Sam Pritt won $3,000 in the math, science and technology competition for a software application that can pinpoint a photograph’s location by mapping the horizon.
Pritt told the newspaper his father said geolocation is a big problem for the military.
Pritt took pictures of the mountains near his house and compared them with images of the same area on Google Earth to create an algorithm that could compare photographs to terrain elevation data.
He won the regional competition and has been invited to present at the national finals in Washington in December, where two winners will be awarded $100,000 each.
A Lockheed Martin engineer working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked to use Pritt’s software to map the area damaged by hurricane Sandy.
Pritt said the engineer had pictures of damage from Hurricane Sandy but GPS data from the pictures was lost.
Other potential applications of his program include counterterrorism and robot navigation, he added.