Alexandre Bevington, Hunter Gleason, Xavier Giroux-Bougard, J. Tyler de Jong
Watershed-scale landscape analysis includes many disciplines, including ecological, hydrological, and geographical sciences. The recent proliferation of free optical satellite imagery (FOSI) has changed the possibilities for the monitoring of environmental change at local and global scales. Many reviews exist for discipline-specific remote sensing applications; however, this article seeks to highlight the rapidly growing archive of FOSI and applied tools that can be used by all levels of users. Herein, ten techniques and eight applications of FOSI are reviewed, along with the specifications and limitations of various sources of FOSI. Although this review focuses on Western Canada, the democratization of FOSI is globally relevant, and the objective is to explain basic concepts via figures and reference materials to help summarize this rapidly changing field.