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Remote Sensing for Land Resources: A Review on Satellites, Data Availability and Applications

Remote sensing is a technology that offers a unique opportunity of gathering land information by measuring and recording its emitted and reflected energy usually from a satellite or an aircraft. The capabilities of remote sensing satellite data in mapping, monitoring and managing land resources are intensifying with the rapid advancements in satellite technology. In addition, increased users demand in sustainable management of land resources has escalated the need for remote sensing technology. As a result, this article presents an overview of the remote sensing satellites that are best for mapping land resources and monitoring, focusing specifically on the necessary satellites, data availability and key land application areas. Currently, several remote sensing satellites are providing microwave, multispectral and hyperspectral data with a wide array of spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions used on land applications. Microwave remote sensing has seen the development of both active and passive remote sensing systems for remote sensing activities. Consequently, microwave data is now available with high spatial resolution and providing land information in all cloudy weather condition. On the other hand, optical remote sensing is providing space-based remote sensing data in a variety of spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions meeting the needs of many land applications. Similarly, hyperspectral remote sensing is providing digital imagery of earth resources in many narrow contiguous spectral bands. Additionally, other remote sensing techniques like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) have helped in deriving detailed information of land resources to support land related studies. Besides having commercial satellites that are providing satellite data at a high cost, today several remote sensing data have been made available from open data sources and users can freely search and download areas of interest.

Land Resources, Remote Sensing Satellites, Data Availability, Land Resource Monitoring

Winfred Mbinya Manetu, John Momanyi Mironga, Jackob Haywood Ondiko. (2023). Remote Sensing for Land Resources: A Review on Satellites, Data Availability and Applications. American Journal of Remote Sensing, 10(2), 39-49.

Copyright © 2022 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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