This topic considers the processes involved in observing the Earth by remote sensing. Earth observation by remote sensing is a geospatial information process and this process can be broken down into three phases, namely data acquisition, image interpretation and information delivery:

Earth observation by remote sensing = f{data acquisition; image interpretation; information delivery}

The process of acquiring data is described by the remote sensing system. At the other end of the data processing chain is the delivery of information to decision makers in the form of images, maps and/or tables. The task of bridging data acquisition to information delivery is performed by image interpretation.

The remote sensing system is concerned with pathways which regulate the flow of electromagnetic energy from a source, its interactions with Earth surfaces and its measurement by a sensor mounted on a platform. Once measured these values need to be transformed by image processing into into useful information. This task is quickly reduced to the problem of mapping the information content of the data to the information needs of the decision maker. The solution, as you will discover, lies in the development of models to analyse digital images.