An Introduction: Remote Sensing is the science and art of acquiring information (spectral, spatial, temporal) about material objects, area, or phenomenon, without coming into physical contact with the objects, or area, or phenomenon under investigation. Without direct contact, some means of transferring information through space must be utilised. In remote sensing, information transfer is accomplished by use of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). EMR is a form of energy that reveals its presence by the observable effects it produces when it strikes the matter. EMR is considered to span the spectrum of wavelengths from 10-10 mm to cosmic rays up to 1010 mm, the broadcast wavelengths, which extend from 0.30-15 mm.
Geographic information and imaging systems visually portray layers of information in new ways to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends. Software from vendors such as ESRI and ERDAS provides the functions and tools needed to store, analyze, and display information about places. Indiana University has higher education license agreements with both ESRI and ERDAS that provide students, faculty, and research staff from all campuses with the use of software at reduced costs.
Remote sensing is the art and science of making measurements of the earth using sensors on airplanes or satellites. These sensors collect data in the form of images and provide specialized capabilities for manipulating, analyzing, and visualizing those images. Remote sensed imagery is integrated within a GIS. For more information, see NASA's remote sensing tutorial.
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