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Title
Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring

235
REMOTE SENSING, AN ENABLING TECHNOLOGY FOR
RESOURCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Karel Vanturennout, Ross Rose
MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.
Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
V6V 2J3
ISPRS Commission VII
Abstract
In recent years mankind has become increasingly aware of the need to integrate
economic development policy with resource and environmental management policy,
so that the economic development can be sustained. To accomplish this
integration at the policy levels, one needs accurate and current information
about the state of development, resources and environment, scientific
knowledge of the dynamic relationships between the various information types,
and the ability to apply this knowledge to the changing information through
dynamic modelling techniques. The results of this continuous process will
then form the basis for devising and updating policies.
Achieving such a direct relationship between status changes, science and
policy requires a comprehensive earth information technology which on the one
hand includes the collection, normalization, reduction and storage of vast
amounts of spatially oriented information, and on the other hand the
capability to view, correlate, model and disseminate this information in
support of the policy decision making process. This process can be depicted as
an Earth Information Lifecycle and is shown below in Figure 1.
DATA NORMALIZATION VIEWING INFORMATION
COLLECTION AND STORAGE CORRELATION DISSEMINATION
REDUCTION MODELLING
Figure 1 Earth Information Lifecycle
Over the past decades, significant technological advances have been
accomplished across all phases of the Earth Information lifecycle. Some of the
most dramatic advances have occurred in the field of remote sensing which
involves the acquisition of detailed measurements of various properties of the
earth from remotely located sensor device. Remotely sensed imagery has now
become an important Earth Information data source.
Through integration of current technologies it is now feasible to construct
effective smaller scale policy decision support infrastructures (e.g., at the
national level). Further advances in the coming years will allow these
decision support infrastructures to become increasingly cost effective at
larger scales (i.e., at the regional and local levels).
This paper focuses primarily on the information gathering and storage portions
of the Earth Information lifecycle. It examines how changes expected to take
place over the next five years will make remote sensing an increasingly
suitable technology to address the problems associated with gathering the
information required to effectively manage the earth's resources and
environment for all levels of society.