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Remotely Sensed Data Characterization, Classification, and Accuracies

  • Author(s): Thenkabail, Ph.D., Prasad S
  • et al.

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© 2016 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Remote sensing, what it is and what it can be used for, is laid out in various chapters of this comprehensive book. We may only state here that remote sensing has a short history-when compared to traditional disciplines such as mathematics or physics. Contrarily, we may state that it has a long history when we compare it to recent Internet-based technology like social media or, closer to our field, the tracking of people and moving objects by means of cell phone signals. Remote sensing has been a domain for specialists for many years and to some degree it still is. Similarly, geographic information system (GIS) has for years been a field where professionals worked on designated workstations while not being fully integrated in standard corporate information technology infrastructures. The latter changed more than a decade ago, while for remote sensing only recently, one may still witness remnants of historical developments of Remote Sensing (RS)-specific hardware and software. The dominant concept in remote sensing has been the pixel, while GIS functionality has always been somehow splintered into the raster and vector domains. Blaschke and Strobl (2001) provocatively raised the question “What's wrong with pixels?” having identified an increasing dissatisfaction with pixelby-pixel image analysis. Although this critique was not new (Cracknell 1998; see also Blaschke and Strobl 2001; Burnett and Blaschke 2003; Blaschke 2010; Blaschke et al. 2014 for a more thorough discussion), these authors described a need for applications beyond pixels and for specific methods and methodologies that support this (Figure 14.1).

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