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Landon Jackson
Landon Jackson

Download John R. Jensen's Remote Sensing of the Environment for Free Online

Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective by John R. Jensen

If you are interested in learning about remote sensing of the environment, one of the best books you can read is Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective by John R. Jensen. This book introduces the fundamentals of remote sensing from an earth resource perspective and covers a wide range of topics and applications. In this article, we will give you a brief overview of what remote sensing is, what are the main topics covered in the book, and how you can access the book for free.


What is remote sensing and why is it important?

Remote sensing is the science and art of obtaining information about an object, area, or phenomenon without being in direct contact with it. Remote sensing uses electromagnetic radiation as a medium of interaction between the sensor and the target. Remote sensing can be done from ground-based, airborne, or space-borne platforms using various types of sensors that capture different wavelengths of radiation.

Definition and history of remote sensing

The term remote sensing was first used in 1960 by Evelyn Pruitt, a geographer working for the U.S. Office of Naval Research. However, the concept of remote sensing dates back to ancient times when people used their eyes to observe their surroundings. The first recorded use of remote sensing for scientific purposes was in 1800 when William Herschel discovered infrared radiation using a thermometer and a prism. The first aerial photograph was taken in 1858 by Gaspard-Félix Tournachon from a balloon over Paris. The first satellite image was taken in 1959 by Explorer 6 from orbit.

Applications and benefits of remote sensing

Remote sensing has many applications and benefits for various fields of science and technology. Some of the most common applications are:

  • Mapping and monitoring the Earth's features and resources

  • Detecting and assessing environmental changes and hazards

  • Supporting agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and wildlife management

  • Enhancing weather forecasting and climate modeling

  • Improving national security and defense

  • Exploring outer space and other planets

Some of the benefits of remote sensing are:

  • Providing near real-time unbiased spatial information

  • Covering large areas with high resolution and accuracy

  • Reducing costs and risks compared to field surveys

  • Enabling temporal analysis and change detection

  • Facilitating data integration and analysis using geographic information systems (GIS)

What are the main topics covered in the book?

The book Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective by John R. Jensen is divided into four parts:

  • Fundamentals of Remote Sensing

  • Aerial Photography Systems

  • Digital Image Processing Systems

  • Applications to Environmental Monitoring

In each part, the book covers several topics that explain the principles, methods, techniques, and examples of remote sensing.

Electromagnetic radiation principles

This topic covers the basics of electromagnetic radiation, such as its nature, properties, sources, interactions with matter, measurement units, spectral regions, atmospheric windows, blackbody radiation, Planck's law, Stefan-Boltzmann law, Wien's displacement law, radiometric terms, spectral signatures, etc.

Aerial photography and image interpretation

This topic covers the history of aerial photography and aerial platforms, such as balloons, kites, aircrafts, rockets, satellites, etc. It also covers aerial photography vantage point, cameras, filters, and film types. Moreover, it covers elements of visual image interpretation, such as tone, color, shape, size, texture, pattern, shadow, site, association, etc. Furthermore, it covers photogrammetry, which is the science of measuring distances and angles from photographs.

Multispectral, thermal, microwave, and lidar remote sensing systems

This topic covers different types of remote sensing systems that capture different spectral regions of electromagnetic radiation. Multispectral remote sensing systems capture visible and near-infrared wavelengths using sensors such as Landsat, SPOT, MODIS, etc. Thermal infrared remote sensing systems capture thermal infrared wavelengths using sensors such as AVHRR, ASTER, Landsat TM/ETM+, etc. Microwave remote sensing systems capture microwave wavelengths using active (radar) or passive (radiometer) sensors such as SAR, ERS, RADARSAT, etc. Lidar (light detection and ranging) remote sensing systems capture laser pulses using sensors such as ALSM, GLAS, ICESat, etc.

Remote sensing of vegetation, water, soil, urban, and global phenomena

This topic covers various applications of remote sensing to environmental monitoring. It explains how to use remote sensing data for measuring biomass, leaf area index, chlorophyll content, water quality parameters such as turbidity, chlorophyll-a concentration, total suspended solids concentration, soil properties such as moisture content, organic matter content, salinity level, urban features such as land use/land cover types, population density, impervious surface area, heat island effect, global phenomena such as climate change indicators such as sea level rise, glacier retreat, deforestation rate, etc.

How can you access the book for free?

If you want to read Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective by John R. Jensen for free, you have some options to access it online.

Online sources and links

You can find some online sources that offer free pdf files or ebooks of the book. For example:

Source name


Semantic Scholar

Internet Archive


Tips and precautions for downloading pdf files

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  • Check the file size and format before downloading. A pdf file should have a .pdf extension and a reasonable size depending on the content.

  • Scan the file with your antivirus software after downloading and before opening.

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In conclusion, Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective by John R. Jensen is a comprehensive and informative book that covers the fundamentals and applications of remote sensing from an earth resource perspective. It is a valuable resource for students, researchers, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about remote sensing of the environment. You can access the book for free from some online sources, but you should follow some tips and precautions before downloading any pdf file from the internet.


  • What is the difference between passive and active remote sensing?

Passive remote sensing uses natural sources of electromagnetic radiation, such as sunlight, to illuminate the target. Active remote sensing uses artificial sources of electromagnetic radiation, such as lasers or radars, to emit and receive signals from the target.

  • What are some examples of remote sensing satellites?

Some examples of remote sensing satellites are Landsat, SPOT, Sentinel, MODIS, AVHRR, ASTER, SAR, RADARSAT, etc.

  • What are some advantages of lidar remote sensing?

Lidar remote sensing has some advantages over other types of remote sensing systems, such as high spatial resolution, high accuracy, ability to penetrate clouds and vegetation canopy, ability to measure elevation and topography, etc.

  • What are some challenges of remote sensing?

Some challenges of remote sensing are data acquisition limitations, data processing complexities, data interpretation uncertainties, data quality and accuracy issues, data storage and dissemination difficulties, etc.

  • What are some future trends of remote sensing?

Some future trends of remote sensing are integration of multiple sensors and platforms, development of hyperspectral and multisensor fusion techniques, application of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods, expansion of web-based and cloud-based services, etc.


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