Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202001467
Earth Observation
Course info
Course module202001467
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeDistance Education
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact personA. Da Silva Mano
PreviousNext 2
drs. J.P.G. Bakx, MSc
Contactperson for the course
A. Da Silva Mano
drs. N.C. Kingma
dr. M. Kuffer
dr. M. Kuffer
Academic year2020
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes

Earth Observation by Remote Sensing (RS) is what the Faculty ITC focuses on as one of the primary data sources for analysing system Earth. There is a growing number and variety of sensors measuring many different properties of the Earth. It is quite challenging to make a proper selection of sensor data and processing methods and analysis algorithms for information extraction.

To be able to do that, students will first of all obtain knowledge about the principles of Electro-Magnetic Radiation. Physical laws help us to understand the propagation of EM radiation through space, the atmosphere and finally the interaction with earth matter. The reflected EM radiation is, in different spectral bands, measured by sensors and stored in large data sets. Sensor and orbit design determine to a large extent the characteristics of the acquired images. Display and visual inspection of contents requires band selection for colour composites and efficient and effective contrast enhancement methods. After data selection, inspection and radiometric and geometric pre-processing, the data are finally turned into valuable information through visual image interpretation or digital image classification. The taught concepts on visual interpretation and digital image classification, pave a way to extract this information in an objective and reproducible manner, however there are contextual and cultural differences influencing the classification of spatial information. This is given attention in a session on classification and culture.

This knowledge is systematically discussed in small groups to analyse and provide a solution to a given spatial problem.


A variety of teaching and learning methods is implemented to help students to study the course contents. Short lecture periods are used to introduce the most important and the difficult concepts. Exercises help understanding the concepts and allow you to practise the application of appropriate functions and tools. Exercise descriptions increasingly require a more active and self-supporting attitude in the sense that instructions become more task oriented. In a number of group discussions students use their newly gained subject knowledge to systematically discuss and ‘solve’ a spatial problem. Cultural and contextual differences influencing personal views will have to be tackled professionally to come to common understanding and agreement.

Subject matter that is considered easy to grasp have to be studied from the textbook.

Through discussion boards, students can ignite discussions on matter that is not understood. Peers can help to improve understanding, but ultimately the responsible lecturer will confine the discussion. 

Throughout the module an active learning approach is encouraged and the student can choose to benefit from the different teaching and learning methods presented in the course based on their learning style.

This can be done in several ways:

  1. Using different materials to acquire the necessary theoretical knowledge based on their preferences and strengths.
  2. Following and/or active participation in discussion boards or participating in group activities.
  3. Doing self-tests in different stages of the course.
  4. Using the provided answer sheets in a clever way.
  1. Physics: EM Radiation
  2. Sensors and image data characteristics
  3. Visual image interpretation
  4. Geometric operations
  5. Satellite-based positioning
  6. Visualisation and radiometric operations
  7. Digital image classification
  8. Classification and culture

The course is developed for a study load of 140 hours. This includes all activities that we envisage to be required for a student with just about the prerequisite knowledge and expertise. Self-study, reading the textbook, executing exercises, preparation for the test, and attending lectures. The software which we use to help mastering the taught concepts is ERDAS imagine, but it is envisaged that after successful completion of the course a student can quickly adjust to any other image processing software.

Several challenges lectures and practical assignments are available for students with more than the required prerequisite knowledge and competences.

Participating study
M Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation
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Kies de Nederlandse taal