These resources use real satellite data from different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to provide an introduction to scientific image processing techniques. They link to elements of GCSE science specifications as well as supporting aspects of the curriculum for mathematics computing and geography.

The instructions for the activities are based on a public domain Java-based image processing programme called ImageJ, but other programs may also be suitable for one or both of the main activities: Seeing temperatures is based around using a lookup table to colour a greyscale image, and Building images requires a program which allows colour.

They have been produced by the National Centre for Earth Observation.

Resources

Building Images

In this activity, students create colour images from satellite data. This allows them to study how different surfaces reflect different wavelengths of light, how coloured images are created using an RGB model, and how band combinations can be chosen to examine a particular landscape effectively.

Seeing Temperatures

This activity allows students to investigate how images are produced from data streams by using first a spreadsheet and then an image-processing program. They then go on to see how the usefulness of such a monochromatic image may be enhanced by using lookup tables and calibration. The materials used focus on the...

What Can We See From Space?

This short activity introduces students to the ideas of the footprint and resolution of an image, asking them to choose and use appropriate methods to calculate how these quantities would change as they moved a camera to a series of vantage points above the surface of the Earth

Where Would You Photograph? (14-16)

In this activity students take on the role of Earth observation scientists submitting a request for an image they would like for their research. This gives them the opportunity to consider the possibilities of pictures taken from orbit (and the limitations) and to write scientifically for a specific audience. It...

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