Aerial photographs:a tool for Coastal Engineering Students
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SourceProceedings of ICERI2016 Conference 14th-16th November 2016, Seville, Spain: 1464-1472
Different methodologies have already been applied in different countries to teach Coastal Engineering (CE) trying to improve the learning process due to their inherent difficulty . The large number of academic failures has been reduced  by the use of new and old technologies like audio/visual resources  or “rules of thumb”  respectively. CE has experienced a rapid growth in the last fifty years. And though it has a high mathematical and physical load, understanding the coastal processes through empirical observation is of great help for learning. The new Information Technology (IT) tools have allowed advancing both in the field of theoretical investigation as in the practical application of easily observable phenomena. Especially important is the possibility of using visors of aerial photographs, which allow not only to study a specific situation at a given date, but also the time evolution over the years. The use of Internet applications such as Google Earth opens up many possibilities of study in a very simple way . Therefore, with a basic knowledge on maritime works, it is possible to obtain expressions or mathematical models through free available information, which serve to realize pre-designs of possible solutions or to analyze the certainty of a final solution. These easy-to-apply methodologies let also to evaluate the success or failure of maritime works already executed, and is useful in cases of inability to conduct complete studies of coastal dynamics. Application of these free tools is fundamental to carry out the monitoring of already built maritime works. A suitable treatment of this information allows the realization of new designs in an easier and intuitive way. Moreover, it facilitates the interpretation of coastal processes by engineering students who come for the first time to this topic. Prof. Iribarren, one of the foremost exponents of CE in Spain, based much of his findings on the observation of the sea with a high degree of intuition. For those who do not have that ability to intuit, the tools described previously may be a way to achieve an easier and better understanding of the Coastal Engineering subject.