Full text: Remote sensing for resources development and environmental management (Volume 3)

Symposium on Remote Sensing for Resources Development and Environmental Management/Enschede/August 1986 
© 1987 Balkema, Rotterdam. ISBN 906191 674 7 
Development and state of the art of remote sensing 
President of ISPRS Institute for Photogrammetry, University of Hannover, FR Germany 
Commission President Beek, dr Van Spiegel, Presi 
dents for the Netherlands ' Societies for Photo 
grammetry and Remote Sensing Ligterink and Konij- 
nenburg, Distinguished Dignitaries and Friends of 
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing: 
During the Congress Period 1984 to 1988 of our 
International Society this is the 4th Symposium. 
The over 450 registered participants also prove 
that it is our largest. Obviously the subject matter 
of Commission VII, Interpretation of Data in 
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing has something 
to do with the large number of participants. 
Commission VII has once before, in the 1960 's 
been under the guidance of our Dutch colleagues. 
At that time the emphasis was on photo-interpret 
ation, which beside photogrammetry formed the 
second leg of the ITC in Delft, which had nearly 
10 years of its existence. 
Today the ITC is situated with much larger facil 
ities in Enschede and photogrammetry constitutes 
but one part in the multitude of survey and earth 
science disciplines represented here. All have a 
common basis, in as much as significant data acqui 
sition for them is done by remote sensing. 
Therefore it is very appropriate, that the ITC 
and the Ne£ls&p.Vcmds'societies for photogrammetry 
and remote sensing host our ISPRS Commission. 
This experience of the ITC is all the more important 
for our International Society, in as much as remote 
sensing is currently at the cross roads. 
Leadership to Dutch institutions is not new in 
our field. We should remember here, that the ITC 
has been established and formed due to the fore 
sight of Prime Minister Schermerhom, who at the 
same time was an energetic and brilliant photo- 
grammetrist and our ISPRS honorary member. When 
he was elected as president of the International 
Society of Photogrammetry at the ISP congress of 
1938 in Rome, none could guess that he was pre 
vented of fulfilling his promise to organize the 
next congress until 1948 in Scheveningen. Scher 
merhom not only reconvened ISP after World War 
II, but on the basis of his pre-war experiences 
in Southeast Asia he concentrated his efforts in 
the education of photograrnmetrists to the devel 
oping countries by establishing the ITC. Under 
the continued efforts of his successors Van der 
Weele and Beek this institution has grown to the 
most important educational institution in our 
field in the world, and it is hardly possible to 
go to a country, where leading personnel in photo 
grammetry and remote sensing has not been trained 
at the ITC. 
The Netherlands were at the same time active with 
the rejuvenation of our International Journal 
Photogrammetria after World War II with Profes 
sors Schermerhom and Van der Weele as long year 
editors until Professor Hothmer took this duty 
over in 1984. We are confident in the ISPRS Coun 
cil, that Commission VII is in very good hands. 
We, from the Council attach special significance 
to the mid-congress symposia. This is why three 
of our six Council members are present here: 
Secretary General Torlegdrd from Stockholm, Con 
gress Director Murai from Tokyo, and myself from 
I would like to thank Professor Beek for giving 
me the honour of having invited me as keynote- 
speaker this morning. But before I begin let me 
make an announcement: 
It is my sad duty to inform you that a few days 
ago, our ISPRS honorary member, Professor 
Schwidefsky from Karlsruhe in Germany has sudden 
ly passed away at an age of eighty. I would ask 
you to rise for a few moments in memory of his 
Thank you. 
ABSTRACT: The title of ny address today is: "Development and State of the Art of Remote Sensing". In 
discussing the topic I would first like to comment on what my definition of remote sensing is; I would 
secondly like to shortly trace the development of 'remote sensing. Thirdly, I would like to describe the state 
of the art with a series of slides. Fourth, I would like sketch out future trends and fifth, I would finally 
like to describe as to what I consider the role of remote sensing within ISPRS. 
I consider under remote sensing a system, which 
permits to determine information of distant objects 
without direct contact. The indirect contact must 
therefore be established by means of energy fields. 
While I do consider point source information also 
as remote sensing, I am as photogrammetrist and 
mapping expert, however, only interested in remote 
sensing systems, which can directionally separate 
object information and thus permit to create images, 
from which, after geometrical transformations, maps 
or map like products can be generated. 
The human senses, such as vision, and hearing 
also operate on these principles, but because they 
do not record images, I do not consider them as 
remote sensing systems. While mechanical waves are 
primarily used in sensing solids and liquids, the 
electro-magnetic spectrum permit to sense solid 
surfaces and gases through vacuum or air. A remote 
sensing system therefore requires radiation from an 
energy source, reflection at the object and recep

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