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Proceedings of Symposium on Remote Sensing and Photo Interpretation

derived from aerial photos are certainly not obtainable from
ERTS, but such deficiencies are balanced by the synoptic over
views that provide information which can be obtained from no
other source. The interpreter can utilize this information
effectively as long as the imagery is considered as an additional
new tool with certain known limitations.
ERTS images are especially valuable for studying very large
parts of the world where this data represents the first detailed
coverage of surface features, since only very broad reconnaissance
surveys are available for these areas. This applies particularly
to inaccessible, high mountains, large deserts, tundra and
steppes, and polar regions. Most of all, ERTS images provide
up to date basic information to developing countries or under
populated, large countries for the study of their natural
There is a growing literature about the useful applications
of ERTS-1 images in various disciplines. It is contained mostly
in proceedings of remote sensing conferences. The proceedings
of the NASA Symposium on Significant Results Obtained from
ERTS-1 and the Third ERTS Symposium (NASA, 1973), in particular,
contain most valuable and interesting results.
The appended selection of ERTS images from three continents
serve to illustrate some of the many observable features that are
relevant to skilled visual interpretation. In these illustra
tions, line drawings and similar cartographic work has been
avoided in order to show that ERTS images do not require that
kind of modification. No cartographic work could yield as much
fine detail of the features represented on the image in their
original scale. Unless it is absolutely necessary for
presentation purposes, line drawing should be avoided.
Figure 1 illustrates a portion of the Canadian Shield in
Ontario. The image represents a winter scene with the snow
enhancement of the surface topography. The relief of the earth’s
surface reflects the physical characteristic of the underlying
rocks and geological processes. Many geomorphic features can
be identified mainly by the recognition of form and pattern
which relate to the structural characteristics of a certain
rock type. The Canadian Shield contains a number of alternating
volcanic and sedimentary rich, oragenic belts together with
irregular granitic masses. These rock types can be recognized
and identified on ERTS imagery by their different lithological
and structural patterns. This interpretation can be useful in
mineral exploration (Palabekiroglu, 1974).
Massive homogeneous, granitic-type rocks constitute the
main part of the Canadian Shield. Their lithological and
structural characters are reflected on the ERTS imagery by a