Remote Sensing Information Extraction

Course length:

3 Days



Course dates

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This three-day short course will review remote sensing concepts and vocabulary including resolution, sensing platforms, electromagnetic spectrum and energy flow profile. The workshop will provide an overview of the current and near-term status of operational platforms and sensor systems. The focus will be on methods to extract information from these data sources. The spaceborne systems include the following; 1) high spatial resolution (< 5m) systems, 2) medium spatial resolution (5-100m) multispectral, 3) low spatial resolution (>100m) multispectral, 4) radar, and 5) hyperspectral. The two directional relationships between remote sensing and GIS will be examined. Procedures for geometric registration and issues of cartographic generalization for creating GIS layers from remote sensing information will also be discussed.

What You Will Learn:

  • Operational parameters of current sensors.
  • Visual and digital information extraction procedures.
  • Photogrammetric rectification procedures.
  • Integration of GIS and remote sensing.
  • Accuracy assessments.
  • Availability and costs of remote sensing data.

Course Outline:

  1. Remote Sensing Introduction. Definitions, resolutions, active-passive.
  2. Platforms. Airborne, spaceborne, advantages and limitations.
  3. Energy Flow Profile. Energy sources, atmospheric interactions, reflectance curves, emittance.
  4. Aerial Photography. Photogrammetric fundamentals of photo acquisition.
  5. Film Types. Panchormatic, normal color, color infrared, panchromatic infrared.
  6. Scale Determination. Point versus average scale. Methods of determination of scale.
  7. Area and Height Measurements. Tools and procedures including relative accuracies.
  8. Feature Extraction. Tone, texture, shadow, size, shape, association.
  9. Land Use and Land Cover. Examples, classification systems definitions, minimum mapping units, cartographic generalization.
  10. Source materials. Image processing software, organizations, literature, reference materials.
  11. Spaceborne Remote Sensing. Basic terminology and orbit characteristics. Distinction between research/experimental, national technical assets, and operational systems.
  12. Multispectral Systems. Cameras, scanners linear arrays, spectral matching.
  13. Moderate Resolution MSS. Landsat, SPOT, IRS, JERS.
  14. Coarse Resolution MSS. Meteorological Systems, AVHRR, Vegetation Mapper.
  15. High Spatial Resolution. IKONOS, EarthView, Orbview.
  16. Radar. Basic concepts, RADARSAT, ALMAZ, SIR.
  17. Hyperspectral. AVIRIS, MODIS, Hyperion.
  18. GIS-Remote Sensing Integration. Two directional relationships between remote sensing and GIS. Data structures.
  19. Geometric Rectification. Procedures to rectify remote sensing imagery.
  20. Digital Image Processing. Preprocessing, image enhancements, automated digital classification.
  21. Accuracy Assessments. Contingency matrix, Kappa coefficient, sample size and selection.
  22. Multiscale techniques. Ratio estimators, double and nested sampling, area frame procedures.


Dr. Barry Haack is a Professor of Geographic and Cartographic Sciences at George Mason University. He was a Research Engineer at ERIM and has held fellowships with NASA Goddard, the US Air Force and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His primary professional interest is basic and applied science using remote sensing and he has over 100 professional publications and has been a recipient of a Leica-ERDAS award for a research manuscript in Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing. He has served as a consultant to the UN, FAO, World Bank, and various governmental agencies in Africa, Asia and South America. He has provided workshops to USDA, US intelligence agencies, US Census, and ASPRS. Recently he was a Visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and has current projects in Nepal with support from the National Geographic Society.


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