Field Methods in Remote Sensing.
This book provides a comprehensive review of the techniques and methods that can be used to acquire 'reference information' or ancillary data for remote sensing applications. The author states that the focus is mostly on techniques related to reflective radiation imagery; however, similar procedures can be implemented for other types of remotely sensed data, which makes this volume a valuable contribution to the literature. The book is appropriately divided into nine chapters with additional appendices. In particular, I found the example field data collection forms to be a great resource for those considering what they should be recording and/or observing.
The integration of field work within the planning of remote sensing projects is strongly emphasized. For someone tasked with managing remote sensing applications in government or business, this book offers a wealth of information that can be used to facilitate proper decision making. It also provides content that is not normally available in an introductory remote sensing course and could be a valuable resource for students enrolled in and continuing beyond that first course. The book is directed more to aerial platform remote sensing; however, the examples given can be easily adapted or altered (when necessary) for space-borne sensors. In addition, the book focuses on the combined acquisition of data and role of field work in meeting project goals. There is less importance assigned to field work as related to projects involving previously acquired imagery.
On p. 38, McCoy states that 'every researcher who plans to do field work in remote sensing must have access to a global positioning system (GPS) receiver and learn to use it proficiently'. While GPS is indeed valuable in finding locations and recording additional information, I find this to be somewhat of an overstatement. Field work was successfully undertaken prior to the widespread availability of this technology. For urban applications and natural environments with distinctive vegetation patterns where locations are more easily identified, a GPS may not be essential, although it would certainly be helpful in determining locations. A multitude of issues that can affect GPS accuracy are discussed which should help in properly locating field sites; however, it is important to note (as McCoy states) that one needs practical experience in using GPS.
The references are excellent and a listing of material that was not cited is also provided for those wanting more information. There are, however, some issues with consistent reference formatting (in the text), where more than two authors are in some cases referred to as et al., while elsewhere all author's names are listed. There are several editorial/typographic errors including: Landsat data have a 30 metre (correctly stated on p. 23) spatial resolution (not 20 metre as stated on p. 8) and a deficient URL reference (p. 94). In Chapter 8: Water Bodies and Snow Cover, some sections of the snow hydrology discussion belong in a hydrology text and seem somewhat out of place in a remote sensing field methods book. In particular, I refer to the section on the Measurement of Snow Cover. May I also say that data are always plural?
Overall, this is a very thorough and detailed explanation of field methods and their role in remote sensing. The wide range of examples represents many application areas. The suggestions and advice for planning field work will help students and more experienced practitioners make informed decisions concerning field campaigns. I would highly recommend this book and am considering introducing it as a supplementary text in my remote sensing course offerings.
K. WAYNE FORSYTHE
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|Author:||Forsythe, K. Wayne|
|Publication:||The Canadian Geographer|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2006|
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