Essential Image Processing and GIS for Remote Sensing

Jian Guo Liu
Philippa J. Mason

Imperial College London, UK

This edition first published 2009, # 2009 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Overview of the Book

From an applied viewpoint, and mainly for Earth observation, remote sensing is a tool for collecting raster data or images. Remotely sensed images represent an objective record of the spectrum relating to the physical properties and chemical composition of the Earth surface materials. Extracting information from images is, on the other hand, a subjective process. People with differing application foci will derive very different thematic information from the same source image. Image processing thus becomes a vital tool for the extraction of thematic and/or quantitative information from raw image data. For more comprehensive analysis, the images need to be analysed in conjunction with other complementary data, such as existing thematic maps of topography, geomorphology, geology and land use, or with geochemical and geophysical survey data, or ‘ground truth’ data, logistical and infrastructure information, which is where the geographical information system (GIS) comes into play. GIS contains highly sophisticated tools for the management, display and analysis of all kinds of spatially referenced information.

Remote sensing, image processing and GIS are all extremely broad subjects in their own right and are far too broad to be covered in one book. As illustrated in Figure 1, this book aims to pinpoint the overlap between the three subjects, providing an overview of essential techniques and a selection of case studies in a variety of application areas. The application cases are biased towards the earth sciences but the image processing and GIS techniques are generic and therefore transferable skills suited to all applications.
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