LESSON 5 - Interpreting satellite images
- Identify differences between photography and satellite imagery space.
- Identify features in a satellite image.
Images from the Remote Sensing section
of the IMAGERS - Student Site
Atlas (1 per student or group)
Computer access required for student or group of students (see Tips
Begin at the Remote Sensing section of
the IMAGERS - Student's Site
Have students look at the photograph, a photo taken from a
space shuttle of Phoenix, Arizona. What can they learn about the Earth
from this image? Look at the true color image. What can they
learn about the Earth from this image? How does this image differ
from image 1? Lastly, look at the false color image. What else
can they learn about the Earth from this image? Explain that this
is a false color image, created by manipulating satellite data. Discuss
with students the difference between a photo and a satellite image.
Bring students to the index of the four Landsat
images. Give each student the worksheet
that accompanies this activity. Have students follow the directions
on the worksheet. They will be looking at satellite images for land
features and describing what they see under question one. Then they
will look up the latitude and longitude in an atlas to answer questions
2 and 3.
Review the activity with students. Discuss the advantages
of satellite images over an atlas or a road map. In satellite images,
we can see features not always noted on maps such land features (volcanoes,
mountains, etc..), vegetation, sediment in water, geological features
(sand dunes, alluvial fans, buttes, etc..), and more.
Show students a satellite image of an area near their school
or a familiar land feature. Ask students to interpret the image. Go
to the LANDSAT Images of the U.S.A - Archive http://www.nasm.edu:2020/RPIF/LANDSAT/
LOYS.html for images of US cities. See Remote
Sensing Resources list.
Give students a false color image to interpret. Check
Remote Sensing Resources for
additional Landsat images. Have students identify land features and
write how this image would be useful in studying the earth.
Tips for Teachers
- Have students work in pairs if computers are limited.
- The images can be printed out on a color printer for use in the
classroom. Note: black and white copies will be difficult to interpret.
Use the computer if a color printer is not available.
- Any satellite images can be used for this activity provided you
have the latitude and longitude of the image.
RETURN TO TEACHER'S