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Got wind turbines? Helpful website provides custom viewsheds

Giant wind turbines are coming close to Pocahontas County and many residents are curious if the windmills will be visible from their homes. A helpful website with a strange name lets you find out with just a few clicks of the mouse. Heywhatsthat.com works in conjunction with Google Maps and provides custom viewsheds from any point on the globe.

Giant wind turbines are coming close to Pocahontas County and many residents are curious if the windmills will be visible from their homes.

A helpful website with a strange name lets you find out with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Heywhatsthat.com works in conjunction with Google Maps and provides custom viewsheds from any point on the globe. Here's how it works:

1. Go to www.heywhatsthat.com.
2. Click on the New Panorama tab at the top of the page.
3. Enter the location of the wind project in the dialogue box, (e.g. Tamarack Ridge, VA) or click on the map until your crosshairs are on the project site.
4. To make sure you are on the high ground, where the turbines will be located, use the highest point feature. Choose the distance from the drop-down box and click the move button and your crosshairs will move to the highest point in the selected distance.
5. Now you want to place a point at the height of the wind turbines. The blades on a 1.5 megawatt turbine reach 400 feet above ground, so enter 400 in the elevation box and make sure the "above ground" option is selected .
6. Enter a title for your viewshed like "Tamarack Ridge turbines."
7. Hit the "submit request" button. The website takes a minute... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Giant wind turbines are coming close to Pocahontas County and many residents are curious if the windmills will be visible from their homes.

A helpful website with a strange name lets you find out with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Heywhatsthat.com works in conjunction with Google Maps and provides custom viewsheds from any point on the globe. Here's how it works:

1. Go to www.heywhatsthat.com.
2. Click on the New Panorama tab at the top of the page.
3. Enter the location of the wind project in the dialogue box, (e.g. Tamarack Ridge, VA) or click on the map until your crosshairs are on the project site.
4. To make sure you are on the high ground, where the turbines will be located, use the highest point feature. Choose the distance from the drop-down box and click the move button and your crosshairs will move to the highest point in the selected distance.
5. Now you want to place a point at the height of the wind turbines. The blades on a 1.5 megawatt turbine reach 400 feet above ground, so enter 400 in the elevation box and make sure the "above ground" option is selected .
6. Enter a title for your viewshed like "Tamarack Ridge turbines."
7. Hit the "submit request" button. The website takes a minute or two to process the information.
8. After your map refreshes, click the "visibility cloak" box in the top right corner of the map box. The areas from which you can see the point you entered are indicated in red. That's it!

Two industrial wind projects are currently underway nearby.

In northern Greenbrier County, 119 turbines are under construction on Oldfield, Nunly, Cold Knob and Loop Mountains.

In Highland County, Virginia, state and county officials have given approval for 19 turbines atop Tamarack Ridge, just across the state line near Camp Allegheny, a well-preserved Civil War historic site.

Both of these projects will be visible from many points in Pocahontas County.

Heywhatsthat.com creator Michael Kosowsky said a wind turbine viewshed is "a terrific application for the site," but added a caveat that the website provides a line-of-sight analysis, not necessarily a visibility analysis. For example, trees might obstruct the line of sight or the distance may be too great to observe the object.

The website utilizes NASA and US Geological Survey data to produce the viewsheds. A Space Shuttle mission in 2000 collected elevation data for every 100 feet in the US between latitude 60°N to 54°S. For more information, see the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and USGS Shuttle Radar Topography Mission pages.


Source: http://www.pocahontastimes....

AUG 12 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21721-got-wind-turbines-helpful-website-provides-custom-viewsheds
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