Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Published in: The SAGE Handbook of Remote Sensing. 2009. SAGE Publications. 14 Apr. 2010. . Chapter DOI: 10.4135/978-1-8570-2105-9.n18


Remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) comprise the two major components of geographic information science (GISci), an overarching field of endeavor that also encompasses global positioning systems (GPS) technology, geodesy and traditional cartography (Goodchild 1992, Estes and Star 1993, Hepner et al. 2005). Although remote sensing and GIS developed quasi-independently, the synergism between them has become increasingly apparent (Aronoff 2005). Today, GIS software almost always includes tools for display and analysis of images, and image processing software commonly contains options for analyzing ‘ancillary’ geospatial data (Faust 1998). The significant progress made in ‘integration’ of remote sensing and GIS has been well-summarized in several reviews (Ehlers 1990, Mace 1991, Hinton 1996, Wilkinson 1996). Nevertheless, advances are so rapid that periodic reassessment of the state-of-the-art is clearly warranted.