Remote sensing is defined as the act of obtaining information about something without being in direct contact with it.

Definition of Concepts

  1. Remote sensing: Remote consists of the main sources of digital data for input in a GIS. Remote sensing (RS) provide extremely useful tools for environmental and natural resources management. They are widely recognized as supporting and management of the appropriate utilization of resources at the country, regional and global levels. Through the use of remote sensing, employment opportunities are available in a wide range of areas; including agriculture, forestry, coastal development and management, urban planning and development, medical technology, mapping and planning, disaster mitigation and environmental management.


  1. Satellite: A satellite is an artificial body placed in orbit round the earth or another planet in order to collect information or for communication. A satellite is a celestial body orbiting the earth or another planet. An object in an orbit is called a satellite. A satellite can be natural, like moon or human (or extraterrestrial) made. Satellite can travel around planets or around stars such as the sun.


  1. Satellite Remote Sensing: Satellite Remote Sensing also called a Remote Sensing Satellite is a satellite that study the earth’s surface and atmosphere. It uses powerful cameras to scan the planet. It then sends back data about global environments to ground-based stations. The first remote sensing satellites recorded images and have many advantages over film systems. I particular, digital image data can be transmitted to ground-based stations and digital data are able to be processed on computers.



Satellite remote sensing can be applied into the following field. These are:

  1. Forestry: Remote sensing is a useful tool for assessment of environmental conditions, either in an existing forest or prior to planting a new one. Forests are an important global resource that human populations depend on for wood, air quality, recreation and many other uses. They also serve as habitat for millions of plant and animal species. Both commercial and non-commercial forestry utilize a particular diverse range of remote sensing applications. When the distribution of forest species is known, it can be incorporated into detailed and extensive maps, which are used to plan logging and regrowth. By using remote sensing data, foresters can make optimally informed decisions. They can be aware of the species distribution in a forest, the projected yield from logging, which areas contain habitat that cannot be distribution, and how much land is needed for growth of settlements. After sections of forest are cut down, GIS and aerial photography techniques can be used to assess the speed and success of regrowth of the forest.


  1. Environment: Remote sensing is equally useful in the study of the environment. Some of the application of remote sensing to environment includes the following:


  • Remote sensing is use to predict the nature of the weather in the environment.
  • It is suitable in determining the direction and speed of winds.
  • It enables environmentalists to determine possible periods of flooding and how it can be controlled.
  • It can also be used to determine how hot or cold certain climatic conditions can affect the activities of human and make efforts to control them.
  • Types, nature and control of environment pollution can also be detected through the use of remote sensing.


  1. Agriculture: With increasing population pressure throughout the world and the need for increased agricultural production there is definite need for improved management of the world’s agricultural resources. Satellite remote sensing technology has been and always will continue to be very important factor in the improvement of the present systems of acquiring and generating agricultural and resource data. Agricultural surveys are presently conducted throughout the world in order gather information and statistics on crops, rangeland, livestock and other related agricultural resources. Satellite remote sensing provides satellite imagery for agriculture and crop assessment, crop health, change detection, environmental analysis, irrigated landscape mapping, yield determination and soil analysis.


  1. Telecommunication: Satellite remote sensing has been found to be more useful and relevant in telecommunication globally. The satellite remote sensing has played pivotal roles in telecommunication in the following ways.


  • Satellite remote sensing has contributed greatly in ensuring effective reception of telephones all over the world.
  • It has made it possible to relate findings or reports of the moon to the earth.
  • Satellite remote sensing has made it possible for regional, national and international communication without being in direct contact with human beings.
  • The use of satellite remote sensing has also helped in the use of communication in facilitating the landing and taking off of aircrafts. It also facilitates sea transportation.


  1. Transportation: The availability of high resolution commercial remote sensing has contributed to a revolution to the transport network. The satellite remote sensing is useful to the transportation network in the following ways.
  • It improves the trafficability of the roads.
  • It has also contributed greatly in the movement of airplanes, jets and even sees beyond the bounds of human eye sight i.e. infrared. It is relatively very cheap.



Geographical Information System (GIS) is a geographical tool which can do the work of computer by creating data while Remote Sensing (RS) is the act of obtaining information about something without being in contact with it. The relationships between the two are:

  1. They both have the ability to look at spatial data in different layers.
  2. They both can take the form of computer software to create, analyze and manipulate spatial data.
  3. They both have the ability to see beyond the bounds of human eyesight i.e. infrared.
  4. They both can take the form of vector data or raster data.
  5. They both have the ability to observe large areas in less time.
  6. In terms of geography, they both serve as a tool in studying spatial phenomena from a distance.
  7. They are both used in many applications including precision agriculture, common navigation and searching data.

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