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:
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."
Aerial Photography has many practical applications:
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