There’s a Pixel in My Pocket!

The following is a remote sensing scientist’s geeky birthday tribute to Dr. Suess, who taught us all that “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive…who is you-er than you!”

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess…And happy Read Across America Day!


There’s A Pixel in My Pocket!

I’m a GeoZone geek

And I’m happy to say

“There’s a pixel in my pocket…

And, I got it the Digital Coast way.”



Through Digital Coast I can travel

from sea to shining sea.

Downloading data and tools,

that are just right for me.


Remote sensing is a science

that allows you to see things from afar.

By looking at the earth from above.

Just like using a telescope to look at a star.


These images are divided up

into a number of squares.

The squares are called pixels, and

they help you determine what’s going on there.


When remote sensing scientistspixel_image_subset

use images, they have to first see

If the pixels are located

where they really should be.


They do this by checking the data’s RMSE!


RMS stands for root mean square

and E stands for error,

or the distance between a pixel

that is here, but should really be there.


After ensuring that things in the image are

in the place that they would be expected,

The appropriate bands of the data

are typically selected.


These bands measure the response of all things

across the EMS, or electromagnetic spectrum.

They represent the values of features on the face of the earth,

or at least, according to that radiation’s EMS section.


Electromagnetic Spectrum


Natural color imagery has wavelengths

of visible red, green, and blue.

But, if you’re lucky you’ll get CIR,

and there’ll be infrared in there too.


Band number and type denote

the image’s resolution spectral.

But there are three other types,

including temporal, radiometric, and spatial.


Spatial resolution is the size on the ground

of all the pixels in that image.

If the things you are mapping are smaller than that

you’re sure not gonna see ‘em.


All kinds of maps can be created from this

wonderful raster-based

And it helps us to have a clear picture

of the coastal parts of our Nation.


I know you have lots of challenges

and management issues to address,

but I think using remotely sensed data will keep

those efforts from becoming a mess.


These data and a lot more, can be

downloaded from the Digital Coast site.

With such high quality resources

your futures are sure to be bright.


Download some data today, or visit to learn more about some remote sensing basics and examples of how the data can be used.