72779 - Remote Sensing and GIS M

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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities Climate Action Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Aim of the course is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge about Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in different applications (environmental monitoring, networks and infrastructures, urban systems, risk management) and the use of satellite remote sensing imagery for deriving qualitative and quantitive information about the territory (at urban, basin and regional scale) and its change during the time. LiDAR surveys are also discussed for the production of Digital Terrain Models.
At the end of the course, the student is able to use together GIS software tools and Remote Sensing imagery for the analysis and management of georeferenced databases in different applications of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Course contents

Short review of basic geodetic-cartographic issues.

LiDAR systems (airborne and terrestrial) and related applications for the generation of Digital Surface Models and Digital Terrain Models, data filtering algorithms. Main applications for environmental and urban studies.

Digital images: characteristics and techniques for acquisition, CCD sensors, radiometric and geometric resolution, data formats.

UAV systems (drones): typologies and usage.

REMOTE SENSING: hystory and main concepts about the components of a system.

Energy, radiation and electromagnetic spectrum, the measured quantities, fundamental physical laws. Interaction with the atmosphere and the natural surfaces (vegetation, water, soil). Multispectrality and spectral signatures: examples.

Main satellite platforms and missions for optical remote sensing: Landsat, Sentinel, SPOT, ASTER, Ikonos, QuickBird, WorldView, etc. Hyperspectral data. Characteristics and availability of images, data distribution and cost.

Visualization and processing of digital satellite imagery. Colour systems. Analysis and image exploration by histograms and statistical parameters. Image enhancement and image restoration, digital filters. Pre-processing of the images, correction for atmospheric effects, sensor calibration. Operations with different bands, the example of Vegetation Indexes. Bands correlation. Principal Components Analysis.

The process of landcover classification and the production of a thematic map by remote sensing data. Supervised and unsupervised classification, hard and soft approaches. Object-based techniques. Assessment of a classification procedure.

Remote sensing applications in risk management and for the monitoring of territory and infrastrutures.

Introduction to microwave sensors, radar and SAR, differential interferometry.

GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) for the capture, storage, manipulation, analysis and display of geographic information: from the basic structural elements to the main applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Main algorythms and methods for data manipulation in a GIS; procedures for spatial analysis in raster and vector environments for different kinds of applications: resource allocation, network management (transports, hydraulics), natural or anthropogenic risk phenomena, etc.).

Review of commercial and scientific GIS products, main functionalities and operations.

Use of satellite imagery and derived products in GIS applications.


- publications and scientific papers provided by the lecturer, online documents

- Brivio P.A., Lechi G., Zilioli E.: Principi e metodi di telerilevamento. Citta' Studi Edizioni, 2006

- Dessena M.A., Melis M.T.: Telerilevamento applicato. Mako Edizioni, 2006

- Lillesand T.M., Kiefer R.W., Chipman J.W.: Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation (7th ed). John Wiley & Sons, 2015

- Mather P., Koch M.: Computer Processing of Remotely-Sensed Images: An Introduction, 4th Edition. John Wiley & Sons, 2010

- Vosselman G., Maas H.: Airborne and Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Whittles ed., 2010

- Dong P., Qi C.: LiDAR Remote Sensing and Applications, CRC Press, 2018

- Canty M.J.: Image Analysis, Classification and Change Detection in Remote Sensing: With Algorithms for Python (4th ed), CRC Press, 2019

- Migliaccio F., Carrion D.: Sistemi Informativi Territoriali: principi e applicazioni, UTET, 2016

- Burrough P.A. & McDonnell R.A.: Principles of Geographical Information Systems, Oxford University Press, 1998

Teaching methods

Lectures together with exercises in Laboratory realized by different well known Remote Sensing and GIS software platforms (commercial and open source).

Use of multimedia data.

Visits to external centers.

Assessment methods

The examination at the end of the course is oral and aims to assess the achievement of the following learning objectives:
- Knowledge of the basic notions about remote sensing and its applications, including airborne Lidar systems;
- Knowledge of the basic notions about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications in different fields.

Teaching tools

Exercises in Laboratory, use of specific software on personal notebooks.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriele Bitelli