Tutorials and Documents


GRSS offers selected technical and general tutorials on various topics. Some of these are free to the general public, while others require membership of IEEE-GRSS in order to view them.

Contributions are invited for this section.



IEEE GRSS Remote Sensing Tutorial DVD

The following tutorials are included on this GRSS Remote Sensing tutorial DVD #1 (in English and Spanish) (note that membership of IEEE-GRSS is required to view them):

Click here for the link to the DVD

  1. Introduction to Remote Sensing
  2. Earth Observation Tools (GIS, Classification…)
  3. Radar and SAR Principles
  4. Synthetic Aperture Radar: Applications (InSAR, PolSAR, PolInSAR, Multi-temporal, Multi-frequency)
  5. Microwave Radiometers: Principles, Technologies and Sensors
  6. Microwave Radiometers: Applications (incl. SMOS-SM, SM @ 1 km, OS)
  7. Multi- and Hyperspectral Sensors: Principles, Technologies and Sensors
  8. Multi- and Hyperspectral Sensors: Applications
  9. LIDAR: Principles, Technologies and Sensors
  10. LIDAR: Applications


Overview Tutorials


ESA: Remote Sensing for Beginners: Sentinel-2

Click here for the online video

This Introduction for Beginners by the European Space Agency (ESA) covers the reasons behind remote sensing and what we are doing about it.

It is an introduction to the Sentinel-2 mission for Europe’s Copernicus programme and some of its benefits for the planet’s ever-growing population, such as deforestation monitoring, food security and the sustainable management of natural resources.

Click on the image to view the online video.


NASA: Landsat Science

Click here for the website

These Remote Sensing Tutorials by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will help you understand what is measured by sensors on spacecraft looking toward the Earth and at other planets, other galaxies and, going back in time, the cosmos.

“Landsat images are more than snapshots from space. Scientists, farmers, and historians are only some of the people who use Landsat data in their careers, but many people benefit from the information that Landsat reveals about our planet. These resources can be used to showcase some of the important work that Landsat makes possible.” (Website)

There are also links to various images, videos and animations about Landsat available here.


NOUN: Remote Sensing and Radiation Principles

Click here to download the PDF

These are the lecture notes of a course on the Principles of Remote Sensing and Radiation (in PDF format), offered by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), on the principles of remote sensing and radiation.

The course comprises the following modules:

  1. Introduction
  2. Remote Sensing Platforms, Imaging Systems and their Capabilities
  3. Aerial Photography
  4. Principles of Digital Image Processing
  5. Application of Remote Sensing


ISPRS: Tutorials

Click here for the website

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) has made available various tutorials in the following fields:

  1. Remote sensing
  2. Photogrammetry
  3. Geographic information systems and
  4. Computer vision.

You can access them here.


EDUSAT IIRS Dehradun: Lectures and Tutorials

Click here for the YouTube channel

The Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) at Dehradun offers a distance learning programme known as the EDUSAT based outreach programme, in the field of Earth Observation and Geo-information Techniques.

Since its early beginnings in 2007, when it networked with only 12 universities, it has steadily grown; currently, 64 universities across the country participate in this programme. The Institute has successfully conducted seven courses on the “Basics of Remote Sensing, Geographic Information System & Global Positioning System” and “Advances in GIS”, for students at graduate and postgraduate level.

You can access many of their video recordings via their YouTube Channel.


CCMEO: Remote Sensing Tutorial

Click here to download the PDF

The Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) (formerly the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing) has developed several comprehensive sets of remote sensing training materials on a variety of topics including the fundamentals of remote sensing, radar remote sensing, polarimetry and satellite data reception.  These materials are available in English and French.

Click on the image to download the PDF of their Tutorial on the Fundamentals of Remote Sensing Technology and its Applications. This interactive module is intended as an overview at a senior high school or early university level and touches on physics, environmental sciences, mathematics, computer sciences and geography. It covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Satellites and Sensors
  3. Microwave Remote Sensing
  4. Image Interpretation and Analysis
  5. Applications – Agriculture, Forestry, Geology, Hydrology, Sea Ice, Land Cover, Mapping, Oceans and Coastal Monitoring


CRISP: Principles of Remote Sensing

Click here to access the website-based tutorial

This tutorial on the Principles of Remote Sensing is part of the “Space View of Asia, 2nd Edition” CD-ROM produced by the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) at the National University of Singapore.

