Ground truthing is the process of sending technicians to gather data in the field that either complements or disputes airborne remote sensing data collected by aerial photography, satellite sidescan radar, or infrared images. The team of ground truthing scientists will be collecting detailed calibrations, measurements, observations, and samples of predetermined sites. From this data, scientists are able to identify land use or cover of the location and compare it to what is shown on the image. They then verify and update existing data and maps.
Ground truthing is a way of looking at an entire mountain range, costal plane, forest, inland sea, coral reef, dessert, grassland, river, or marsh and understand many of the realities involved. With our present technology, we can measure an entire watershed and understand its capacities and impact on a region and mankind’s positive or negative influence.
Without ground truthing verification, our data from space is hypothetical at best.