GIS AND REMOTE SENSING
GIS and Remote Sensing
A geographic information system GIS is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface. It is a computer-based system used to capture, store, analyze, and display geographic information.
Remote sensing entails obtaining information about the Earth’s surface by examining data acquired by a device, which is at a distance from the surface of the earth. Special cameras collect remotely sensed images, which help researchers “sense” things about the Earth.
Some of the differences evident between GIS and Remote Sensing include but are not limited to:
- Remote sensing is a surveying and data collection technique, used to survey and collect data regarding an object while GIS is a computer system that consists of software used to analyze the collected data and hardware that the software would operate in.
- A GIS system is mostly used for analysis of complex data and to interpret the huge datasets into more meaningful information; meanwhile Remote sensing technology is used to collect the data that is then analysed with GIS. Thisdata provides the necessary information.
- Remote sensing technology has a more complex user interface than a GIS system because it is mainly used as a data collection tool. It requires more skilled personnel to interpret the interface. GIS uses a more simplified user interface that allows anyone to learn how to interpret the tons of data in the system.
- GIS system is self-sufficient and can be used to analyze large datasets with much less time, money and resources. One person can analyze huge amounts of data to produce more complex information regarding an object or a phenomenon on the earth surface.
- Due to its capacity to analyze vast and complex information simultaneously, GIS system supports huge amounts of data at a time and can also allow for unlimited data edits and change without the risk of collapse or damage. Remote sensing data is limited to the specific area being studied, it has limited ability to interpret the data and is also more susceptible to damage.
Based on the above, remote sensing can be seen as propellant for GIS. It provides data which we use a GIS (Geographic Information System) to analyse. Remotely sensed images are only one of many types of data that a GIS can work with. A GIS can analyse spreadsheet data, it can analyse vector data and many other types of data.