INTRODUCTION: Scale, Multiscaling, Remote Sensing, and GIS

Michael F. Goodchild, Dale A. Quattrochi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

1 Scopus citations


Of all words that have some degree of specialized scientific meaning, scale is one of the most ambiguous and overworked. Webster devotes over half a column to the meaning of the noun, more even than the amount devoted to other similarly overworked terms like space and system. “Scale” is used to refer both to the magnitude of a study (e.g., its geographic extent) and also to the degree of detail (e.g., its level of geographic resolution). Geographic scale is important because it defines the limits to our observations of the Earth. All Earth observation must have a small linear dimension, defined as the limiting spatial resolution, the size of the smallest observable object, the pixel size, the grain of the photographic emulsion, or some similarly defined parameter. Observation must also have a large linear dimension, defining the geographic extent of the study, project, or data collection effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScale in Remote Sensing and GIS
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351417624
ISBN (Print)156670104X, 9781566701044
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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