Geography, Global Positioning System, Earth Observation

The rapid improvement and integration of spatial innovations, such as Geographic Information Systems, the Global Positioning System, and remote sensing, have created much new equipment for Extension professionals; however have also widened the "digital divide," leaving many with little understanding of the innovation and potential applications. This session offers examples of Extension-related applications of GIS-GPS-RS advancements and discusses how to go about learning more and identifying whether these technologies would be valuable. There is a wide range of features and phenomena that can be monitored with the use of Earth observation data. Thus, Earth observation data furnish a powerful tool for the monitoring of natural and human-induced processes, such as biogeochemical cycles, land cover changes, climatic variability, and climate change. In this context, we note the significance of global mapping and recognize the efforts in developing global environmental observing systems. This topic spotlights on the extraction of information mainly derived from optical satellite information, which can be used for understanding ecosystem processes from a large spatial and temporal perspective for studying the ecosystems to better understand both natural systems and human impact on them.