Module M11 - Participatory Mapping using Remote Sensing Images

Unit M11U04 - Using Remote Sensing Images


The purpose of the participatory mapping initiative influences which type of remote sensing image is needed. The choice is related to the amount of detail required and the desired scale. When using aerial photographs or “true colour” images, not much familiarisation is needed. If false or pseudo colour images are used, it is important to know what the colours represent. Mapping can be done directly on the image or on transparent overlays.

This Unit deals with remote sensing imagery, and it focuses on mapping with false colour composites and larger scale images. The usefulness of different false colour and true colour images is explained. Also, practical tips are provided on how to do participatory mapping using satellite images and large-scale aerial photographs.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • clarify the purpose and method for using remote sensing images;
  • decide which satellite image is suitable for which purpose;
  • discuss criteria for familiarisation when using remote sensing images;
  • describe advantages and disadvantages for drawing directly on images or using overlays;
  • recommend appropriate scales for different uses of remote sensing images;
  • discuss the relevance of local spatial knowledge.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. The uses of remote sensing images, including the topics of purpose and method, which satellite image to use for which purpose, familiarisation with imagery, drawing directly on images or using overlays, scale issues and local spatial knowledge (PPT No.1 with Q&A sessions) (60 min)

Components of the Unit

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)



60 min

Equipment needed

Computer, digital projector

Additional downloads