Remote Sensing Tutorials


Tutorials are arranged in order, from simple, introductory information appropriate for elementary school science teachers to advanced, technical information more appropriate for middle, high school, and undergraduate teachers. They are listed by grade level to aid teachers in selecting the most appropriate tutorial, at their level of understanding.

Geology.com’s Introduction to Landsat Images (K-8)

geo_dot_comThe satellite images and maps at this site can be used in simple tutorials to introduce Landsat imagery without any of the technical details underlying the discipline of remote sensing. Images are categorized by the type of feature shown in each image such as, agriculture, alluvial fans and deltas, cities, clouds, deserts, forests and mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, and water features. Some of the images are presented in colors that do not always correspond to natural colors as seen by the human eye, since Landsat images capture reflected energy in a much wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum. So, for instance, images of fallow fields in agricultural areas are shown in pink and/or red rather than brown or grey, with no explanation of why they are pink or red. The reason is that Landsat and many other satellite images capture infrared energy as well as ‘visible’ energy, requiring the computer to show them in a color that we humans can see. Don’t let this confuse you, but use this as a way to describe the power and utility of satellite imagery – satellites ‘see’ much more than we do, and therefore provide very useful information that would otherwise be unavailable or extremely difficult to reconcile if they were limited to ‘seeing’ only what we humans can see from space. The more advanced tutorials explain this principle very effectively.

SEOS Remote Sensing Tutorial (7-12)

seos_tutorial The European Commission sponsored project ‘Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools’(SEOS) is an initiative for using remote sensing in science education curricula in high schools funded under the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission (EC). The project is implemented by 11 partners from different European countries in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA). Participants developed eLearning tutorials on different disciplines such as physics, biology, geography, mathematics, engineering and world heritage, focusing on the interdisciplinary character of remote sensing. The integration of earth observation and remote sensing as an element of science education in high schools stimulates awareness of the natural environment. Working with daily weather data, long-term climatic conditions, land cover changes, marine pollution or environmental hazards and their interconnection, this tutorial teaches the basics of remote sensing, organized by chapter. Chapters include physical basics – the electromagnetic spectrum, atmospheric influences and spectral reflectance properties, satellite systems – sensors and orbits, geometric, spectral, radiometric and temporal resolutions, visual image interpretation of satellite images, image processing and enhancement techniques, classification techniques – unsupervised and supervised classification. Chapters are supported by worksheets that teachers can use and/or adapt for lessons and activities on each of the chapter topics. Also included are a set of ten educational games, grouped into ‘easy’ and ‘advanced’, designed to deepen student knowledge of remote sensing.

CRISP Principles of Remote Sensing (7-12+)

crispThis tutorial is part of the Space View of Asia, 2nd Edition CD-ROM produced by the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) at the National University of Singapore. It covers remote sensing principles and applications in a simple, straightforward set of html pages with many graphical illustrations. Sections include human vision, the Earth, Earth’s atmosphere, electromagnetic radiation, atmospheric effects, absorption of radiation, scattering of radiation, airborne and space-borne remote sensing, digital Image, optical remote sensing, interpreting optical remote sensing images, infrared remote sensing, microwave / radar remote sensing, and image processing and analysis.

Natural Resources Canada Tutorial on Remote Sensing (9-12+)

nat_res_canada2This tutorial is structured as a course, with each section building on the concepts introduced in the previous sections and chapters. Images and graphics help explain and illustrate difficult concepts. It has an “Introduction” chapter, with multiple sections relevant to remote sensing: electromagnetic radiation, the electromagnetic spectrum, interactions with the atmosphere, radiation and target interactions, passive vs. active remote sensing, and characteristics of images. Subsequent sections cover satellites and sensors, microwave remote sensing, image interpretation and analysis, and applications. The final section contains notes for teachers and students, and a glossary.