PhD In Remote Sensing And GIS In USA

Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Smile Ese

PhD in remote sensing and GIS in USA. The PhD program in our department covers a wide range of subjects and draws on expertise from many academic and research areas including biology, geology, meteorology, physics, computer science, electrical engineering, mathematics and statistics. These advantages provide a unique opportunity for students to develop their own expertise through systematic training in state-of-the-art methodologies that they can apply to industrial problems while simultaneously learning about basic science.

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Remote Sensing Overview

Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object and thus is in contrast to on-site observation. The term is applied especially to acquiring information about the Earth. Remote sensing is used in numerous fields, including geography, land surveying and most Earth science disciplines (for example, hydrology, ecology, meteorology, oceanography, glaciology, geology); it also has military, intelligence, commercial, economic, planning, and humanitarian applications, among others.

In current usage, the term “remote sensing” generally refers to the use of satellite or aircraft-based sensor technologies to detect and classify objects on Earth. It includes the surface and the atmosphere and oceans, based on propagated signals (e.g. electromagnetic radiation). It may be split into “active” remote sensing (when a signal is emitted by a satellite or aircraft to the object and its reflection detected by the sensor) and “passive” remote sensing (when the reflection of sunlight is detected by the sensor).

PhD In Remote Sensing And GIS In USA

Training and education

Remote Sensing has a growing relevance in the modern information society. It represents a key technology as part of the aerospace industry and bears increasing economic relevance – new sensors e.g. TerraSAR-X and RapidEye are developed constantly and the demand for skilled labour is increasing steadily. Furthermore, remote sensing exceedingly influences everyday life, ranging from weather forecasts to reports on climate change or natural disasters. As an example, 80% of the German students use the services of Google Earth; in 2006 alone the software was downloaded 100 million times. But studies have shown that only a fraction of them know more about the data they are working with.

There exists a huge knowledge gap between the application and the understanding of satellite images. Remote sensing only plays a tangential role in schools, regardless of the political claims to strengthen the support for teaching on the subject. A lot of the computer software explicitly developed for school lessons has not yet been implemented due to its complexity. Thereby, the subject is either not at all integrated into the curriculum or does not pass the step of an interpretation of analogue images. In fact, the subject of remote sensing requires a consolidation of physics and mathematics as well as competences in the fields of media and methods apart from the mere visual interpretation of satellite images.

Many teachers have great interest in the subject “remote sensing”, being motivated to integrate this topic into teaching, provided that the curriculum is considered. In many cases, this encouragement fails because of confusing information.] In order to integrate remote sensing in a sustainable manner organizations like the EGU or Digital Earth encourage the development of learning modules and learning portals. Examples include: FIS – Remote Sensing in School Lessons, GeospektivYchange, or Spatial Discovery, to promote media and method qualifications as well as independent learning.

GIS Overview

geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive queries (user-created searches), store and edit spatial and non-spatial data, analyze spatial information output, and visually share the results of these operations by presenting them as maps.

Geographic information science (or, GIScience)—the scientific study of geographic concepts, applications, and systems—is commonly initialized as GIS, as well.

Geographic information systems are utilized in multiple technologies, processes, techniques and methods. It is attached to various operations and numerous applications, that relate to: engineering, planning, management, transport/logistics, insurance, telecommunications, and business. For this reason, GIS and location intelligence applications are at the foundation of location-enabled services, that rely on geographic analysis and visualization.

GIS provides the capability to relate previously unrelated information, through the use of location as the “key index variable”. Locations and extents that are found in the Earth’s spacetime, are able to be recorded through the date and time of occurrence, along with x, y, and z coordinates; representing, longitude (x), latitude (y), and elevation (z). All Earth-based, spatial–temporal, location and extent references, should be relatable to one another, and ultimately, to a “real” physical location or extent. This key characteristic of GIS, has begun to open new avenues of scientific inquiry and studies.

GIS PhD programs

Geographical information systems, or GIS, focuses on improving existing technologies as well as developing new ones in order to collect, analyse, distribute, interpret, transform and visualise data about the surface of the earth and its geography. A good knowledge of informatics is required in order to succeed in programmes in geographical information systems. Specialised computer software is used to display detailed data about the earth’s surface. Geographical information systems degrees gather elements from other disciplines like geography, computer sciences, earth sciences, physics and sustainable development.

Geographical information systems programmes offer knowledge on spatial analysis of geographical information systems, advanced Python scripting, cartographic design and visualisation, web mapping, space imagery and processing.

Remote Sensing and GIS Careers, Skills and Salary - Jobs survey 2013/2014 -  Earth Observation Directory

Masters in geographical information systems will enable students to use geospatial technology and to develop solutions related to spatial planning. Degrees in geographical information systems will equip students with mathematical skills required in conducting spatial analysis and evaluating data. Future geographical information specialists will learn how to gather and organise scientific information and will be able to make conclusive researches based on elements related to cartography, topology and geology.

Graduates have many possible opportunities in areas such as: agriculture, archaeology, conservation, demography, economics, emergency management, natural resource management, urban planning, or ecology. They pursue jobs like: geographical information systems specialist, civil engineer, urban planner, geologist and environmental scientist.