Topics covered are:

  1. What is remote sensing?
  2. The Earth and the Earth’s Atmosphere
  3. Electromagnetic Radiation
  4. Atmospheric Effects
  5. Remote Sensing – Airborne, Spaceborne, Optical, Infrared and Microwave
  6. Image Processing and Analysis


TELECAN Multi-lingual Remote Sensing Tutorial

Click here to download the PDF of the TELECAN Tutorial in English

TELECAN is a three-year project led by the University of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria, which aims to develop remote sensing products and services in strategic sectors in the region of the Canary Islands and West Africa through collaboration between academic institutions in the Canary Islands, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Cape Verde.

This Tutorial for Education and Training consists of two parts – Formation (theoretical) and Training (practical fundamentals):


  1. Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
  2. Sensors and Remote Sensing Space Missions
  3. Remote Sensing Applications
  4. Radiometric, Atmospheric and Geometric Modeling
  5. Remote Sensing Images Processing


  1. Collection and Analysis of Remote Sensing Images
  2. Tools Image Processing Software
  3. Modeling and Remote Sensing Image Processing

The tutorial is available in 4 languages:

  1. Spanish
  2. French
  3. Portuguese
  4. English




GIS Geography: Article

Click here to read the article

This article, titled 100 Earth Shattering Remote Sensing Applications & Uses, does indeed cite 100 diverse uses of remote sensing, some of them rather unusual. These are just some examples: Catching tax-evaders red-handed by locating new construction and building alterations; Counting polar bears to ensure sustainable population levels; Optimizing solar panel energy output with global horizontal irradiance; Reversing illegal rainforest cutting in Brazil; Driving with no hands (autonomous vehicles); Helping provide clean drinking water with basemaps; Assessing fuel economy of vehicle emissions; Narrowing down a search for a missing body, etc…


DigitalGlobe LEAD Webinar: Satellite Tree Mapping

Click here to watch the YouTube video

This YouTube video is titled Learn How To Map Trees Using Satellite Imagery.

“Abu Dhabi has planted areas totaling nearly 20 million trees that provide aesthetic and environmental benefits throughout the Emirate. These plantations require continuous irrigation with desalinated water at considerable expense. Very high resolution satellite imagery is a continuous, fast, low impact and repeatable resource that outweighs costly and time consuming field surveys. Watch this webinar recording to find out how Proteus, using DigitalGlobe imagery achieved extraordinary results regarding density, vegetation cover fraction, average tree crown size and health.”


DigitalGlobe LEAD Webinar: Satellite Habitat Mapping

Click here to watch the YouTube video

This YouTube video is titled Satellite Habitat Mapping.

“Effective management of the world’s coastal zone is becoming increasingly important as pressure from population expansion and natural resource exploitation grows. In early 2013, a consortium led by Proteus was awarded the contract to produce habitat maps for all of Abu Dhabi Emirate using Digital Globe WorldView-2 imagery. Digital Globe’s WorldView-2 satellite is un-rivalled in delivering high-resolution multispectral imagery using eight spectral sensors at 2-meter resolution. This case study presentation will focus on the methodologies that are being deployed and provide examples of the maps that have been produced so far.”


SEOS Project: Earth Observation Tutorials

Click here to access the website-based tutorials

The Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools (SEOS) Project is an initiative for using remote sensing in science education curricula in high schools funded under the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission (EC). The project is implemented by 11 partners from different European countries in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA).

A range of Internet-based eLearning tutorials have been developed relating to various topics in earth observation:

  1. A World of Images
  2. Introduction to Remote Sensing 2
  3. Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritages
  4. Coral Reefs
  5. Land Use and Land Use Change
  6. Remote Sensing and Geo-Information Technologies in Agriculture
  7. Natural Resources Management
  8. Ocean Currents
  9. Ocean Colour in the Coastal Zone
  10. Detection and Monitoring of Marine Pollution
  11. Understanding Spectra from the Earth
  12. Remote Sensing using Lasers
  13. 3D Models Based upon Stereoscopic Satellite Data
  14. Time Series Analysis
  15. Modelling of Environmental Processes
  16. Classification Algorithms and Methods
  17. Satellite Navigation with GPS

The updated list of available modules can be accessed via this link.


SAR Tutorials


Click here to access the article

Science News for Students: Introductory Article

This online article, titled Explainer: What are lidar, radar and sonar?, explains the basic principles behind these three technologies, which all rely on echoes to map the unseen.

It can be accessed here.



DLR: Online Courses in Radar Remote Sensing

Click here to access the list of courses

This comprehensive online course in Radar Remote Sensing, by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt or DLR), presents the curriculum in the field of Synthetic Aperture Radar.

