jeez... it took me about three days of futzing with this silly unix version of envi to figure out how to get a simple topographic profile. envi ("environment for visual imaging") is the software i use to look at the digital elevation models that are a central part of my research. by choosing topographic profiles in specific areas and orientations, i can analyse the resulting curves by first and second derivative (slope and curvature) to extract information about the geometry and kinematics of the controlling structures. in a nut shell, that is the numerical type aspect of my phd. a very simple and powerful tool to tie down kinematic models of structural evolution in active orogens, and something that hasn't ever really been applied to this type of work before. well, now begins the totally mind-numbing process of picking, extracting, re-calculating, plotting, repicking and mapping these things. ugh. and who knows... the resulting axial surface map may look like crap. that would suck.
in other news, i think i might take some time tomorrow to go check out danshui. danshui is the section of taipei (really more of a suburb) that is out on the taiwan straight. there's an area like fisherman's wharf in san fran, and some cool little cafes and stuff, or so i hear. looking forward to it, but first i should probably get a little bit of work done. i'll post a couple random pics here, from walking around the other night.