Remote Sensing Terminology
The Landsat program is a series of American satellites that use the visible and infrared parts of the spectrum to record images of the Earth's surface. It is the longest running enterprise for acquisition of satellite imagery, and started back in 1972. The most recent, Landsat 8, was launched in 2013.
Landsat satellites are located in a polar orbit, which allows them to provide images of almost all of the Earth's geography. As the satellite orbits the Earth from pole to pole, it appears to move from east to west because of the Earth’s rotation. This apparent movement allows the satellite to view a new area with each orbit.
Determining land cover has become one of the most common uses of Landsat Imagery and remotely sensing generated images all around the world.
The LiDAR sensor produces a series of point measurements that consists of geographic location (X & Y) and height (Z) of both natural and man-made features, and can be further processed to produce several different products and integrated into a Geographic Information System (GIS).
Click here to learn more about LiDAR
The amount of energy returning to the sensor (known as backscatter) is dependent upon the topography, roughness, and dielectric properties (moisture). Areas of an image with low backscatter appear dark (such as water), while areas of high backscatter appear as light gray levels approximating white shades. By interpreting the various gray tones, textures and patterns, the user can detect information regarding to the regions geologic lithology and structure.
In much of remote sensing, the process involves an interaction between incident radiation and the targets of interest. This is exemplified by the use of imaging systems where the following seven elements are involved. Note, however that remote sensing also involves the sensing of emitted energy and the use of non-imaging sensors. Click here to learn more about Remote Sesning
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I was recently invited to write an article about International Map Year and the Celebration of Maps for GIM magazine, in their Perspectives section. Read the full version here …
Every now and then I come across some little utilities that help to make things easier while working in the field and these pages are mainly my way of sharing them with others while creating a go-to place where I can easily find them when I need them.
Here is a Google Earth file that that contains locations and basic information about all of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Continuously Operating Reference Stations CORS. Saving you time from searching for CORS stations in your area and finding out what sampling rate they record GPS data at.
GPS calendars are different then traditional calendars that most of us are used to working with, yet they are pretty common these days due to the increased use of GPS surveying. Yet there is never one around when you need one, so if you find your self doing a lot of GPS field work like myself then you may notice that you will working in Julian Days …
Geographic coordinate systems enable us to spatially locate features on the Earth using specified set of two dimensional numbers. The coordinates of each feature represent the horizontal position (and sometimes vertical position when elevation is available) of it and one of the most commonly used coordinates is Geographic with values of latitude, longitude. However many different coordinate systems can be used to map the same area depending on various factors such as map extent, scale, end user etc. Therefore we often find in Geomatics that we can have data from different coordinate systems that we need to use together spatially in one reference system.
I am sure that most of us have run into times when we have features that have defined coordinates of one system that we need to use with a different one. (E.g. your map is in UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) but you have been given GPS points in Lat/Long).
If you ever find yourself in need of quickly getting values converted from Geographic to UTM / MTM (Modified Traverse Mercator) or UTM / MTM to Geographic then here is a free online geographic coordinate convertor tool that I often use provided by Canadian Spatial Reference System
Sometimes when doing GPS field work I will often require a way to double check my own GPS Processing work or am sometimes too far from an active control network to tie into. Using Precise Point Positioning (PPP) service in these situations has often come to my aid, especially on jobs in Nunavut or in Northern Ontario
The Canadian Geodetic Service provides a free online global GPS processing service called CSRS-PPP, where you can process files containing RINEX observations from either a single or dual frequency receiver in either static or kinematic modes. The service is free but does require that you sign up to obtain a username and password to gain access.
Geographic information systems commonly known as GIS has become a rapidly growing technological field that allows Geomatics Specialists to solve and model real world situations by incorporating digital spatial and associated tabular data. It is often defined as a comprehensive computerized information system made up of hardware, specialized software, spatial data and people to help manipulate, analyze and present the information used for storing, manipulating and analyzing spatially indexed information.
GIS operates on many levels and over the past decade has become an essential tool for most urban and resource planning and management organizations. On the most basic level, GIS can be used for simple digital cartography, to create various types of maps.
However the real power of GIS is through its abilities to use both spatial and statistical methods to analyze attribute and geographic information together. The end result of such an analysis can be vast amounts of derivative information, interpolated information or prioritized information.
Geographic information systems commonly known as GIS has become a rapidly growing technological field that allows
Geomatics Specialists to solve and model real world situations by incorporating digital spatial and associated tabular data. It is often defined as a comprehensive computerized information system made up of hardware, specialized software, spatial data and people to help manipulate, analyze and present the information used for storing, manipulating and analyzing spatially indexed information.
GIS technology can be used for scientific investigations, resource and utilities management, modeling, assessments, development planning, cartography and route planning and many other applications.. Some of these and other aspects of the GIS field are currently covered on this web site including projects related to spatial database modeling, Geostatistical spatial modeling, mobile mapping, cartography, and interactive web mapping.
Below are some examples of GIS from a few of the many GIS based projects that I have been involved with over the past few years. The links are to PDF versions of papers, presentations and or manuals related to GIS, I have many more, if anybody is interested in a particular topic then feel free to let me know, as I may have a document available related to that topic.
Examples of GIS
- MacKinnon E (2004) Spatial GIS Vegetation Database and GIS Spatial Modeling at Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site.
- MacKinnon E (2003) Mobile Mapping Application for Updating AGRG Weather Station data
- MacKinnon E (2003) Mobile Mapping Application – for Updating AGRG Weather Station data
- MacKinnon E, & Murphy J. (2003) Leica GS20 Professional Data Mapper – Leica GS20 AGRG Users Guide
I have been operating and managing LIDAR projects using the TITAN mobile laser scanning system for over two years now, in a variety of projects from coast to coast. This post contains some information on the hardware and various photos of the TITAN mobile laser scanning system.