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Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System


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Chapter1: Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (Textbook, pdf, 1,870KB)

  • 1.1 Remote Sensing
    • 1.1.1 An Overview of Remote Sensing
    • 1.1.2 Methods of Processing Image Data
    • 1.1.3 Vegetation Index and Land Cover
  • 1.2 Geographical information systems (GIS)
    • 1.2.1 An Overview of Geographical Information Systems
    • 1.2.2 Acquisition of Positioning Information
    • 1.2.3 The Processing of Space-Time Data
  • 1.3 Case Studies of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System Usage

What is the relevance of Remote Sensing and GIS in Field Informatics

One of the most basic types of information used in field work is space information about a specific target area. There are various types of information which that fall within space information; such as information concerning topography, land use, social infrastructure, climate, and manufacturing infrastructure. All of this information must be appropriately gathered, in accordance with the objectives of a study or research. Remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) are among the many useful means for gathering and analyzing such information. Using aerial photography and satellite image obtained through remote sensing, it is possible to gather information covering wide geographic areas; such as information about natural resources or information about the environment. For example, it is possible to gain an understanding about the expansion of desertification or the state of food production by studying the distribution of vegetation. In addition, if these methods are used in conjunction with field work or by rearranging existing data, more detailed space information can be collected. Positioning data is attached to this collected information and it can then be analyzed using a geographic information system (GIS). A GIS is both a database of space information and a tool for its analysis. For example, analysis of landform data or precipitation data can lead to information used to predict natural disasters. In this chapter, we will cover the basic outline of these methods of gathering and analyzing data.


"Remote sensing" refers to techniques which are used to analyze objects which are far away; for example, analyzing what these objects are or what states they are in. Specifically, the term means it obtains an understanding of the status of a target object by analyzing image such as aerial photography and satellite image. It is very effective as the means of acquiring space information from global-scale environmental shifts such as global climatic change, changes in a marine environment and the forest areas to land management in a local area. Analysis of space information obtained by remote sensing requires the positioning information and analyzing method of space-time expansion. To positioning information, positioning system by GPS satellite as well as existing map. Also, Geographic Information System (GIS) is effective to analytical tool of space-time information. GIS enables modeling and monitoring based on the database of space-time information, so it is a way to analyze target areas.

Case Study

In this chapter, two case studies are introduced. One is about examine of land use around a basin on Ishigaki Island. It is explained how to analyze land-cover in an area around Ishigaki Island using by remote sensing, land extraction method using by GIS and how to integrate each information. The other is concerned with overuse of forest which becomes a problem by trekking in recent years. It is explained about how to analyze current state of overuse by examining the routes traveled by mountain climbers using by GPS data loggers and integrating map information of climbing roads.