Initial Publication Date: July 11, 2011

Day 1Use Images to Analyze Earth

What is Image Analysis?

Image analysis is the process of gathering information from images, particularly information not easily discernible by simply looking at them. Common techniques include calibration and measurement, animation, image enhancement, and image combination. This workshop focuses on digital image analysis, relying on computer programming to apply mathematical functions to images.

Image Analysis in Earth and Environmental Science

Collecting and analyzing image data have a long and rich history in the field of Earth and Environmental Science. Images help scientists study processes and changes that occur over space and time. They also often provide a unique perspective of study that would not otherwise be possible.

From the Outside Looking InChanging Our Perspective of Earth

Famous image of Earth rising above Moon's limb, captured by the Apollo 8 crew in December of 1968. Image source: Astronomy Picture of the Day. Image credit: NASA and Apollo 8 Crew.

"We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth."

astronaut Bill Anders recalling the Apollo 8 Mission

More than forty years have passed since the Apollo 8 astronauts took this famous photograph of the Earth, yet we continue to be awed and amazed by what we can see and learn about our planet from an "eyes in the sky" perspective..

Throughout this week, you will explore and analyze a variety of remote sensed images, considering ways you might incorporate image analysis techniques into your teaching,

Day 1 Goals

  • Understand the basics of remote sensing.
  • Become familiar with a variety of sources for getting satellite imagery.
  • Become comfortable downloading images.
  • Share your ideas about how the use of remote sensed imagery fits into your classroom teaching.
  • Develop a good working definition of a digital image.
  • Learn to take a screenshot.

Day 1 Tasks

  1. Read background information about remote sensing and explore galleries of images and animations created from remote sensed data.
  2. Download a remote sensed image that you can use in your teaching and contribute to an online discussion centered on using satellite data in your teaching.
  3. Use the basic functions of ImageJ to learn what digital images are and how to manipulate them.
  4. Post a screenshot showing the pixels of a digital image and describing the "numbers" of a specific pixel and explaining what they mean.