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Can you solve the photo interpretation challenge that you received at an AGO engagement event?

Do you see a water park, office, resort, mega-tall skyscraper (over 600m) or convention centre?

Careers fair photo interpretation challenge

Figured it out? Check your answer

It's a mega-tall skyscraper.

The process of identification for this image is based on the geospatial intelligence tradecraft of shape, shadow, scale and context. Very tall objects can be difficult to observe on satellite imagery because of the unfamiliarity of shape due to the overhead perspective. One way to overcome this challenge is by using shadows as indicators of height. In the image, this is combined with context. While there are a number of large shadows, one is significantly larger than all the rest, providing an indicator of substantial height. We then begin to look at things like roads, vehicles and other features of known size and we can begin to gain an understanding of scale.

When we combine the substantial height of the building with the scale of the image, we can determine that the main feature on this image is a mega-tall skyscraper. The shopping mall to the left of the mega-tall skyscraper and the water feature above it are both distractions, while the other buildings – skyscrapers in their own right – help us determine that it is more than twice their height.

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