Remotely sensed data and methods are used extensively to provide data layers for ecological modeling. Understanding fundamental remote-sensing concepts will help ecosystem modelers make informed decisions regarding the utility and limitations of the broad spectrum of remotely sensed data and their derived products.

The main focus of this article is to introduce remote-sensing science and associated data sets of potential relevance to ecological modeling. The article begins with an overview of fundamental remote-sensing concepts. This is followed by a section on how remotely sensed data can be used to derive a broad range of biophysical data sets that are useful for terrestrial and aquatic ecological modeling. Several of the more common data sets derived from remotely sensed data are described with comments about how the data sets are produced, their strengths, and limitations. The article concludes with a summary of accuracy and validation.

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