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Manuel Mason
Purchasing Coordinator
Asked a question 2 years ago

What are the advantages and disadvantages of remote sensing?

what are the advantages and disadvantages of remote sensing?

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Lillian Holmes
Director of Public Works
What are the advantages and disadvantages of remote sensing?

Remote Sensing:

I am discussing various advantages and disadvantages of Remote sensing. Advantages of Remote sensing:

  • A larger area can be sensed remotely in a very easy way and the whole data can be easily processed and analysed fast by using the computer and that data is utilised for various purposes.
  • Data Collection is really very easy over a variety of scales and solutions
  • Remote Sensing can allow repetitive coverage which generally comes manually when collecting data on dynamic themes like water and Agriculture field
  • Remote Sensing can allow covering a very large area.

Disadvantages of Remote sensing:

  • Remote Sensing requires one special type of training for analysing the images
  • The biggest disadvantage is its cost. It is one of the expensive methods of analysis and hence it is not used to analyse the small area
  • Again it is one of the expensive methods to analyse repetitive photographs
  • Radar is one of the powerful active Remote Sensing System but it affects the phenomenon being investigated
  • Actually whatever the information provided by the Remote Sensing data may or may not be complete and it’s temporary.


Advantages of remote sensing:-

1. Large area coverage: Remote sensing allows coverage of very large areas which enables regional surveys on a variety of themes and identification of extremely large features.
2. Remote sensing allows repetitive coverage which comes in handy when collecting data on dynamic themes such as water, agricultural fields and so on.
3. Remote sensing allows for easy collection of data over a variety of scales and resolutions.
4. A single image captured through remote sensing can be analyzed and interpreted for use in various applications and purposes. There is no limitation on the extent of information that can be gathered from a single remotely sensed image.
5. Remotely sensed data can easily be processed and analyzed fast using a computer and the data utilized for various purposes.
6. Remote sensing is unobstructive especially if the sensor is passively recording the electromagnetic energy reflected from or emitted by the phenomena of interest. This means that passive remote sensing does not disturb the object or the area of interest.
7. Data collected through remote sensing is analyzed at the laboratory which minimizes the work that needs to be done on the field.
8. Remote sensing allows for map revision at a small to medium scale which makes it a bit cheaper and faster.
9. Color composite can be obtained or produced from three separate band images which ensure the details of the area are far much more defined than when only a single band image or aerial photograph is being reproduced.
10. It is easier to locate floods or forest fire that has spread over a large region which makes it easier to plan a rescue mission easily and fast.
11. Remote sensing is a relatively cheap and constructive method reconstructing a base map in the absence of detailed land survey methods.

Disadvantages of remote sensing :-

1. Remote sensing is a fairly expensive method of analysis especially when measuring or analyzing smaller areas.
2. Remote sensing requires a special kind of training to analyze the images. It is therefore expensive in the long run to use remote sensing technology since extra training must be accorded to the users of the technology.
3. It is expensive to analyze repetitive photographs if there is need to analyze different aspects of the photography features.
4. It is humans who select what sensor needs to be used to collect the data, specify the resolution of the data and calibration of the sensor, select the platform that will carry the sensor and determine when the data will be collected. Because of this, it is easier to introduce human error in this kind of analysis.
5. Powerful active remote sensing systems such as radars that emit their own electromagnetic radiation can be intrusive and affect the phenomenon being investigated.
6. The instruments used in remote sensing may sometimes be un-calibrated which may lead to un-calibrated remote sensing data.
7. Sometimes different phenomena being analyzed may look the same during measurement which may lead to classification error.
8. The image being analyzed may sometimes be interfered by other phenomena that are not being measured and this should also be accounted for during analysis.
9. Remote sensing technology is sometimes oversold to the point where it feels like it is a panacea that will provide all the solution and information for conducting physical, biological or scientific research.
10. The information provided by remote sensing data may not be complete and may be temporary.
11. Sometimes large scale engineering maps cannot be prepared from satellite data which makes remote sensing data collection incomplete.

Flenn Hale
Construction Manager
Hand or ground

·      Can be used to identify the reflectance characteristics of an individual leaf, plant, or area.


·      Flexibility available

·      Useful for real-time spraying application

·     Collect the reflectance characteristics from a single pt, not creating inage.

·      Flexible availability


·      Relatively low cost

·      Very high spatial resolution

·      Changeable sensors

·     Relatively unstable platform can create blurred images


·     Geographic distortion

·     May require certification

·     May be limited in ht above ground

·     Processing the data into field  images may be prone to error.


·      Relatively flexible availability


·      Relatively high spatial resolution

·      Changeable sensors

·       High cost


·       Availability depends on weather conditions


·       Some free images


·       Clear & stable images

·       Large area within each image

·       Good historical data

·      High cost for high spatial resolution images


·      Clouds may hide ground features

·      Fixed schedule

·      Data may not be collected at critical times

·      May need to sort through many images to obtain useful imfo.

Remote Sensing

Remote that means something which is not exactly in contact or in physical contact something which is far away. The far away could be something which is slightly away or even very far away & sensing the second word sensing means getting information getting data, getting any input the input could be something like temperature, pressure, a photograph.


Advantages of remote sensingLimitations of remote sensing
Provides data for larger areaThe interpretation of imagery reqs a certain skill level.
Provide data of very remote & inaccessible regionsNeeds cross verification with ground (field) survey data.

Able to obtain imagery of any area over a continuous period of time


o   Possible to monitor any anthropogenic or natural changes in the landscape

Data from multiple sources may create confusion.
Relatively cheap compared to employing a team of surveyorsObjects can be misclassified or confused
Easy & quick collection of data.Distortions may occur in an image due to the relative motion of sensor & source.
Rapid production of maps for interpretation