What’s the hard part now?

Remote Sensing and GIS technology has changed significantly since Wilkinson (2007) wrote his review on how the two fields overlap. Hyperspectral imagery is now commonplace, and the software is well equipped to deal with it. Currently, we still struggle with handling error and uncertainty, but there are prescribed ways for dealing with each issue. Atmospheric conditions, topography, angle, sensor, and georeferencing are now done to eliminate some of the error caused through data collections. Things like fuzzy logic help to deal with uncertainty, although it remains an issue. As data collection techniques further improve, our ability to deal with this uncertainty will become less and less important.

Most of the current issues still lie in data models. The complementary nature of GIS and Remote Sensing is evident, however these two technologies speak different languages in situations where we expect them to communicate and enforce their complimentary relationship. This becomes even more difficult when we try to represent more complex relationships that are no longer 2-dimensional with hierarchical classifications. Personally, I find that the 2 commercial softwares for each technology interact quite well when performing simple tasks, like making a supervised classification and turning that into a GIS layer. However, when the data becomes more complex, and the classifications with them, the ability of the softwares to communicate with each other becomes increasingly bad.


Pointy McPolygon

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