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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Currently we have been finishing up another super long cross country Titan road trip and are on our way back to Ottawa, however due to various issues with customs and border crossing, we have had to delay our trip home until the paper work for the survey equipment has been fully processed (witch apparently takes a full day or two ??). Therefore we gained a day-off of two while traveling and conveniently it happened while we were near Washington, DC.
The National Mall is an open concept national park situated in middle of Washington, D.C. that covers the area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol Building. It includes several landmarks, National Monuments and several museums.
Therefore it was a opportunity to take a few hours for ourselves and check out some of the sites located around the American Capital City (& home of the President of the United States). It also turned out to be the same day as the Smithsonian Kite Festival, which is an annual event that takes place at the National Mall. Much like Ottawa back home, Washington, DC provides people here with many different activities.
It wasn’t a very sunny day but pretty breezy so actually good weather for kite flying. There were hundreds of people flying kites for leisure, competing in various competitions and many other related activities. Most of the activities were around the Washington Monument (the tallest stone obelisk structure in the world constructed of marble, granite and gneiss, built to commemorate president George Washington), so we walked around for a bit and took in some of the sites at the event before heading out to check out some of the attractions that we had come to see.
We headed north from there to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, better known as the White House or the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. There were plenty of people around all with their cameras ready in case they caught a site of President Barack Obama. No luck he wasn’t around so we headed on to our next stop.
From there we headed east towards the United States Capitol Building witch is like our Parliament Hill, the meeting place of the United States Congress and the legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The Capitol is at the highest point of the National Mall and looks down westerly towards the Lincoln Memorial. Before heading west towards the other end witch turned out was just over 3 and half kilometers we took a short detour to 501 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Theere we discovered that the Canadian Embassy building located just north of the National Gallery of Art was nothing like the United States Embassy building is back in Ottawa (less fortress like fencing and more architecture glass like structure).
Heading west again we progressed by the majority of museums and attractions due to the volume of people that were there as it seemed to have been March break for kids in this area and we didn’t want to waste our day standing in line ups.
We stopped to check out the 600+ m Reflecting Pool at the west end of the park, in front of the Lincoln Memorial (the one that was in the movie Forest Gump when Jenny runs through the middle of it during the war protest). It amazing how large this pond is as it stretches down from the War Memorial Monument all the way down to Lincoln, where he sits looking out upon it.
So from here we headed west along the Reflecting Pool down to the Lincoln Memorial and what ever sites awaited us down at this end of the National Mall.
— Click here to continue reading more about my rest of day in Washington, DC (with more photos) in my next travel blog post.
[Note: Washington, DC Air Photo at the top of the post was customized from Google Earth]
Update: I have added some aerial images of the White House that we took on one of our flights though the area when we were back to do some LIDAR survey work in the area. Didn’t have any time off this time so no other new photos of Washington, DC to add.