Cutting Edge > Courses > GIS and Remote Sensing > Activities > Final Project for Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation
Author Profile

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see

This page first made public: Aug 17, 2010

Final Project for Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation

Qian Yu, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


The objective of the project is to extract land cover information for an area covering the Amherst area.


Type and level of course
Introductary level remote sensing course, elective course for geology, geography and earth systems majors.

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment
not required.

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
Image display, image enhancement and image classification.

Software required for this assignment/activity:

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
18 hours including computer work and report writing.


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment

  1. The major online sources of satellite images .
  2. Pansharpening of the multispectral image with Panchromatic band.
  3. Image classification.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

The project is to bring together what students learned through lectures, and weekly exercises and lab practices and to apply remote sensing technology to your interested application area. The objective of the project is to extract land cover information for an area covering the Amherst area. Students are required to classify the land cover of the selected area into 3-5 classes such as vegetation cover, water body (lake or reservoir or river) and settlements (residential and commercial landuse). The classification should be conducted by using both images with spatial resolution of 30 and 15 meters). And then they need to compare the accuracy of classifications from using images at different spatial resolutions. This project provides students with a very useful experience of extracting land cover information from satellite images.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The final product of the project is a 5-10 page report. The report should be in the format of a scientific article including background information, objectives, data and classification methods, results and analysis, and ended with a summary paragraph which contains a take home message for the reader.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

URLs and References

Download LandSat image from

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

« Creating Personalized Maps with Google My Maps       Take home mid-term exam »