The University of Southampton

GEOG6078 Remote Sensing for Earth Observation (ODL)

Module Overview

Given the growing importance of remotely sensed imagery to GIS, it is important for someone to have at least some basic understanding of the field of remote sensing. This module will provide an introduction to the principles behind the acquisition and utilization of remotely sensed airborne and spaceborne images for the study of natural and human landscapes. Further, image processing techniques to analyse and interpret information from remotely sensed data for understanding environmental will be emphasized.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Define and explain the key concepts and terminology used in remote sensing. • List and discuss the advantageous features of remote sensing for the study of the Earth’s environment. • Describe the electromagnetic spectrum and appreciate some of the fundamental physical properties of radiation and their suitability for use in remote sensing. • Summarise and discuss the interactions of radiation in visible wavelengths with the terrestrial environment, and with vegetation, soils and water in particular. • Describe the properties of some major remote sensing systems. • Explain how thematic maps may be derived from remotely sensed data. • Appreciate some of the ways remote sensing may be used in the study of the Earth’s environment.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • By the end of the module, the student should be able to define and explain the key concepts and terminology used in remote sensing.
  • By the end of the module the students should be conversant with the basic principles of remote sensing and its various fields of application
  • By the end of the module, the students should be able to use image processing software to process remote sensing data


Topics to be covered • Introduction to Remote Sensing • Electromagnetic Radiation and the Electromagnetic Spectrum • Energy Interactions with the Atmosphere and the Earth’s surface • EMR interactions with the Earth’s surface • Sensor Technology • Major Remote Sensing systems • Introduction to Image Processing • Estimating Earth Surface Properties Using • Image classification Unsupervised • Image classification –Supervised • Landcover mapping and accuracy • Application of remote sensing in natural disaster management • Application of remote sensing in climate change studies • Practical exercise • Image enhancement Part I (Image display, Contrast stretching) • Image enhancement Part II (filtering techniques) • Vegetation index • Image Classification Unsupervised • Image Classification Supervised • Change detection studies

Special Features

This is an online module.

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study124
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Campbell, J.B. and Wynne, R.H. (2011). Introduction to Remote Sensing. 

Mather, P.M. and Koch, M. (2011). Computer Processing of Remotely Sensed Images. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 34%
Assignment 33%
Assignment 33%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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