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Image Processing

  • By: Lisa Keys-Mathews
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Image processing is the application of software to digital satellite or aerial imagery in an effort to enhance the imagery and/or highlight features with the intent to gather information about the landscape and its spatial patterns. A few examples of how geographers use image-processing techniques include analyzing land cover and land use, detecting changes to the landscape, updating existing maps, analyzing vegetation patterns, performing biophysical analysis, supporting siting analysis, and studying environmental hazards and disaster recovery. The results of image processing are often combined with geographic information system (GIS) software and data to provide enhanced analysis and problem-solving support.

Digital imagery is provided in raster format, as a matrix of numbers representing the amount of light reflectance as collected throughout various portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. ...

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