Magazine article Geographical

Remote Justice

Magazine article Geographical

Remote Justice

Article excerpt

It almost seems like an inbuilt human imperative to find a high spot and look down on the world--from climbing a tree to climbing a mountain, from observation towers to helicopter joy flights, we're constantly seeking a vertical view of the land around us. The popularity of the Britain from the Air exhibition currently on show in Bath is just another example of this fascination.

The development of artificial satellites during the latter half of the 20th century gave us an unprecedented platform for looking down on the Earth from above. Improvements in the resolution of satellite- borne cameras and the development of an array of different sensors for measuring different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation turned remote sensing into an incredibly powerful technique for learning about our landscapes.

Perhaps inevitably, this technology was adapted for use by governments to spy on one another. But now, we civilians are turning the tables and using the same technology to spy on governments, among others--but for the most admirable reasons. …

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