Remotely sensed data, and satellite imagery in particular, can provide relatively inexpensive, repetitive datasets that can either augment or replace expensive and often time consuming ground based monitoring programs. Images provide an instantaneous view of surface phenomena over large, continuous areas that may be inaccessible on the ground due to physical or political reasons... and they can provide dramatic (and beautiful) representations of the Earth.

As a checklist, you should now be able to explain how (or why):

  • data processing yields information that leads to knowledge
  • Earth observation data are used for a diverse range of applications by public and private sector organisations
  • remotely sensed data feed the GIS machine with cost-effective and timely information
  • the volume of remotely sensed data has increased at ever increasing rates and will continue to increase as we move into the next century
  • image processing is likely to be the main bottleneck