Remote Sensing: Our Definition

posted: April 23, 2013 | author: Aaron Lawrence

A lot of companies toss around the term “remote sensing.” So, what is it really?

According to Robert Schowengerdt, “Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object.” Remote sensing is not a new technology; Woolpert and many of our clients have been using remote sensing techniques to solve all sorts of problems for many years. Remote sensing techniques range from hardcopy digitization of building footprints derived from aerial photographs to the use of advanced software, hyperspectral imagery and spectral libraries to automate vegetative species identification.

It is the techniques and tools that are advancing so rapidly in the remote sensing realm. More than ever, these new remote sensing methodologies are being used to answer questions that were previously unanswerable. The advancement of optics pertaining to scale, as well spatial and spectral resolutions, have never been higher. Data processing speeds and compression mechanisms continue to improve, and it seems as if there is no end in sight. Data analysis techniques continue to evolve into dimensions unknown: 3D, 4D and 5D.

Two specific areas where Woolpert continues to build on our remote sensing capabilities is the advancement of LiDAR point cloud classification and understanding and 3D segmentation for feature vectorization and modeling. In both of these cases, Woolpert moves closer to virtualization, ultimately leading to data immersion and augmented reality.