GIS Remote Sensing: A Valuable Tool

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Remote sensing is the stand-off collection through the use of a variety of devices for gathering information on a given object or area.

Remote sensing is the science of acquiring information (spectral, spatial, temporal) about material objects, area, or phenomena, without coming into physical contact with the objects, area, or phenomenon under investigation. GIS Remote Sensing has gained in popularity because of the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

GIS is a tool used to represent and map the spatial information on earth’s surface. The system is integrated with a backend database that can be used for queries and analysis of the maps. The database and the maps are represented using different statistical data including population, weather data, economic development characteristics, mining area survey data, utility network data, road navigation data, environmental resource data, and so on. The GIS system allows users to link the database to the maps with a well defined front-end.

GIS remote sensing captures data on the earth using methods like arial photography and satellite imaging using high power sensing devices. Sensors on airplanes and satellites collect data, which is manipulated, analysed, and visualised into a graphical representation or merged on existing digital maps with perfect representation of the geographic coordinates.

There are two kinds of remote-sensing technologies. Passive remote sensing relies on naturally reflected or emitted energy of the imaged surface. Most remote sensing instruments fall into this category, obtaining pictures of visible, near-infrared and thermal infrared energy. Active remote sensing means that the sensor provides its own illumination and measures what comes back. Remote sensing technologies that use active remote sensing include lidar (laser) and radar.

GIS remote sensing provides images of areas in a fast and cost-efficient manner, and finds out what is happening at the moment in a given area. It provides important coverage, mapping and classification of landcover features, such as vegetation, soil, water, and forests.

There are many companies offering GIS remote sensing services. Among them is the Bhubaneswar (India)-based AABSyS, which has been providing high-quality GIS data capturing services from existing data collected via GIS remote sensing procedures. AABSyS has varied experience in GIS software on ESRI and Pitney Bowes platforms such as ArcGIS, ArcInfo, ArcView and MapInfo.