15 June 2007

MTPE Day 1

Day 1 is over. In the past. I now know a little about remote sensing. What is remote sensing? Well I am glad you asked. It is simply viewing objects with some sort of device that is not in close proximity to the object. It primarily has to do with satellites and aerial photography. It is super interesting!

One of the issues with remote sensing we focused on was why scientists use false color images. Scientists use false color images so that things like green-growing vegetation will show up better. Vegetation of this nature is usually shown in red to contrast with the surrounding area better than different shades of green would.

Another issue we discussed was the distance away you are from an object. It's kind of like the "goldilocks principle" we talk discuss when referring to our planet and why there is life on it. We are just the right distance away, at just the right speed, etc. In remote sensing, you need to be just the right distance away, at the right time of day (lighting), etc. Depending on your usage, you may need a close up view or a larger field of view. You might want your picture taken at noon with no shadows (agriculture) or you might prefer that your image be done earlier in the morning so that you can have shadows and contrast. While we were looking at images, my astronomy knowledge came in handy in that we had to look at the picture and decide what time of day (length of shadows) and what time of year (direction of shadows) were represented in the image. My two elementary teachers at my table were really glad they were with me since I was able to draw the same conclusions as the presenter, thereby making us look extremely intelligent! :)

We also briefly covered pixels. What they are, what the do, how you can see color in your television, and why you want the highest number of pixels in your new HD television and your digital camera. Much of this I knew, but I didn't really know how to incorporate it into the curriculum. Now I do!

I came away with some great posters and pictures to put up in my classroom. One is a nighttime view of the Earth. It is going to be laminated and find a place of prominence near my desk. Awesome!

For more details on Remote Sensing, check out this website.

Preview of Day 2: trip to the National Geological Service, choice of a place in Oklahoma to have a map printed, and I can't remember what else. Check back later for more details.

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