Satellite images and teaching of Geography

Javier Martínez-Vega, Marta Gallardo, Pilar Echavarría


Satellite images can be very useful for teaching Geography at all levels. We describe their advantages over other traditional sources of information on observation of the Earth, and present the Remote Sensing and Environment teaching guide, a resource available on the Internet. This can be complemented by other resources – videos and image repositories – to facilitate the teaching of Geography. Two examples are given to illustrate how satellite images can be used in classrooms to explain urban processes. One is explained on a global scale. The other is a research study that uses a number of thematic maps based on satellite images to illustrate how land use has changed in the region of Madrid (Spain) over recent decades. Using a modeller based on neural networks, the land use scenario in the region of Madrid in 2025 is simulated. This graphic and cartographic material can be used by teachers to explain urban processes both globally and regionally. Processes that have already taken place can be discussed and related to environmental impacts. It is also possible to predict what might happen in the future if current trends continue. The aim is to involve students in order to increase their environmental awareness and encourage them to participate in the search for solutions to territorial problems.


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