This blog contains tips and tutorials on the tools and techniques we use as part of our research, which focus on remote sensing of vegetation. Many of the tools we use day to day we’ve developed ourselves (see software page) or have been developed by our collaborators (e.g., RIOS, TuiView) so a lot of posts will be about these. As a lot of time in remote sensing research is spent on data preparation tasks we’ll also include some useful bits of general computing we use, generally for UNIX-like systems such as Linux and OS X.

If you have questions about any of the posts, we have a google-groups mailing list: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/rsgislib-support (note you need to be a member to post).

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Unless otherwise stated, all content on spectraldifferences is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(This means it is OK to copy and past original or modified posts to use as part of training notes or your own website for any purpose, including commercially, as long as you attribute spectraldifferences / the post author.)

All views expressed are the authors own.

The header image is a colour composite of JERS-1 and PALSAR SAR data. Copyright JAXA.


Dan Clewley works as an Earth Observation Research Software Engineer in the Centre for Geospatial Applications, part of the large remote sensing group at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). He manages the NERC Earth Observation Data Acquisition and Analysis Service (NEODAAS). Dan’s work focuses on software and systems for processing Earth Observation data and helping others to utilise Earth Observation in their research.

Pete Bunting is a reader and director of the Earth Observation and Ecosystem Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth University.  Pete has started a number of open source projects including RSGISLib and SPDLib and introduced the KEA file format. A more detailed biography, with a list of publications, is available here.

Nathan Thomas is a UMD Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) PostDoc positioned at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Nathan’s research is focused primarily around land cover mapping and characterizing the above ground structure of vegetation, particularly mangrove forests. Through this he uses python to pull, preprocess, calibrate, analyze and display remote sensing info. Some of this code is distributed through his bitbucket: https://bitbucket.org/nathanmthomas/bucket-of-rs-and-gis-scripts/src/master/