Fifty years of earth-observation satellites

Andrew J. Tatem, Scott J. Goetz, Simon I. Hay

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

70 Scopus citations


Countless advances on space remote sensing has provided useful information toward understanding different Earth-system processes. Satellite imagery provided the first large-scale maps of weather patterns, vegetation health, atmospheric pollutants, soil moisture and rock types, among others. Satellite-derived cartography has also helped to map species distributions and disease risks. With the increase number of earth-observation satellites and the availability of imagery, data costs will significantly decrease. As such satellite remote sensing is likely to continue to grow as an operational tool for mapping, monitoring, and managing the Earth, as a profit-making entity and as a primary data source for Earth-system science. Therefore, multinational cooperation is needed to maintain a consistent supply of global data and to ensure continuous measurements, stunning images and deeper understanding of the Earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
Specialist publicationAmerican Scientist
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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