Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

uni'wissen 01(3)-2011_ENG

If you wanted to survey enemy territory in the nineteenth century, you would launch yourself up into the air in a moored balloon and record what you saw with pen and paper. Later on, this process was simplified through the invention of airplanes and the camera but the fact remained that the aerial images were subject to interpreta- tion. Remote sensing was developed primarily for military reasons, experiencing its first boom in the Second World War. Civilian use of this technology was at first a mere byproduct. The British used it after the war to document the de- struction of large portions of Europe. Today we are bombarded with information gleaned from remote sensing data every day on television. “Thanks to optimized models, remote A cloud of red dots that’s all the image reveals. ­Scientists have to interpret the data with the help of algorithms to determine where trees and terrain are. sensing can even be trusted for things like weather forecasts most of the time,” says Prof. Dr. Barbara Koch, head of the Department of Re- mote Sensing and Landscape Information Sys- tems (FeLis) at the Faculty of Forest and Envi- ronmental Sciences of the University of Freiburg, and grins. Geography and forest science in par- ticular have profited from technological develop- ments in remote sensing, which is capable of collecting information on the earth’s surface as a whole as well as on buildings and vegetation. With the help of satellites or airplanes, research- ers can investigate the state of forests or ana- lyze land use without needing to come into direct contact with their objects of research. They re- ceive their information from electromagnetic ra- diation reflected from the objects or emitted by Trees under a Laser Scanner Freiburg Forest Scientists Create Three-Dimensional Forest Models ­Using Remote Sensing Techniques by Stephanie Heyl 16 uni'wissen 03