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GIS Image Analysis in ArcGIS Pro

University of Alaska Fairbanks via edX


Image analysis is the extraction of meaningful information from an image to accomplish a simple task like understanding the landscape or to solve a complex problem like face recognition.

This course is focused on image analysis and applications in the area of natural resource management, geography, geology, and environmental studies. Participants will use a variety of remotely sensed data including high resolution aerial photo, Landsat and Terra MODIS satellite data to solve specific problems.

Learners in this course will learn fundamentals of remote sensing, image processing and image analysis. Learn image analysis in Esri ArcGIS Pro through hands-on exercises including image display, image interpretation, change detection using spectral indices, supervised and unsupervised image classification for land cover mapping, and effect of arctic warming on vegetation productivity.

The course features lessons covering GIS image analysis applications on real-world problems.

Verified track learners will receive an ArcGIS Pro license in addition to unlimited course access and a verified certificate.


Week 1: Introduction to Remote Sensing and Image Analysis

  • Remote sensing and the evolution of remote sensing
  • Electromagnetic radiation and atmospheric windows
  • Remote sensing processes and types
  • Images and image resolutions
  • Geographic and projected coordinate systems
  • Remote sensing: advantages and challenges

Week 2: Introduction to ArcGIS Pro, Spectral Indices and Image Interpretation

  • Introduction to ArcGIS Pro, Geoprocessing tools, and ArcGIS best practices
  • Fundamentals of image interpretation and feature visualization
  • Spectral indices and their applications:
  • NDVI (for vegetation health)
  • Band ratio (for cloud mask)
  • NBR (for mapping wildfire burn scars)
  • NDWI (for mapping surface water)

Week 3: Image Classification

  • Introduction to image classification
  • Image classifiers (supervised vs unsupervised)
  • Land cover mapping in ArcGIS Pro
  • Fieldwork for image classification accuracy assessment

Week 4: Image Analysis Applications

  • Search and download image data from the USGS EarthExplorer site
  • Lake change analysis using Landsat data
  • Arctic greening: effect of arctic warming on vegetation productivity

Taught by

Santosh Panda, Anushree Badola and Chris Smith

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