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GIS Resources

Remote Sensing Images

From USGS: "What is remote sensing and what is it used for?

Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the physical characteristics of an area by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation at a distance from the targeted area. Special cameras collect remotely sensed images of the Earth, which help researchers "sense" things about the Earth. Some examples are:

  • Cameras on satellites and airplanes take images of large areas on the Earth's surface, allowing us to see much more than we can standing on the ground.
  • Sonar systems on ships can be used to create images of the ocean floor without needing to travel to the bottom of the ocean.
  • Cameras on satellites can be used to make images of temperature changes in the oceans."

Aerial Photography at U Maine

Sewall Company Aerial Photographs

Fogler Library Special Collections houses the Sewall Company Aerial Photographs Collection. It contains more than 1 million aerial photographs produced by the James W. Sewall Company beginning in 1940. The photo archive the company produced captures aerial views of nearly every part of Maine, as well as various locations in New England, Alaska, Canada, and the southern and central U.S. Many regions were photographed multiple times over the course of decades.

Fogler Library is in the process of digitizing the collection, with a focus on Maine locales. If the location you are looking for isn't digitized yet, then you should contact Special Collections.

Aerial Photography

From USGS: What is Aerial Photography?

Photographs and other images of the Earth taken from the air and from space show a great deal about the planet's landforms, vegetation, and resources. Aerial and satellite images, known as remotely sensed images, permit accurate mapping of land cover and make landscape features understandable on regional, continental, and even global scales. Transient phenomena, such as seasonal vegetation vigor and contaminant discharges, can be studied by comparing images acquired at different times. -USGS

Aerial Photography has many practical applications:

  • map-making
  • urban and rural planning
  • environmental impact studies
  • civil law cases
  • real estate evaluations
  • and even wall art


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