Spring 2022 - GEOG 253 D100

Introduction to Remote Sensing (3)

Class Number: 4748

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2022
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Eva Snirer
    Office Hours: Virtual Office Hours: via Zoom Tuesday 16:00-17:00 Pacific or by appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111.



An introduction to the theories and practices of remote sensing, including sensors and platforms, image collection, preliminary image analysis and interpretation, and a review of remote sensing applications in environmental monitoring and resource management. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.



GEOG 253 is the introductory-level course of the remote sensing stream of courses offered by the Department of Geography: along with the upper-level intermediate course GEOG 353 - Advanced Remote Sensing followed by the advanced-level course - GEOG 453 - Theoretical and Applied Remote Sensing.

This class is a conceptual overview of remote sensing and the underlying physical principles. It covers ground-based, aerial and satellite systems, and the electromagnetic spectrum, from visible to microwave. Emphasis will be placed on applications of remotely sensed data in geography including land cover change and ecological processes with examples from other fields.  GEOG 253 provides necessary background for later courses. Upon completion of this course, students will have the foundational knowledge of remote sensing and understand applications of remote sensing in different environments.

One 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour lab tutorial will be delivered each week. Lectures and lab tutorials will be delivered asynchronously each week. The Midterm and Final exam are fully remote and asynchronous. There is no lab in Week 1.

Spring 2022 courses will be delivered in person based on information available at the time of publishing the outline; please note the delivery mode is subject to change following Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and/or SFU recommendations and orders.



After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamental principles of electromagnetic radiation and remote sensing processes
  • Define and appropriately use basic concepts related to remote sensing
  • Investigate functions and characteristics of different remote sensing systems
  • Discuss the application of remote sensing to real-world environmental issues
  • Use the image processing software to implement basic analysis with remote sensing images


  • Participation 10%
  • Lab Assignments 50%
  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 20%



A computer and reliable internet will be needed for attending lectures/labs remotely (e.g., via Zoom) and accessing Canvas for teaching materials. The students will also need to use remote sensing software to process images and finish assignments. The lab software can be accessed remotely or possibly installed on personal computers. 


There is no mandatory textbook for this course

ALL required readings throughout the term will be presented in the lectures and posted on Canvas

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.