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GIS3406 Remote Sensing and Image Processing

Semester 2, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Surveying & Spatial Science
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Kithsiri Perera
Moderator: Armando Apan


Remote sensing is an important technology for land resource mapping, monitoring and modelling. Remotely sensed images provide an invaluable source of current and archival information about the geographical distribution of natural and man-made features. The use of digital images in various applications is aiding planners and decision-makers at various project stages and operational scales. It is essential and advantageous for GIS, surveying, and other professionals to be familiar with the concepts, techniques, and applications, involved in the digital processing of remotely sensed images.


This course is designed to provide students with the basic and intermediate knowledge and skills in the digital processing of remotely sensed images. Topics include: basic principles of remote sensing; image processing systems; pre-processing of remotely-sensed data; image enhancement techniques; image transformation and filtering techniques; unsupervised classification; supervised classification; post classification and accuracy assessment including field investigations; integration with GIS; and applications and case studies. Various imagery products will be studied, such as panchromatic, multispectral and hyperspectral data. Image processing software will be used to demonstrate and reinforce the concepts and principles involved.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. evaluate the importance and role of remote sensing and digital image processing in land resource mapping, monitoring and modelling;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the concepts and techniques involved in digital image processing of remotely sensed data;
  3. choose and apply appropriate image processing technique(s) for a specific requirement;
  4. evaluate the accuracy of image classification output;
  5. compare with the traditional and recent applications of image processing techniques;
  6. use image processing software to analyse temporal, spectral and spatial differences.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Basic principles of remote sensing 12.00
2. Remote sensing platforms and sensors 12.00
3. Image processing systems 8.00
4. Pre-processing of remotely sensed data 12.00
5. Image enhancement, transformation and filtering techniques 16.00
6. Image classification 20.00
7. Advanced topics 10.00
8. Integration with GIS 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Campbell, JB & Wynne, RH 2011, Introduction to Remote Sensing, 5th edn, The Guilford Press, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Jensen J R 2007, Remote Sensing of the Environment An Earth Resource Perspective, 2nd edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Lein, JK 2012, Environmental sensing: analytical techniques for Earth observation, Springer, New York.
  • Lillesand, T T 2004, Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation, 5th edn, Wiley, New York.
  • Mather P M 2004, Computer Processing of Remotely-Sensed Images. An Introduction, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, England.
  • Mather, PM & Koch M 2011, Computer processing of remotely-sensed images: an introduction, 4th edn, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK.
  • Richards, JA 2005, Remote sensing digital image analysis: an introduction, 4th edn, Springer, Berlin.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 51.00
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 50.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 28 Aug 2013
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 09 Oct 2013
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 600 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks /grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the dispatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.