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Proceedings of Symposium on Remote Sensing and Photo Interpretation

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The status review of the provincial front indicates that
the level of participation in the remote sensing program is
remarkably uneven. Although many reasons could be identified,
local policies and priorities exert the major influence on the
situation. Yet, all provincial governments in Canada are
conscious of resource, land use and environmental management,
as well as budget. If remote sensing achievements are projected
onto this consciousness, provincial benefits should become
As for the actual activities in progress now, unfortunately,
in the majority of provinces the plans of committees and func
tions of existing centres do not emphasize interpretation, let
alone multidisciplinary interpretation. The main tasks seem
to be limited to information service to the public, lending
available interpretation equipment, and constituting a mechanical
link between the province and the Canada Centre for Remote
I believe that without intensive interpretation production
at the regional centres, the process of introducing remote
sensing into the society can be only slow. Further, isolated
interpreters often duplicate the discovery of and solution to
problems, each through his own perspective, while as a team
of specialists, they could devote otherwise wasted energy to
further productivity. For example, a townsite selection by
photo interpretation can be made separately by a geomorphologist,
a forester or a civil engineer. Yet each report might not be
fully satisfactory in the light of the other two. In addition
to having professional advantages of working together, the
multidisciplinary specialists working in an interpretation
laboratory equipped with modern instruments have full-time
access to the most desirable tools. Since it is most practical
to centralize expensive equipment, due to the costly capital
investment and the efficiency of modern systems, a team of
specialists in a well-equipped interpretation lab can best prove
the value and economy of remote sensing.
But where are these interpretation talents? Many resource
surveys, based on intensive use of aerial photographs, were
initiated by federal and provincial governments in the early
sixties. This has gradually produced expertise in image inter
pretation through research and production. In particular,
forest inventories, land capability inventories, forest
protection, highway engineering, geological and geophysical
surveys, fish and wildlife and water resources management, land
use planning, agricultural crop inventory, and many other
programs have been using the recognized and hidden interpreta
tion talents of both professionals and technicians.