Remote Sensing Resources

The following lessons, tutorials and tools are excellent starters for understanding remote sensing and digital image processing. Some of the resources have been developed as part of this program, and some are from NASA, GLOBE, Berkley Lawrence Hall of Science and other sources.

Booklets and Posters

 PDF DocumentEarth Observatory - Global Warming 

    Good introduction to the phenomena of global warming and climate change from the NASA's Earth Observatory. Includes information about the contributions of space bases Earth Observing Systems (EOS) to our understanding of climate change. (32 pages - 4.4 MB)

  PDF DocumentNASA Earth Systems Science Data Resources 

    A catalog of NASA Earth System Science Data Centers and Earth Observing System (EOS) remote sensing platforms and sensors, including what information they collect, the data products each center produces, and how to access their datasets. Excellent resource! (50 pages - 3 MB)

  PDF DocumentNASA Earth Science Missions Profiles (poster)

    Poster of all NASA Earth Science Mission profiles - present and future, 1997 - 2023. (324 KB)

  PDF DocumentNASA Earth Science Reference Handbook 

    A guide to NASA's Earth Science Program and Earth Observing Satellite Missions. Includes a comprehensive overview of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS), data and information, applied sciences, education program, technology program and more. (290 pages - 7.5 MB).

  PDF DocumentResponding to the Challenge of Climate and Environmental Change: Report 

   NASA’s Plan for a Climate-Centric Architecture for Earth Observations and Applications from Space. Overview of EOS missions and goals for 2011 - 2015. (June 2010, 49 pages - 5 MB)

  PDF DocumentUSGS - Map Projections Primer 

   An overview of map projections - helpful for understanding how to make your datasets work in a GIS (20 pages - 1.6 MB)

 PDF DocumentGRACE: Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment

    Brochure overview of NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. (23 pages - 576 KB)

 Video Document  GOES-R Environmental Monitoring (iTunes U)

    A video podcast series overviewing NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) series. GOES-R is a newer system which will provide improved monitoring of meteorological, environmental, climate, and space weather phenomena and related hazards. (5 Episodes)

Remote Sensing Data Sources

    This is your number one stop to start using NASA data in your classroom! This site contains many different Earth Observing Systems NASA data products, available as preprocessed-ready to use microdatasets. Use the interactive Live Access Server (LAS) to select your dataset of interest, choose the time frame and scale, and output format. Classroom lessons and helpful technology tools are available as well.
  • Follow their DATA ACCESS link for a quick tutorial and introduction to the LAS
  • Follow their COMPUTER TOOLS link for lots of helpful tools for working with data
  • Follow their TIME-COVERAGE link to view a list of datasets and timeframes for which they are available

    “The Image Composite Explorer is designed to be an easy first step into the realm of Earth system science, image processing, data analysis, and satellite remote sensing via your Web browser

    ICE provides direct access to dozens of datasets - allowing users to explore the Oceans, Atmosphere, Energy, Land, and Life from remotely sensed satellite imagery. Each dataset explores a specific attribute of the earth, from albedo, to land or sea surface temperature, aerosol thickness, cloud fraction, chlorophyll concentration, net radiation, outgoing long-wave radiation, and many more.

    ICE allows users to compare and analyze different types of data, (i.e. sea-surface temperature and chlorophyll concentration), or the same data type over time (multi-temporal). Check out the User Guide to learn more.

    "The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models."
    NASA's premier site for access to earth observation images, and global environmental maps. Also includes articles, classroom experiments and links to other great resources. Be sure to "Like" this one on FaceBook!

NASA/GSFC Monitoring Land Use Change with Landsat    Instructions on how to create and download your own Landsat datasets for use with MultiSpec or other image processing software. 

Remote Sensing/Image Processing:

Digital Earth Watch Software      Created by Berkley Lawrence Hall of Science An excellent introduction to the fundamentals of digital images, color, remote sensing and image processing. Student GuideTeachers Guide.

NOTE: Download the DEW Software bundle for your computer platform (MAC OS or Windows). Don't forget to download the DEW Images - Images for Digital Earth Watch - bundle from the same page. You will need this for the exercises. (You do not need the HOU Software bundle.)

MultiSpec Image Processing Software      This is the main image processing software we use in the ICCARS program. It is a free program and includes a comprehensive set of Tutorials

AEROKATS TwinCam Image Processing Tutorials     Use MultiSpec and other free and open-source software prepare, process and classify TwinCam imagery. The procedure demonstrated here will also work with the PC versions of these programs.
MetEd Remote Sensing Using Satellites      The second edition of the popular "Remote Sensing Using Satellites" module updates imagery of recent hurricanes as well as other phenomena from more recent satellites. The suggested audience for this module is high school and undergraduate students.

    Learn about remote sensing in general and then more specifically about how it is done from satellites. We will focus on the visible and infrared channels, those commonly seen on television broadcasts. Come explore the view of Earth from space and see what we see.

NASA/GSFC Remote Sensing Tutorial      By Dr. Nicolas Short. This comprehensive treatment of the topic is more advanced than the DEW or MultiSpec tutorials. It is a good reference for questions that will come up during your projects.

Remote Sensing Core Curriculum - Educational Resources       Resources for K-12 educators from the International Center for Remote Sensing Education (ICRSEd)

Satellite Meteorology Course - University of Wisconsin at Madison     An excellent introduction for grades 7-12, with access to real data and interactive modeling tools. Highly recommended.