The Why & How of Our Remote Sensing Contest

By Joe Francica

People get "jazzed" when they see an aerial photograph or satellite image.It must be a visual thing.We like to look at remotely sensed data...its like flying in a jet while being comfortably attached to the ground.

To be frank, our Remote Sensing Contest that we launch today is my personal bias entering into a business decision.I like remote sensing; I started my career as a remote sensing geologist.I am addicted to the visual challenge of identifying anything taken from the air or space.Show me an unidentified image and I challenge you to identify where it is...the continent, the country, the city...I'll take anyone on!

But I digress.This month's contest is about how we make best use of remotely sensed data, how we integrate imagery with other forms of digital information ...and how we are sometimes awestruck by the beauty of earth. You can submit satellite images or aerial photographs, LIDAR, RADAR, or other earth sensing data product.Our contest challenges you to submit imagery in three categories:

1.Thematically enhanced images: These are images that have been digitally enhanced through image processing or classification, and use a single image on which the classification or other image manipulation technique was employed.For example, the image at right is a classified image showing land cover for the state of New York.This image was the result of an unsupervised classification of Landsat Thematic Mapper data (a mosaic of several images).To enter in this category, show us your image and tell us the image enhancement/classification technique you used and the image sensor on which the classification was performed.

2.Image Maps: Entries in this category show processing of multiple digital images or imagery that has been integrated with other digital data such as terrain or other georeferenced data.For example, the image below is a hiking map for the Konza Prairie Natural Area in eastern Kansas created using DOQ, DRG, DLG, and DEM data from the USGS.It is a great example of how several digital products were integrated to provide the best possible view of the terrain.
3.Unique Geomorphologic Images...or as I like to call them..."Pretty Pictures from Space": These are images that will be regarded as those that show an unusual land feature (images other than those of the earth are admissible) and have not been enhanced.They could be man-made features, but the best ones, I think, are naturally occurring landforms that are unusual, unexpected, and maybe a little weird.For example, the image below (left) is a QuickBird image from our sponsor, DigitalGlobe, showing the island of Bora Bora.Or perhaps you happen across someone expressing themselves in a very unique manner, like the patriotic images below of the American Flag on the left...
or the fine work of a farmer who made his message clear as a "corn maze" (overview on the right; another QuickBird image)...
Whatever your tendency, submit your image and tell us about it.The prizes are great, too! Two megapixel digital camera and an archived QuickBird image from our sponsor, DigitalGlobe.

Show us your stuff...between now and October 20th.Then, you be the judge.Vote for the winners between October 21 and 31...and have a chance to win that way too.Random drawing for five great "tech toys."


Published Friday, October 3rd, 2003

Written by Joe Francica



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