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
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
- 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
- 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.