It covers topics such as Mathematics, Time & Frequency, Filter & Aliasing, Radar Physics, Estimation Theory, Probability Theory, Detection, Parameter Estimation, Optimal Linear Estimation, Digital Image Processing, Speckle Filtering, Data Fusion, Change Detection…. as well as applications, such as Passive Microwaves, Polsar, Radargrammetry, Insar, Subsidence Monitoring, Crop Type Classification, Hydrosphere Applications, Soil Moisture Retrieval, Water Body Mapping, etc…

The entire list of courses can be found here.


CCMEO: Radar Polarimetry Tutorial

Click here to access the web-based tutorial

The Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (CCMEO) (formerly the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing) has developed several comprehensive sets of remote sensing training materials on a variety of topics including the fundamentals of remote sensing, radar remote sensing, polarimetry and satellite data reception. These materials are available in English and French.

Click on the image to access the web-based tutorial on Radar Polarimetry, which introduces the reader to the principles, technology and practical applications of radar polarimetry.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Applications of SAR Polarimetry – Agriculture, Coastal Zone, Forestry, Hydrology, Oceans and Sea Ice
  2. Basics of SAR Polarimetry
  3. Classification Algorithms
  4. Polarimetric Image Interpretation
  5. Polarimetric Interferometry
  6. Polarimetric Data Expressed in the Power Domain
  7. Polarimetric Parameters
  8. Polarization Signatures
  9. Polarization Synthesis


IGARSS 2007 Tutorial: Multichannel Radar Remote Sensing Imagery

Click here to download the PDF of the Tutorial

This tutorial by Carlos López-Martínez, titled Models and Information Formation in Multichannel Radar Remote Sensing Imagery, was presented at IGARSS 2007.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. One Dimensional SAR Systems (Synthetic Aperture Radar Principles, Scatterer Models, Wave Scattering Models, Interaction with Matter, SAR Models and Speckle Noise)
  3. Multidimensional SAR Systems
  4. Multidimensional SAR Models
  5. Multidimensional SAR Speckle Noise Models (Coherence Modelling and Estimation, Polarimetric Information Estimation, Multidimensional SAR Data Estimation, PolInSAR Data Estimation)

Click on the image to download the PDF.


IGARSS 2008 Tutorial: SAR Polarimetry

Click here to download the PDF of the Morning Session

This tutorial by Eric Pottier and Laurent Ferro-Famil, titled SAR Polarimetry: Basics, Processing Techniques and Applications, was presented at IGARSS 2008.

There are two files – one for the morning session and one for the afternoon session.

The morning tutorial covers the basics of SAR Polarimetry and looks at topics such as:

  1. Applications of Radar Polarimetry in remote sensing
  2. Polarimetric Airborne SAR Sensors
  3. Polarimetric Spaceborne SAR Sensors
  4. Pol-InSAR Optimisation

Click here to download the PDF of the Afternoon Session

The afternoon tutorial consists of three parts:

  1. Advanced Polarimetric SAR Data Processing Techniques
  2. Remote Sensing Applications of SAR Polarimetry
  3. Polarimetric SAR Interferometry, Principles and Applications

Please note that these are both quite large files, as they contain many images.


IGARSS 2004 Tutorial: Radar Interferometry

This multi-part tutorial by Paul Rosen, titled Principles and Theory of Radar Interferometry was presented at IGARSS 2004.

Section 1 -
Quick Review of Radar Imaging Fundamentals:

  1. Basic Principles of SAR
  2. Range and Azimuth Compression
  3. ScanSAR vs Strip Mode Processing
Section 2 -
Geometric Aspects of Interferometric Phase Measurement:

  1. Interferometric Phase for Topographic Mapping
  2. Interferometric Phase for Deformation Mapping
  3. Sensitivity of Topographic Phase Measurements
  4. Sensitivity of Deformation Phase Measurements
  5. Comparison of Various Interferometric Mapping Schemes
Section 3 -
Interferometric Correlation:

  1. Random and Deterministic Portions of the Interferometric Phase
  2. SNR and Interferometric Correlation
  3. Geometric Decorrelation and Range Spectral Shift
  4. Temporal Decorrelation
  5. Volumetric Decorrelation
  6. Other Error Sources
Section 4 -
Interferometric Processing:

  1. Processing Flow
  2. Interferogram Formation
  3. Image Co-registration
  4. Baseline Determination

You can download the various parts of the Tutorial Presentation by clicking on the images below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11


