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Remote Sensing

  • By: Douglas Alan Stow
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Coined in the 1960s by a geographer named Evelyn Pruitt, the term remote sensing refers to the collection of data about Earth's surface (and atmospheric) features or phenomena without being in direct contact with such features or phenomena. This entry first provides background on electromagnetic radiation (EMR), which is the information link that enables the collection of data about Earth's surface without being in contact with the surface. Next, the entry discusses sensors that capture EMR and are mounted on platforms (aircraft or satellite), which enables the remote collection of different types of imagery. Finally, the principles and strategies of image interpretation for extracting geographic information are covered.

There are advantages and disadvantages in using remote sensing technology for geographic research and applications, relative to more ...

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