• Non-ICIMOD publication


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An overview of the applications of earth observation satellite data: Impacts and future trends

  • Qiang Zhao
  • Le Yu
  • Zhenrong Du
  • Dailiang Peng
  • Pengyu Hao
  • Yongguang Zhang
  • Peng Gong
  • Summary

As satellite observation technology develops and the number of Earth observation (EO) satellites increases, satellite observations have become essential to developments in the understanding of the Earth and its environment. However, the current impacts to the remote sensing community of different EO satellite data and possible future trends of EO satellite data applications have not been systematically examined. In this paper, we review the impacts of and future trends in the use of EO satellite data based on an analysis of data from 15 EO satellites whose data are widely used. Articles that reference EO satellite missions included in the Web of Science core collection for 2020 were analyzed using scientometric analysis and meta-analysis. We found the following: (1) the number of publications and citations referencing EO satellites is increasing exponentially; however, the number of articles referencing AVHRR, SPOT, and TerraSAR is tending to decrease; (2) papers related to EO satellites are concentrated in a small number of journals: 43.79% of the articles that were reviewed were published in only 13 journals; and (3) remote sensing impact factor (RSIF), a new impact index, was constructed to measure the impacts of EO satellites and to predict future trends in applications of their data. Landsat, Sentinel, MODIS, Gaofen, and WorldView were found to be the most significant current EO satellite missions and MODIS data to have the widest range of applications. Over the next five years (2021–2025), it is expected that Sentinel will become the satellite mission with the greatest influence