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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Range Management Research

Title: Role of aerial photos in compiling a long-term remote sensing data set

item Rango, Albert - Al
item Laliberte, Andrea
item Winters, Craig

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing (JARS)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2008
Publication Date: 10/8/2008
Citation: Rango, A., Laliberte, A., Winters, C. 2008. Role of aerial photos in compiling a long-term remote sensing data set. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. 2, 023541.

Interpretive Summary: When it is necessary to study long-term effects (e.g. of climate change) or evaluate effectiveness (e.g. of rangeland remediation treatments) many serious problems are encountered in obtaining a long-term data base. Remote sensing data is often preferred, but satellite sensors often do not have adequate spatial and temporal resolution. Aerial photo data sets extending back to the mid 1930s are often overlooked. Such a data set was obtained by searching various archives across the country and then scanning, geopositioning, categorizing, and storing the 5123 photos for use by scientists, mangers, and students. Such data bases are possible across the country and they are especially valuable for use on public lands and for use by graduate students needing long-term data sets for their research.

Technical Abstract: Long-term data sets are important in the fields of ecology, hydrology, rangeland science, and geography. Remote sensing is an especially important component of such studies when spatial and temporal capabilities are important considerations. In many cases, satellite remote sensing is not adequate because of resolution or length of observation considerations. However, aerial photography, which extends back into the mid 1930s, is often overlooked. In order to find relevant imagery, considerable effort needs to be expended because the aerial photos over a particular study area can be scattered in a large number of archives across the country. Once the photos are assembled, digital scanning, proper documentation, storage, and a searchable data base are necessary to make easy and effective use of the aerial photos. The aerial photo data are of immense value to researchers, natural resource managers, students, and the general public.

Last Modified: 08/15/2017
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