This course combines the fields of GIS and Remote Sensing to provide students with a strong theoretical and conceptual background and vocational training in these inter-related topics. Having completed your undergraduate degree in a related field, this MSc will enable you to bring your skills and knowledge up to date with a mastery of the latest technological tools and contemporary theoretical understanding. The course particularly focuses on conveying new approaches to data processing, analysis and interpretation as well as the use of innovative technologies, such as unmanned airborne vehicles.

The course is a full-time programme, taught over one year, and is divided into two parts over three semesters. In part one, you will establish a breadth of necessary skills in a number of core modules whilst directing your own study by choosing specialist modules, worth a total of 120 credits. In part two, you will apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits.

The Remote Sensing component will introduce you to a range of technologies (including radar, optical/hyperspectral sensing and lidar) in a breadth of application contexts (including climate change, human impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, glaciology, hydrology, forestry, coastal change, carbon cycle science to biodiversity). Within GIS, you will encounter fundamental concepts and software functionality.

Ph.D. in Geospatial Analytics Application Process

Twelve fully funded Ph.D. graduate assistantships with $25,000 salary, benefits, and tuition support are available for Fall 2020 through the Center for Geospatial Analytics. Students are encouraged to suggest prospective advisor(s) and describe shared research interests in their application’s personal statement. Applications are due 1 February 2020.

Admission Requirements

Minimum requirements include

  • Undergraduate GPA ≥ 3.0
  • Graduate GPA ≥ 3.0 (if entering with a Master’s degree)
  • GRE Scores (within last 5 years). There is no minimum, but students accepted for Fall 2020 admission earned the following average scores:
    • Quantitative: 158 (70th percentile)
    • Verbal: 157 (75th percentile)
    • Writing: 4 (59th percentile)
  • IBT TOEFL Score ≥ 80 overall (18 in each section) (International Applicants; the Office of International Services offers additional helpful information)

Required supporting documents

  • Official NC State Graduate School application.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended (official transcripts will be required if admitted to the program).
  • A personal statement, not to exceed 2 pages. We encourage you to consider the following:
    • Your academic and career goals
    • Special interests and prior research in the area of geospatial analytics
    • What makes you well-suited to our program
    • Describe any computational, quantitative, and/or geospatial training
    • You are encouraged to suggest prospective advisor(s) and describe shared research interests
  • 3 letters of recommendation. Submit the names and contact information for your recommenders through the online application, and they will receive an email with instructions for submitting their letters online.
  • Curriculum vitae/resume.

phd in gis salary

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Spatial Analysis Jobs by Salary

Job TitleRangeAverage
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) AnalystRange:$53k – $76k (Estimated *)Average:$63,372
Software EngineerRange:$80k – $134k (Estimated *)Average:$104,907

are gps and gis remote sensing

Remote sensing is a GIS data collection and processing technique. GPS (global positioning system) is a way to assign a location to a point on the Earth. Remote sensing is the use of sensors on board either planes or satellites to collect data usually in a grid like pattern of pixels called raster data.

What is the difference between GPS and remote sensing


Remote sensing is basically a means of being able to obtain geographic information about a particular location without needing to be physically present in that location at the time of data inquiry. It makes uses of technological devices such as drones with LIDAR abilities (laser technology) for location surveillance and data acquisition. It is similar to GPS in the sense that it is used to collect data. Both GPS and remote sensing are similar in that they are used to collect data which is later processed by GIS software, however, the key difference lies in how this data is obtained.

  1. For GPS the individual needs to be in the location for the satellite to be able to locate the individual position, whereas for remote sensing the same data can be obtained from far away.
  2. Remote sensing makes use of sensors onboard such as aircraft and balloons to eliminate the need of being present in the location for data collection. It may even use aerial cameras or satellites for this purpose for imagery. These sensors are able to serve as physical devices that retrieve and store details about the physical environment. It is simply a technique of data acquisition via remote sensing devices.
  3. It is understood that GPS is more concerned with finding the exact position of an individual and keep a track of moving individuals.
  4. Remote sensing is different from GPS because GPS makes use of satellites to transmit and receive information about an object or an individual in a particular area. The antenna for GPS is ground-based only, as is the receiver. The 24 satellites simply serve to establish a link between different location points. It is different from remote sensing because the satellite and receiver are only able to communicate with the device (for example a user’s mobile phone) given that they are physically present in that area. If an individual and their tracking mobile phone device are both in separate locations, GPS will pick up the location details of the mobile phone device. This is not a requirement for remote sensing which eliminates this hassle by use of sensors.
  5. Air-borne and space-borne remote sensing are used for mapping widespread forest fires, recording physical environmental details such as cloud data for weather forecasting, tracking the expansion of a city into a forest to assess urbanization, discovering physical landscape features about an environment such as oceanic details of rugged topography.
  6. Meanwhile, GPS is more civilian-use oriented (navigation, location finding) and less science and research-based compared to remote sensing.

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