38/42:353 Remote Sensing

Instructor: Lecture, Dr. Dion J. Wiseman
Office: Brodie Room 4-07
Office Hours: M, W, F; 11:00 am – 12:00 pm via Zoom; or by Appointment
Phone/Text: (204) 727-9774
Email: wiseman@brandonu.ca

Course Resources

Course Website: https://people.brandonu.ca/wiseman/courses/remote-sensing/

Optional Texts: all on reserve in the main library.

  1. Lillesand, Thomas M.; Kiefer, Ralph W.; and Chipman, Jonathon (2008) Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation, 6th New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  2. Avery, Thomas E. and Berlin, Graydon L. (1992) Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and Airphoto Interpretation, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  3. Paine, David P. (1981) Aerial Photography and Image Interpretation for Resource Management. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  4. Wolf, Paul R. and DeWitt, Bon A. (2000) Elements of Photogrammetry: with applications in GIS, 3rd Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Course Description

The intent of this course is to: 1) introduce the theoretical foundations of remote sensing and 2) provide the technical expertise required to extract qualitative and quantitative information from remotely sensed imagery.  The course is divided into three complimentary sections. The first is an introduction to the founding principles and basic elements of a complete remote sensing system, the second focuses on photographic systems, airphoto interpretation, and photogrammetric techniques; and the third introduces students to UAV systems, digital multispectral imagery, and computer assisted image analysis techniques.

The laboratory component of the course will be divided into two sections.  The first will focus on aerial photography, image interpretation, and hard/soft-copy photogrammetric techniques.  The second section will introduce computer assisted image analysis techniques commonly used for the extraction of thematic map information and spectral/object-based image classification.  Relevant techniques will be demonstrated during class time and each student will complete a practical assignment normally due at the beginning of the following lab period. This section of the course will culminate in the submission of a multipart lab project.

Grading Scheme

Midterm 25/35%* > 90% A+ 70-72% B-
Final 25/35%* 85-89% A 67-69% C+
Labs 40% 80-84% A- 63-66% C
Bonus 3% 77-79% B+ 60-62% C-
Total 100% 73-76% B 50-59% D
* variably weighted < 50% F

Tentative Course Outline

  1. Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
    • History of Remote Sensing
    • Advantages of Remote Sensing
    • Elements of a RS System
    • The Nature of EMR
    • EMR-Matter Interactions
  2. Elements of Photo Interpretation
    • Interpretation Process
    • Key Diagnostic Characteristics
  3. Principles Photographic & Digital Imaging Systems
    • Principles of Photography
    • Additive and Subtractive Colour Theory
    • Films, Filters, Aerial Cameras
    • Photo and Image Resolution
  4. Scale and Horizontal Measurements
    • Types of Scale
    • Scale Determination
    • Measuring Distances, Directions, and Areas
  5. Geometry of Aerial Photographs
    • Types of Areal Photographs
    • Three Photo Centers
    • Distortion and Displacement
  6. Principles of Stereoscopic Vision
    • Parallax
    • Optical Equipment
    • Vertical Exaggeration
  7. Photogrammetry: Vertical Measurements
    • Topographic Displacement
    • Shadow Method
    • Difference of Parallax

    MIDTERM EXAM – Thursday, March 2nd

  8. Introduction to RPAS
    • What is a UAV? Drone? RPAS?
    • Types, Components, Sensors
    • Advantages & Disadvantages
    • Transport Canada Regulations
    • Photo Mission Planning
    • Image Classification, Terrain Modeling, Feature Extraction
  9. Fundamentals of Digital Multispectral Systems
  10. Digital Image Analysis
    • Image Pre-processing,
    • Image Classification
    • Accuracy Assessment
    • Object-based Classifications
  11.  RADAR
    • Advantages
    • Active vs. Passive Systems
    • Causes of Backscatter
    • Azimuth and Range Resolution


Tentative Lab Schedule

Labs are scheduled THURSDAY afternoons, 1:40 to 4:30 PM, in room BB 3-47/3-44.

Date Lab Topic
Jan 5 1 Introduction to Google Earth (GE)
Jan 12 2 Image Interpretation and Analysis
Jan 19 3 Importing and Extracting Geospatial Data in GE
Jan 26 4 Air Photo Interpretation and Stereoscopy
Feb 2 5 Scale and Horizontal Measurements
Feb 9 6 Methods of Determining the Height of Features
Feb 16 7 Intro to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
Feb 23 NO LAB (Midterm Break)
Mar 2 8 Unsupervised Classification
Mar 9 9 Supervised Classification: Training Field Selection
Mar 16 10 Supervised Classification: Training Field Evaluation
Mar 23 11 Supervised Classification: Final Classification
Mar 30 12 RPAS Demo Flight (weather permitting)
Apr 6 12 RPAS Demo Flight (weather permitting)

Generally, lab assignments are due at the end of the current lab period or beginning of the following week’s lab period. Labs submitted at the end of the following week’s lab period will be considered one day late. Late labs will incur a penalty of 10% per day.

Important BU Statements and Policies

Useful Links

National Air Photo Library (NAPL)

Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS)

Download MultiSpec


CL-345-13Aug91 – Copy

(right click and “save as” then change file extension from .pdf  to .lan)

RMNP_MetaData – Copy

(right click and “save as” then change file extension from .pdf  to .txt)