MERN- Remote Sensing

Aerial Photography and Aerotriangulation

Production of Digital Orthophotos

Remote Sensing

Topographic, General, and Administrative Mapping

Geodetics and GPS Technology

Public Land Planning

Delegation of Public Land Management

Management of Land Rights

Development and Operation of Computerized Systems

Géoboutique Québec

Leasing Public Land


Remote Sensing



The Department has taken on significant responsibilities related to knowledge of the territory and its resources. In this regard, the Department has been interested in remote sensing since the launching of the first earth observation satellites in the early 1970s.

Satellite images naturally became a major tool for developing territory and resource knowledge, initially because of the outstanding overviews they offered but also because they provided the means for regularly viewing the less accessible areas in Québec's vast territory.

The Department manages a major bank of government-owned images (Banque de données satellitaires du Québec (BDSQ)), which covers the province's entire territory. This bank contains more than 3,000 images from different satellites such as Landsat, SPOT, RADARSAT, and ERS. These images have been acquired since 1972. New acquisitions are made each year, depending on the needs of the Department and other departments. The BDSQ therefore provides the means for following up the situation and delivering an up-to-date portrait of Québec's landmass. Department makes all these data accessible online to government users and provides all the help they need to use them.

The Department also acts as a consultant in administrative matters related to remote sensing and as a coordinator for major development projects concerning use of this technology. Development projects are carried out in partnerships with government departments, industry, and research/teaching centers. Generally undertaken and funded through research and development programs for industry and leading technologies, these projects aim at increasing and exporting Québec's expertise in earth observation.

Areas of Application

The Department has collaborated on and provided support related to remote sensing to many pilot projects involved in land and resource management. Today, these departments use remote sensing increasingly in various applications of regional scope such as:

  • In forestry, to map major forest fires;
  • In agriculture, to delimit major crops;
  • In the environmental field, to delimit ecological units or support the implementation of conservation parks;
  • In urbanization, to estimate rurbanization;
  • In geology, to plan field surveys and compile structural information;
  • In cartography, to update maps or produce small-scale maps.

The Department offers support and cooperation in a variety of forms to other gouvernement du Québec departments:

  • Image acquisition plan;
  • Experimentation and prototyping in an operational context;
  • Development of image processing and analysis methods;
  • Writing specifications;
  • Contract supervision;
  • Cooperation in assessing outcomes.

Through these application projects carried out jointly with gouvernement du Québec departments, many firms specialized in remote sensing and geomatics have developed expertise in processing and analyzing satellite imagery: geometric and radiometric correction, image classification, image enhancement, integration of data from other sources, and satellite photogrammetry.

Over the last 25 years and through the many pilot projects carried out in this field, the Department has developed sound expertise in using satellite data in managing land, resources, and the environment. This acquired know-how and experience can be shared with any government interested in remote sensing as a land-management and knowledge tool.