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One of the keys to the effectiveness of a geographic information system (GIS) is up-to-date data in its data base. Land-use and land-cover data are important data in a current GIS in China. The land-use and land-cover conditions often change, because they are easily affected by changes in natural conditions and the activities of human beings. Space-borne remote sensing—because of its periodicity, speed, scanning scope, and the lower cost of obtaining the synthetic information—is becoming the main data source for updating land-use and land-cover data in the GIS data base. The crux of the updating procedure is to link the remote sensing system and the GIS by means of a digital image processing system. Accuracy in locating and classifying is considered the crucial problem in image processing. A remote sensing image is a model of a region which has been compressed in spatial dimensions and synthesized with its essential factors on the surface. Thus, the information from the images evidently has a regional geographic pattern. The GIS has the basic data and the analysis software for the registration and analysis of the spatial information from remote sensing and other sources. The GIS can be considered the basis of digital image processing and map automation.
geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, data bases, information synthesis, position accuracy, classification accuracy, digital image processing system (DIPS), digital terrain model (DTM), ground control point (GCP), multispectral scanner (MSS), information registration
Research associate, Laboratory of Resource and Environment Information Systems, Institute of Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing,