IKONOS Remote Sensing

Satellite Images and GIS Supports Conservation Efforts

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC) in cooperation with GeoEye Foundation (formerly Space Imaging) produced a 1m Natural Color IKONOS Satellite Image mosaic for an area covering the Virunga National Park in Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda. This image data was produced to support GIS mapping projects for the assessment, management and monitoring of the Mountain Gorilla Habitat and the Land Changes in around the National Parks.

Virunga National Park

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IKONOS – Visoke Volcano, DRC and Rwanda, Africa
Mountain Gorilla Habitat


3D Terrain Model

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Gorilla Family Group 13 Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Photo Credit: Professor Richard S. Muller

Wildlife Conservation Mapping

Classification of Ecosystems is easily recognizable on satellite images. Vegetation, complemented with ecological data (such as elevation, humidity, drainage, salinity of water and characteristics of water bodies) are each determining modifiers that separate partially distinct sets of species. This is true not only for plant species, but also for species of animals, fungi and bacteria. The degree of ecosystem distinction is subject to the physiognomic modifiers that can be identified on an image and/or in the field.

High resolution satellites images can directly observe species and their habitat on the ground and in their environment used in tandem with GIS Mapping which allows researchers to predict the best remaining areas to protect and manage. Satellite data facilitates the production of global land use and land cover maps, and geographic information systems (GIS) allows researchers to integrate satellite and population data efficiently. Increased human population often leads to greater influence on the environment and sharper declines in species and ecosystems. Land transformation probably poses the single greatest threat to biodiversity, resulting in habitat loss and/or fragmentation for wild species. Beyond its effects on the nearby area, it can have global consequences, such as worldwide changes.

3D Flythrough Movie – Visoke Volcano

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Broadband connection and QuickTime player required. Size: 18 MB

<1m Stereo IKONOS Satellite Image Data and 5m DTM

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