Environmental Sensing: Analytical Techniques for Earth by James K. Lein

By James K. Lein

Remote sensing has witnessed a renaissance as new sensor structures, facts assortment functions and photograph processing methodologies have multiplied the technological services of this technological know-how into new and critical functions parts. maybe nowhere has this pattern been extra obtrusive than within the learn of earth environments. inside this large program region distant sensing has confirmed to be a useful asset helping well timed facts collecting at quite a number synoptic scales, facilitating the mapping of advanced landscapes and selling the research of environmental strategy. but distant sensing’s contribution to the examine of human/environmental interplay is scattered all through a wealthy and various literature spanning the social and actual sciences, which frustrates entry to, and the sharing of the data won via, those fresh advances, and inhibits the operational use of those tools and methods in each day environmental perform, a well-known hole that reduces the effectiveness of environmental administration courses. the target of this booklet is to deal with this hole and supply the synthesis of technique and alertness that's at the moment lacking within the environmental technology, re-introducing distant sensing as a massive decision-support technology.

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Sample text

A condition observed in the landscape, however, generally describes an outcome (A) of an event (E) having occurred. This connection between outcome and event can be expressed as the conditional probability where,   A PðA À EÞ P : ¼ E PðBÞ The outcome, while never an absolute, becomes understandable by both its probability and the uncertainty (U), which we can express in simple terms as U ¼ ð1 À PÞ. Alternatively, we can apply mathematical expectation to “predict” the likelihood of event (E) from the set of variables (X) that we think explains it presence.

Reconciling the issues of scale enables patterns to emerge that illustrate the important associations that bind the elements of the environmental system together. Identifying spatial pattern, therefore, not only supports an understanding of the system under study, but also provides clues that relate observed characteristics to underlying process, which highlight the dynamic nature of the environment (Dale 2002). Process, however, is difficult to capture. Taken broadly, the term suggests a sequence of events that actively shape and reshape the behaviors exhibited by the 34 2 Environmental Sensing system of interest, whether it is a city, watershed, or other geographic entity.

This practical definition suggests that there is an underlying rational that directs the remote collection of data and narrows the scope of the science of remote sensing by focusing on the delivery on information that illuminates the complexities, uncertainties, and dynamic nature of the environmental process. In this regard, environmental remote sensing is an extension of an existing technique that strives to incorporate alternative strategies and sensors that can yield new information and provide new insight into the status of Earth’s environments and detect conditions of critical concern.

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