LIDAR Tutorials

IGARSS 2007 Tutorial: Introduction to LIDAR

Click here to download the Tutorial PDF

This tutorial by Francesc Rocadenbosch, titled Introduction to Lidar (laser radar) Remote Sensing Systems,was presented at IGARSS 2007.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Optical and Technological Considerations
  2. Elastic Lidar Systems
  3. Raman Systems
  4. Wind Lidar Systems
  5. Other Laser Radar Systems
  6. Future Trends


Lidar Introduction

LiDAR can be considered an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging. It is a remote sensing technology that’s used to measure distances, and it doesn’t act on its own. It actually — LIDAR typically includes three independently operating technologies. In this video Dewberry Director of Remote Sensing Amar Nayegandhi explains the science and technology behind Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) services.

US Forest Service – RSAC: Lidar Tutorials

Click here to access the website

The Remote Sensing Applications Centre (RSAC) of the US Forest Service is in Salt Lake City, Utah, co-located with the agency’s Geospatial Service and Technology Center. Guided by national steering committees and field sponsors, RSAC provides national assistance to agency field units in applying the most advanced geospatial technology toward improved monitoring and mapping of natural resources. RSAC’s principal goal is to develop and implement less costly ways for the Forest Service to obtain needed forest resource information.

RSAC has made available a series of tutorials on using Lidar with forestry applications:

  1. Lidar Introduction Tutorial (link)
  2. Lidar Fusion Tutorial (link)
  3. Forest Inventory Modeling (link)
  4. Advanced Lidar Processing (link)
  5. Introduction to Lidar Modelling with R (link)
  6. Lidar Hydro Tutorial (link)


Ohio URISA Lidar Workshop

Click here to download the PDF of the tutorial

This presentation by Dr Hongxing Liu, titled Introduction to LiDAR Remote Sensing, was given at the LiDAR Workshop of the Ohio Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) in 2010.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Basic components of LiDAR system
  2. LiDAR elevation data and intensity data
  3. Digital Surface Model, Canopy Height Model and bare earth DEM
  4. LiDAR data sources
  5. Different types of LiDAR systems
  6. LiDAR data format and data conversions
  7. Applications of LiDAR in hydrological and environmental studies


IITK Tutorial: Airborne Altimetric LiDAR

Click here to read the online Tutorial

Hosted on the website of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), this web-based tutorial titled Airborne Altimetric LiDAR: Principle, Data Collection, Processing and Applications, was prepared by Dr Bharat Lohani.

It covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Physical Principles of LiDAR
  3. LiDAR Sensor and Data Characteristics
  4. LiDAR Error Sources
  5. Application of Airborne Altimetric LiDAR
  6. Advantages of LiDAR Technology



Radiometry Tutorials


IGARSS 2006 Tutorial: Radiometry

Click here to download the PDF

This tutorial by Adriano Camps, titled Microwave Aperture Synthesis Radiometers for Earth Observation: Application to the SMOS Mission, was presented at IGARSS 2006.

It looks at the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Radiometry
  2. The MIRAS Concept
  3. MIRAS Instrument Performance
  4. MIRAS Instrument Calibration
  5. Image Reconstruction Algorithms
  6. Retrieval of Geophysical Parameters
  7. SEPS: the SMOS end-to-end Performance Simulator

You can download it by clicking on the image.


Australian Centre for Field Robotics: Tutorial on Radiometry

Click here to download the PDF

This tutorial by Graham Brooker for the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney is titled simply, Radiometers.

It looks at the following topics:

  1. Black Body Radiation
  2. Infrared Radiometers
  3. Microwave Radiometers
  4. Milimetre Wave Receivers and Radiometers

You can download it by clicking on the image.


Hyperspectral Tutorials


Microimages: Hyperspectral Imaging

Click here to download the PDF

This PDF booklet Introduction to Hyperspectral Imaging from Microimages looks at the following aspects:

The Imaging Spectrometer Spectral Reflectance
Mineral Spectra Plant Spectra
Spectral Libraries Plotting Spectra
Spatial Resolution and Mixed Spectra Radiance and Reflectance
Illumination Factors Atmospheric and Sensor Effects
Reflectance Conversion Strategies for Image Analysis
Match Each Image Spectrum Spectral Matching Methods
Linear Unmixing Defining Image Endmembers
Partial Unmixing


From GIS to Remote Sensing: Classification Tutorial

Click here to access the web-based Tutorial

This website-based tutorial, titled Supervised Classification of Hyperspectral Data is about the supervised classification of hyperspectral data using the  Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin for QGIS. In particular, it classifies a Hyperion image.

