Remote sensing can be broadly defined as the process of collecting data through means that do not involve physical contact. For example, the process of reading this text is an example of remote sensing, since your eye is gathering information about written letters on the page. A more technical definition of remote sensing describes the process of gathering data about a physical object using radiant energy, wave fields, or particles emanating from or interacting with the physical world. The NASA Remote Sensing Tutorial offers an appropriate definition:

A technology for sampling electromagnetic radiation to acquire and interpret non-contiguous geospatial data from which to extract information about features, objects, and classes on the Earth's land surface, oceans, and atmosphere (and, where applicable, on the exteriors of other ...

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