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.n26


Remote sensing has long been used in monitoring and analyzing agricultural activities. Well prior to the first coining of the term ‘remote sensing’ in 1958 by Eveyln Pruitt of the U.S. Office of Naval Research (Estes and Jensen 1998), scientists were using aerial photography to complete soil and crop surveys associated with agricultural areas in the United States and other parts of the world (Goodman 1959). Most of such work in the 1930s involved general crop inventories by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and soil survey mapping as part of the work of the then U.S. Soil Conservation Service. With new developments in infrared photography during World War II, remote sensing techniques evolved that allowed for greater understanding of crop status, water management, and crop-soil condition.