Hyperion is a NASA satellite launched in the frame of the EO-1 project. This hyperspectral satellite has hundreds of bands from the visible to the Short Wavelength Infrared, allowing for the identification of the spectral signatures of materials. Images have 30m resolution pixels (the same as Landsat) and cover a land area of 7.5 km by 100 km.

The tutorial is structured as follows:

  1. Definition of the input
  2. Creation of the ROIs
  3. Classification of the image


Exelis: Hyperspectral Imaging

Click here to download the PDF

Exelis Inc. is a global aerospace, defense, information and services company. It has made available this PDF presentation, titled Introduction to Hyperspectral Imaging Technology.

The presentation is structured according to the following aspects:

  1. Introduction
  2. Electromagnetic Radiation
  3. Spectroscopy
  4. Remote Sensing
  5. Hyperspectral Imagery
  6. High Resolution Imagery
  7. Viewing a Target
  8. Current Applications of Hyperspectral Imagery
  9. Summary


ATI: Hyperspectral Tutorials

Click here to access the website

A series of essays and tutorials by Dr Richard Gomez on a variety of topics relating to Hyperspectral and Multispectral Imaging are available on this website by the Applied Technology Institute (ATI). Dr Gomez is a Research Professor at George Mason University (GMU) and Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Earth Observing and Space Research (CEOSR). He is internationally recognized as a leader and expert in the field of spectral remote sensing (multispectral, hyperspectral and ultraspectral) and has published extensively in scientific journals.

This is a list of the current documents available:

  1. Hyperspectral Imaging For Transportation Analysis
  2. Spectral Library Issues In Hyperspectral Imaging Applications
  3. Wavelet-based Hperspectral and Multispectral Image Fusion
  4. Fast Hyperspectral Data Processing Methods
  5. Suitability Of Spectral Remote Sensing For Coral Reef Surveying
  6. Hyperspectral Imaging Applied To Medical Diagnoses And Food Safety
  7. On-board Processing For Spectral Remote Sensing
  8. Preliminary Investigation Of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
  9. Web-based Spectral Visualization And Interpreation

You can click on the hyperlinked titles to download the PDF documents.


Multispectral Tutorials


ISPRS: Tutorials

Click here to access the website

These tutorials on the topic of Information extraction from high resolution optical satellite sensors were presented at the 2008 conference in Beijing of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS).

  1. Information extraction from high resolution optical satellite sensors – Introduction (Emmanuel Baltsavias) (link)
  2. Image quality, radiometric analysis, preprocessing (Emmanuel Baltsavias) (link)
  3. Geometric Sensor Models, Sensor Orientation (Karsten Jacobsen) (link)
  4. Automated DSM generation (Karsten Jacobsen) (link)
  5. Orthoimage generation (Emmanuel Baltsavias) (link)
  6. Object extraction (mainly roads and buildings) (Emmanuel Baltsavias) (link)
  7. Land use and land cover mapping (David Holland) (link)
  8. Topographic mapping, change detection and map update (David Holland) (link)
  9. Conclusions and outlook (Karsten Jacobsen) (link)

You can click on the links to download the tutorials in PDF format.


CRISP: Principles of Remote Sensing

Click here to access the web-based tutorial

This tutorial on the Interpreting Optical Remote Sensing Images was produced by the Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) at the National University of Singapore.

Topics covered are:

  1. Panchromatic Images
  2. Multispectral Images
  3. Colour Composite Images
  4. True Colour, False Colour & Natural Colour
  5. Vegetation Indices
  6. Textural Information
  7. Geometric and Contexture Information


Processing Techniques

Data Fusion Tutorial (In Spanish)
This tutorial is a broad introduction to the topic of Data Fusion, with a few examples from from Paolo Gamba’s experience in urban Remote Sensing. In other words, it explains what “data fusion” is and what levels of data fusion can be applied to remotely sensed data in a rather introductory but comprehensive way. After providing the theoretical principles of data fusion, for each level the tutorial provides a detailed analysis of several real world examples of applications.

“Signal and Image Processing for Remote Sensing,” C.H. Chen (IGARSS 2008)
Part 1,
Part 2,
Part 3,
Part 4.

A Quick Guide to Open Source Geospatial Tools
A quick search of the web garners a massive list of tools that are freely available to you for a wide array of tasks related to geospatial applications. How do you get started? This article introduces a handful of the applications that are available, grouped according to task. These concepts and applications are discussed further in his book Web Mapping Illustrated.

GIS Basics from Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access

Many GIS tutorials from GISTutor.com