Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
I still remember my very first day to my college because after a long day at college, going back to my PG was so confusing that I entered in many unknown lanes of Kamla Nagar. Lost in a new city, my rescuer was not a man-in-cape but an application in my cell phone. I remember tracing my steps back to my new residence because of a GIS locator application, which I installed a few days back. It pinpointed my location by tracing it back from my timeline, thus guiding me all the way around. Being a geography student I thus, figured that the technology of GIS and Remote Sensing was not limited to my course syllabus and college books but were practically much more than that. Introduction of a technology that was earlier unfamiliar to this world Remote Sensing made a significant change in the past few years.
The technology of remote sensing was earlier known as aerial photography that became popular post-WWII. The term ‘remote sensing’ was initially introduced in 1960. Since the 1960s, there has been a wide range of sensors and other instruments designed to enhance the use of remote sensing. Today, there are many tools that are available for the use of remote sensing in different studies like groundwater exploration, flood mapping, planning and delineation and so on.
This essay will deal with different uses of remote sensing in everyday life. From the most important purposeful data that a remote sensing satellite provides to the everyday entertainment purposes, the list goes on. So, let us discuss in detail the everyday use of remote sensing. The first and foremost operation of remote sensing that saves thousands of lives every day is in the field of Disaster Management. Disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes have a huge impact on life and property and cost billion dollars damage every year. Here comes the role of our scientists and remote sensing satellites that study these weather disturbances and give ample time for people to prepare beforehand. Similarly, many land storms are studied using this technology and help in becoming more resilient to natural disasters. Remote sensing also helps to map disaster-affected regions. With the aerial technology combined the government and rescuers can provide instant aid based on the range of most affected regions to the least affected regions.
Remote sensing satellites can help in the field of environment as well. They can take aerial pictures of soil and can determine the soil moisture content, thereby helping to fix the problems like desertification, soil salinity, etc. They also play an important role in identifying forest lands and tallying the forest resources. It is due to this latest technology of remote sensing, that we found that the evergreen forests are shrinking and their capacity as ‘carbon sinks’ is being hampered. Remote sensing helps to mark the changes that are appearing on daily basis. The problem of climate change is also being assessed using remote sensing satellites where the rise in sea levels is monitored. From the reduction in natural vegetation to the drying of a river, everything is marked and analysed using remote sensing. From the viewpoint of resource geography, this technology is playing a vital role in studying topography and also in studying the land-use/land cover. The latest remark of remote sensing was the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ that helped oceanographers to study the large patch of waste flowing into the ocean and causing damage to marine life. Now, the oceanographers and environmentalists can keep an eye on the floating patch and are working to reduce the level of waste thrown in oceans by continuously assessing the aerial images over the Pacific Ocean.
Remote sensing has been very useful for man to explore the potentially available resources. These resources that are otherwise inaccessible are discovered due to multiple satellite images. These could be oil and natural gas reserves that could be situated far away from land and are detected in the satellite images. The technology of remote sensing has also helped in combating illegal use of resources. It has tracked down unwarranted and unlicensed cutting of evergreen forests or mining of prohibited land and mines. Thus, it has also helped to curb down the illegal activities. Thus, when it comes to marking the changes man-made or natural, the technology of remote sensing has proven to be very efficient and helpful.
Remote sensing isn’t just significant in the above fields but also has been very useful in the field of tourism information. Many satellites track the moment of the migratory birds as well as migrations like wildebeests to areas where they go for breeding, collecting food, etc. As forests are decreasing at a rapid rate this technology comes in handy for not only environmentalists but also the nature enthusiasts. Remote sensing applications in biodiversity are beginning to play a major role in keeping a track on changing biodiversity. With a better resolution of sensors that are being used the growth and extinction of different species can be tracked down easily. Similarly, hydrologists can study the change of water bodies and the way it is affecting the breeding of marine animals. Hence, being very useful for the tourists, environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts, for people who are sports fanatic, remote sensing here too might play an important role for them, as big outdoor matches can be planned according to the game-forecast.
Last, but not the least remote sensing is being used by urban planners across the globe and this use is directly linked to our everyday life. It is the government that is planning a particular town or city which is helping us in tackling the problem of everyday life. For instance, according to the data the Richland country has used advanced Remote Sensing techniques coupled with GIS to create 3D models of the region. They are also using the same technique to monitor the problem of parking by introducing multi-level parking systems and creating various models.
Thus, to conclude Remote Sensing has been playing a vital role in day-to-day life. It is a progressively advancing field and is getting better with each passing day. Today, many researchers are developing a variety of fields to make remote sensing more accessible and reachable to the masses. Because of its versatility, it can be easily manipulated and interpreted by commons too. The use of remote sensing with coming time and its applicability in every field we think of will help man and technology to work simultaneously to develop a better technological world with sustainable development and optimum use of resources.