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Valley of the Khans Project: Your Chance to Play Armchair Archaeologist

Neatoramanauts, here's your chance to play armchair archaeologist. Our friends over at the National Geographic is crowdsourcing a project to identify archaeological treasures in Mongolia using satellite imagery (via the GeoEye Foundation) and other modern tools.

The goal of Valley of the Khans Project is to identify archaeological sites, but the fun part is that you get to participate in a real-time treasure hunt. The project is led by Dr. Albert Yu-Min Lin, a dashing real-life Indiana Jones who's looking for the lost tomb of Genghis Khan:

Hello fellow explorers!

The entire Valley of the Khans team is very excited to begin the expedition to Mongolia but, for me, the adventure begins today. By enlisting the help of thousands of "virtual explorers" like you, we can start to uncover the mysteries of the Valley of the Khans right now!

The area that we will be exploring has been untouched for more than 800 years. There are no maps, no roadsigns and no one to ask for directions. But we've scanned the landscape with super high-resolution satellite imagery. By participating in the online exploration on this site, YOU can join our team by examining these satellite images and searching for clues that will guide our quest to discover the lost tomb of Genghis Khan. Maybe you'll map out roads and rivers that our expedition can follow to make our way through this inhospitable territory. Perhaps you can identify traces of a nomad's ger that might be a good place for us to camp. Or maybe you'll see the buried outline of an ancient tomb that could be the clue we're searching for...

So don't let your computer have all the fun looking for aliens on its spare time, check it out and play archaeologist in the homeland of Genghis Khan from the comfort of your own home.

Links: Project Main Page | About the Expedition | Project Blog with daily updates - Thanks Marilyn!

More photos after the jump:

Satellite Images

Illustration: GeoEye, Inc.

Multispectral imagery collected by the GeoEye-1 and Ikonos Earth-sensing

generously provided by the GeoEye Foundation, allows the team to survey
the expansive Mongolian landscape for sites of interest.

The Ikonos satellite, at right, was the first sensor in the world to
offer publicly available high-resolution imagery at 1- and 4-meter resolution.
It has played a critical role in expedition planning and landscape mapping.

Data from the newly launched GeoEye-1 satellite, at left, which boasts
0.41-meter resolution capabilities, was collected to enable more detailed
ground survey through crowdsourcing.

Satellite imagery: GeoEye Foundation

Satellite image shows mining camp to the right of a possible site of

interest on the left. (small blueish circle)

Satellite imagery: GeoEye Foundation

Satellite image of Mongolia showing a bridge

Satellite imagery: GeoEye Foundation

Satellite image of Mongolia showing a possible site of archaeological

Photos from the Summer 2009 Expedition

Albert Lin crosses a stream. Photo: Mike Hennig

Lightning strikes across the plains as a storm approaches base camp. Photo:
Mike Hennig

Albert Lin in Mongolia. Photo: Mike Hennig

Albert Lin scans the Mongolia horizon. Photo: Mike Hennig

Team members in Mongolia. Photo: Mike Hennig

Mongolian shaman shrine. Photo: Mike Hennig

The team gets one of their trucks out of the mud. Photo: Mike Hennig

The team travels on horse for parts of the journey that cannot be traveled
via modern transportation modes. Photo: Mike Hennig

Back in UCSD

Albert Lin and team members stand in front of the UCSD HYPERspace wall.

Photo: Erik Jepsen

Albert Lin stands in front of the UCSD HYPERspace wall. Photo: Erik Jepsen

Photo: Erik Jepsen

Various members of the Valley of the Khans project examine 3-D images
of Mongolia in the StarCAVE at the University of California, San Diego.

The StarCAVE is a five-sided virtual reality room where scientific models
and animations are projected in stereo on 360-degree screens surrounding
the viewer, as well as onto the floor. The room operates at a combined
resolution of over 68 million pixels—34 million per eye—distributed
over 15 rear-projected walls and two floor screens.

Each side of the pentagon-shaped room has three stacked screens, with
the bottom and top screens tilted inward by 15 degrees to increase the
feeling of immersion.

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i want to know about the Quantity and result of DNA sample taken from Rookund "THE MYSTERY LAKE OF HIMALAYA" by the NETGEO investigation team in 2003.

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