The need to effectively monitor our resources and measure the impact of events on our environment is becoming increasingly important. We now realise that some events that take place half a world away can and do affect us and we appreciate that timely information is a powerful and vital part of decision making. I put it to you that in managing the resources of our world for future generations, accurate information has never been more essential. We MUST find ways to acquire the information we need to study, at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, those areas of interest. This topic investigates the potential role of remote sensing as a source of geographical information.

For some years now, the science (and sometimes art) of remote sensing has been recognized as a valuable tool for monitoring the Earth's natural resources and built environment. Remote sensing has been described as the means of sensing or measuring things (objects or areas) without coming into direct contact with the phenomenon. An important question, therefore, is - what exactly is measured? The answer is surprisingly simple - the emitted, scattered and reflected electromagnetic energy from the phenomenon under observation. Images of these measurements are then formed and useful information can be extracted through visual or computer-assisted interpretation.

Let's find out more about Earth observation by remote sensing.