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Modern trends of education in photogrammetry & remote sensing

Ralph W. Kiefer, Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
and Institute for Environmental Studies
Thomas M. Lillesand, Professor
Institute for Environmental Studies, Forestry,
and Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706, USA
Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been involved with interdisciplinary education in
remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) for more than 20 years. Remote sensing
instruction is centered in the Environmental Monitoring Program, an interdisciplinary graduate program
in remote sensing and geographic information systems administered by the Institute for Environmental
Studies (IES). Remote sensing research is conducted both through individual departments and the
Environmental Remote Sensing Center, an IES research center. GIS instruction and research are
conducted in several departments and are coordinated by an ad-hoc faculty group representing eight
academic departments and IES. UW-Madison faculty have implemented a wide variety of extension/out
reach programs and technology transfer projects, and have been involved in formulating state and federal
policy in regard to the use and impact of GIS technology. Instruction, research and extension/outreach
activities in remote sensing and GIS are supported by various campus instructional and research
laboratories and centers.
KEY WORDS: remote sensing, geographic information systems, land information systems, education,
instruction, research, environmental monitoring, interdisciplinary
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, faculty and students from many disciplines participate in remote
sensing and GIS instruction and research. Representative disciplines include agricultural economics,
agronomy, anthropology, botany, civil and environmental engineering, computer sciences, conservation
biology, electrical and computer engineering, engineering professional development, environmental
studies, forestry, geography, geological engineering, geology and geophysics, horticulture, landscape
architecture, land resources, law, meteorology, physics, plant pathology, soil science, statistics, urban and
regional planning, water resources, and zoology.
Instruction and research in remote sensing and GIS are supported by a broad range of facilities such as:
the Cartographic Laboratory and Arthur H. Robinson Map Library, Environmental Remote Sensing
Center, Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility, Spatial Data Acquisition and Analysis
Laboratory, Computer Science Systems Laboratory, Center for Land Information Studies, Madison
Academic Computing Center, Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office, and the Wisconsin Geological and
Natural History Survey. These facilities are maintained by various administrative units on our campus.
Much of the GIS activity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is in the area of land information
systems (LIS). In 1984, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was designated as a North American
"Center of Excellence" in land information studies by the Institute for Land Information and the Land
Inlormation Assembly. Because of the close relationship between land information systems and
geographic information systems, we often refer on campus to our "GIS/LIS" activities. In this paper, wc
will simply use the term GIS; the inclusion of LIS is implied where appropriate.