Introduction to Remote Sensing

Sixth Edition

James B. Campbell, Randolph H. Wynne, and Valerie A. Thomas

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
August 23, 2022
ISBN 9781462549405
Price: $95.00
634 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
June 7, 2022
Price: $95.00
634 Pages
print + e-book
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634 Pages
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Now in full color, the sixth edition of this leading text features new chapters on remote sensing platforms (including the latest satellite and unmanned aerial systems), agriculture (including agricultural analysis via satellite imagery), and forestry (including fuel type mapping and fire monitoring). The book has introduced tens of thousands of students to the fundamentals of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting remotely sensed images. It presents cutting-edge tools and practical applications to land and water use analysis, natural resource management, climate change adaptation, and more. Each concise chapter is designed as an independent unit that instructors can use in any sequence. Pedagogical features include over 400 figures, chapter-opening lists of topics, case studies, end-of-chapter review questions, and links to recommended online videos and tutorials.

New to This Edition

“An outstanding guide….This book is an excellent text for an introductory remote sensing course. It is also an appropriate addition to anyone's library who is trying hard to keep up with all the changes in the remote sensing technology. This book has a valued place on my bookshelf.”

Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing (on the fifth edition)

“The text provides comprehensive coverage of principal topics and serves as a framework for organizing the vast amount of remote sensing information available on the web. Featuring case studies and review questions, the book’s chapters are carefully designed as independent units that instructors can select from as needed for their courses.”

Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin (on the fifth edition)

“This outstanding text provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of a rapidly developing, interdisciplinary field. The book has helped prepare a generation of remote sensing scientists, and remains relevant and important today. The sixth edition's discussions of unmanned aerial systems and small satellites are timely; this edition also has a greater emphasis on digital imagery and its processing. Suitable for undergraduate and graduate students, the text contains sufficient content for one or more remote sensing courses. It has a focus on land remote sensing and develops natural, urban, ecological, hydrological, and other land-cover/land-use applications very well.”

—J. B. Sharma, PhD, Professor Emeritus and Eminent Scholar, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Georgia

“I have found prior editions to cover all the topics I want my students to learn in Introductory Remote Sensing. In the sixth edition, the updated chapter on land observation satellites provides a nice overview of optical systems currently in operation, as well as history of the longer programs. The section on satellite systems in Chapter 3 provides some good background on the parts of satellites and their characteristics like orbit, footprints, and constellations. Other updates include a shorter chapter on the history of remote sensing, a new chapter on forestry, and some reorganization of the chapters. I look forward to adopting the sixth edition!”

—Mary C. Henry, PhD, Department of Geography, Miami University

Introduction to Remote Sensing has an excellent reputation as one of the preeminent textbooks for undergraduate courses in remote sensing and image processing. As a university instructor, I first used this text in 1996. Twenty-five years later, the sixth edition has evolved to keep pace with a highly technical discipline. The book captures how the field has changed in terms of remote sensing technologies, image processing techniques, and software packages. We are entering an era where new sensing technologies and publicly available high-resolution satellite data are readily accessible and available for short- and long-term studies; the opportunities provided by these changes are described in detail in the sixth edition. I thank the authors for their diligence in providing up-to-date information in this dynamic area. Congratulations!”

—Paul Treitz, PhD, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

“The sixth edition of this classic text covers the fundamental principles of remote sensing as well as applications. A particular strength of the text is its coverage of the historical development of the field, from the first aerial photographs and Landsat satellites to today's small satellites, unmanned aircraft, and mobile sensors. The development of new sensor technologies, such as different types of lidar, is well described. Each chapter ends with lists of learning resources on the Internet, review questions, and references. I recommend this sixth edition as both a core text for undergraduate and graduate courses and a useful reference for remote sensing professionals.”

—Håkan Olsson, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Forest Remote Sensing, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Table of Contents

I. Foundations

1. Introducing Remote Sensing Basics

2. Electromagnetic Radiation

3. Remote Sensing Platforms

II. Image Acquisition

4. Digital Mapping Cameras

5. Digital Imagery

6. Image Interpretation

7. Land Observation Satellites

8. Active Microwave

9. Lidar

10. Thermal Imagery

III. Analysis

11. Statistics and Preprocessing

12. Image Classification

13. Accuracy Assessment

14. Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

15. Change Detection

IV. Applications

16. Plant Science Fundamentals

17. Agricultural Remote Sensing

18. Forestry

19. Earth Sciences

20. Coastal Processes and Landforms

21. Land Use and Land Cover


About the Authors

James B. Campbell, PhD, is Professor of Geography at Virginia Tech, where he teaches remote sensing, quantitative methods, and geomorphology. He has worked closely with students and faculty in forestry, geology, agronomy, and environmental sciences. The author of numerous technical articles and several books, Dr. Campbell has received the Outstanding Service Award and the Fellow Award from the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, as well as the Outstanding Service Medal from the Remote Sensing Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. In 2020, Dr. Campbell received the AmericaView Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as a principal investigator for the VirginiaView consortium and as a member and chair of the AmericaView Board of Directors.

Randolph H. Wynne, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. He also serves as Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Remote Sensing. He teaches courses focused on the environmental and natural resources applications of remote sensing at the senior and graduate levels. Dr. Wynne's research interests are in the applications of remote sensing to forestry, natural resource management, ecosystem ecology, and earth system science. He is a recipient of the Award in Forest Science from the Society of American Foresters. Dr. Wynne is Coeditor of the journal Science of Remote Sensing and Associate Editor of Remote Sensing of Environment.

Valerie A. Thomas, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. She also serves as Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Analytics and Remote Sensing within the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Dr. Thomas teaches remote sensing courses in forest lidar applications and hyperspectral applications for natural resources. She also teaches about the linkages between forests, society, and climate. Dr. Thomas's research related to remote sensing of forest cover, function, and change has been funded through federal and state agencies and by industry.


Students in a variety of disciplines, including geography, forestry, hydrology, agricultural sciences, and planning; agriculture, wetland, and forestry professionals; and geographers, urban planners, and transportation engineers.

Course Use

Serves as a primary text in undergraduate- and graduate-level remote sensing courses.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Fifth Edition, © 2011
ISBN: 9781609181765

Fourth Edition, © 2007
ISBN: 9781606230749

Third Edition, © 2002
ISBN: 9781572306400

Second Edition, © 1996
ISBN: 9781572300415

First Edition, © 1987
ISBN: 9780898627763
New to this edition: