terrain analysis, including new data sets and algorithms. On Tuesday, Rivix hosted an all-day field trip (see next paragraph). We had more great talks on Wednesday and Thursday from world experts on digital terrain analysis. One evening we took a walking tour of the University of Colorado campus, which included a trip to the top of Gamow Tower (CU Physics Department) for a birds-eye view of the campus and famous Flatirons rock formation, and ended at a campus pub. Another evening we walked to the Twisted Pine Brewing Company on Walnut Street for some cold, local beer and more camaraderie. Friday was reserved for several hands-on workshops.

The field trip on Tuesday provided a great opportunity for participants to get to know each other and to see some of the local attractions. The first stop was at one of the geological gems of Colorado, the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, near Morrison, including a hike near the Trading Post. We then drove to Bear Creek Lake Regional Park, and had box lunches in the Skunk Hollow picnic area. That was when we saw the 4-foot snake shown in the photo below, which appears to be a Great Basin Gopher Snake. Our next stop was nearby Dinosaur Ridge where we saw fossilized dinosaur footprints and went to the visitor center. The buses then took us to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave and their great little gift shop at the top of Lookout Mountain, overlooking the city of Golden. On the way, we stopped at Windy Saddle Park located at a topographic saddle with views to the east and west. From there we drove to the Buffalo Overlook at Genesee Park, where we were lucky to spot a herd of bison, the only city-owned, free-roaming herd of bison in the world. We ended the day with a great, old-west-themed dinner at The Fort restaurant, in the Bent's Quarters dining room. This included the consumption of a fair number of pink, Prickly Pear margaritas.

If you are interested in digital terrain analysis, including digital elevation models (DEMs) and everything that can be extracted from them, consider joining the International Society for Geomorphometry and check out the book we wrote together: Geomorphometry: Concepts, Software, Applications. The 2020 meeting will be held in either China or Italy.