Each week GeoDataPoint finds a selection of good reads related to hot topics in the geospatial community. This week, read about how USGS used LiDAR to find clues to a 1872 quake that blocked Columbia River; Time magazine offers a detailed look at Google's LiDAR-powered self-driving car; and drones are being banned from some U.S. national parks.

  1. USGS finds clue to 1872 quake that blocked Columbia River: "After years of searching, scientists are hoping that a newly discovered land feature near Entiat is a fault that will hold the clues they need to pinpoint the epicenter of Washington’s largest known earthquake. The Dec. 15, 1872, quake left behind reports of intense ground shaking from Oregon to British Columbia, a landslide near Entiat that blocked the Columbia River for several hours, and a geyser near Chelan Falls that shot water 30 feet into the air for days. Geologists have used such reports and other data to try to determine the epicenter of that quake, and studies in the past dozen years put it somewhere near the southern end of Lake Chelan."
  2. What It Really Feels Like to Ride in a Self-Driving Car: "From a technical standpoint, the car uses lasers, radar and cameras to construct a 3D image of the world around it, and uses that to make driving decisions. The software “takes on a lot of sensor data and then out come two numbers,” said software lead Dmitri Dolgov. “Gas pedal and steering. Not that complicated at all.”"
  3. Drones banned from Yosemite, other parks: "Yosemite National Park in California turned heads when it announced that drones, the unmanned aircraft increasingly making their way into private hands, aren't welcome in the park, famous for its picturesque valley of towering granite cliffs, waterfalls and Giant Sequoia groves. Apparently using drones to capture experiences at the park, on the western edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is becoming a trend."