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An Introduction to Remote Sensing & GIS



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Yale University Genocide Studies Project Remote Sensing GIS Research An Introduction to Remote Sensing GIS Introduction Remote sensing is the measurement of object properties on Earth s surface using data acquired from aircraft and satellites It attempts to measure something at a distance rather than in situ and for this research s purposes displays those measurements over a two dimensional spatial grid i e images Remote sensing systems particularly those deployed on satellites provide a repetitive and consistent view of Earth facilitating the ability to monitor the earth system and the effects of human activities on Earth There are many electromagnetic EM band length ranges Earth s atmosphere absorbs The EM band ranges transmittable through Earth s atmosphere are sometimes referred to as atmospheric windows The human eye only detects viz the reflective solar radiance humans actually see that part of the EM scale in the band length range 0 4 0 7 m But remote sensing technology allows for the detection of other reflective and radiant e g thermal energy band length ranges that reach or are emitted by Earth s surface and even some Earth s atmosphere reflects e g the EM reflective qualities of clouds Hence for viewing purposes red green and blue RGB false color assignments are used to express the reflective qualities of objects in these EM band length groups and the combination and mixing of these false color assignments express the true physical reflective qualities of all objects present in an image The primary benefit of Global Information Systems GIS is the ability to interrelate spatially multiple types of information assembled from a range of sources These data do not necessarily have to be visual Shape files are helpful for interpolating and visualizing many other types of data e g demographic data Many study and research models rely on the ability to analyze and extract information from images by using a variety of computer available research tools and then



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