Fall 2023 - GEOG 253 D100

Introduction to Remote Sensing (3)

Class Number: 3621

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2023
    Thu, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Bing Lu
    Office: RCB 6139
    Office Hours: TBA



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 in the remote sensing stream of courses offered by the Department of Geography. The upper-level course is GEOG 353 - Advanced Remote Sensing, and the final course is GEOG 453 - Theoretical and Applied Remote Sensing. This introductory course emphasizes the principles of remote sensing and the uses of remote sensing data for monitoring land resources and environmental features. Topics covered include surface-energy interactions, remote sensing systems, different types of remote sensors, image interpretation, and the applications of remote sensing for examining vegetation, water, soil, and urban features. GEOG 253 provides the necessary background for GEOG 353, which focuses on advanced image analysis, and for GEOG 453, which involves completing research projects.

The course will consist of lectures covering foundational concepts and practical lab sessions where students will work on the interpretation of remote sensing images. Each week, there will be one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour lab tutorial. Upon completion of this course, students will have a foundational knowledge of remote sensing and a good understanding of its applications in different environments.

Note: There will be no labs in the first week of class


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

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


  • Assignments 40%
  • Midterm Test 25%
  • Final Examination 35%



Floyd F. Sabins, Jr.; James M. Ellis. 2020. Remote Sensing: Principles, Interpretation, and Applications. 4th Edition. Waveland Press. ISBN: 9781478637103 (Available on VitalSource).


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.