Sarah Parcak, winner of this year's TED Prize, presents at TED2016 this week in Vancouver, Canada.
Bret Hartman / TED Sarah Parcak, winner of this year's TED Prize, presents at TED2016 this week in Vancouver, Canada.

Sarah Parcak knows that "X" never, ever marks the spot. Rather, topographical and chemical changes to the earth’s surface, as detected by satellite images and electromagnetic scanning, do. In November, the archaeologist and University of Alabama professor was named the winner of the TED Foundation’s annual $1 million research prize. And earlier this week, she told the world what she plans to do with the money. Her proposed online program, called Global Xplorer, will gamify satellite archaeology and leverage the power of the crowd. The system would allow lay users to scour satellite images and answer a series of questions to help determine whether the images will be useful to Parcak and her team. “Archaeology is a slow and laborious process,” she told Wired. “That needs to end.” Her longtime focus on Egypt, particularly the Nile Delta, makes this an apt time for the project, which is motivated in no small part by the recent and widespread looting and destruction of cultural heritage sites in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East—including the razing of Palmyra, in modern-day Syria, by the Islamic State (ISIL). “We are at a tipping point right now with archaeology,” Parcak told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show last month. “Every day we’re seeing headlines with what ISIL is doing in the Middle East, blowing up temples and looting ancient sites. The scale of discovery is incredible, and if we don’t do something now, to help protect and preserve all of these archaeological sites around the world, they’re going to be gone within a generation.” Parcak anticipates launching Global Xplorer later this year. [TED + Wired + The Late Show]

Warehouses and other industrial storage spaces are regaining value as a real estate investment, according to a recent report from the Urban Land Institute, driven by growth in the scale and speed of online retail. [Curbed]

ICYMI: A case for implementing net-zero municipal water systems. [ARCHITECT]

Mitsubishi Electric wants to make its 3D aerial display technology commercially available by 2020. [Gizmag]

New standards for light sources, announced by the U.S. Department of Energy earlier this month, promote further market acceptance of and more efficient performance by LEDs. [National Resources Defense Council]

Video: Revisit the "glittering world of technicolor harmonies" in this short 1968 film from British manufacturer Sanderson Wallpapers. [Colossal]

Kevin Spacey—who is an advocate for the arts when he’s not playing a rouge politician on Netflix's House of Cards—will be kicking off this year’s AIA Convention in Philadelphia. We’re especially excited about the day-two and day-three keynoters: MIT professor Neri Oxman, who leads the Mediated Matter research group at the university’s Media Lab and whose work includes 3D-printed glass, bio-inspired clothing, and a silkworm-woven pavilion, along with Rem Koolhaas, Hon. FAIA, who will wrap up the event with a closing keynote that the AIA promises will give all in attendance “a kick in the pants.” Gird your loins. [ARCHITECT]