Remote sensing and image interpretation

Qian Yu

University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University with graduate programs, including doctoral programs


This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of remote sensing. Class lectures will focus on a range of concepts and techniques key to understanding how remote sensing data are acquired, displayed, restored, enhanced, and analyzed. Topics include remote sensing principles, aerial photography, image interpretation, major remote sensing systems, image display and enhancement, information extraction, accuracy assessment, and remote sensing in environmental research and applications. Weekly exercises will provide you with ample opportunity to gain hands-on experience using the image processing software ITT ENVI. We will also explore a range of practical issues related to the application of remote sensing to solving real world problems. This class involves a heavy use of computer software and projects.

Course URL:
Resource Type: Course Information
Special Interest: GIS
Grade Level: Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16)
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an introductory course of remote sensing with no pre-requisites and serves as a prerequisite for a grad level course "Advanced remote sensing". Typically, about 70% of the students are upper division undergrad and 30% are graduates in Geosciences, Natural resources and conservation, etc. This is an elective course for geology, geography and earth system majors.

Course Goals:

1. Students should be able to define the type of remote sensing system and remote sensing data needed to fulfill the user's stated objectives.
2. Students should be able to enhance the image through histrogram processing, filter, and texture for information extraction purpose.
3. Students should be able to extract landcover/landuse information from digital image using remote sensing package.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

We will work through some laboratory activities specified in additional documents to aid in understanding technical concepts taught in lectures. We will also explore some of the technical facets of ITT ENVI software, which will help manipulate images.


Evaluation includes 7 labs(25%), 2 written mid-term exam(20%x2), final project(25%), and presentation & class participation(10%).


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