Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO

Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis Unit

Where are farmlands distributed, what is their condition, and what land uses surround the farmland that may influence agricultural production or their environmental functions? To answer these questions, a large variety of spatial data needs to be collected and analyzed. The Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis Unit combines satellite imagery and map data in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to construct wide-scale spatial indicators to monitor the rapidly changing agro-environment. Spatial data can be acquired from a variety of map sources, or from remote sensing imagery acquired with satellites, aircraft, or, drone flights, augmented by ground surveys recording locations with GPS. Many applications exist for spatial data analysis in agriculture, for both research and farming, including especially, maps of croplands and their surrounding environment. By taking advantage of the characteristics of each type of data, we develop techniques to answer questions concerning issues related to the agro-environment. We contribute to integrated land use planning to support environmental policy formulation or production planning with spatial indicators by monitoring changes in rice paddies and their surroundings. We also cooperate with researchers in many fields of environmental research by participating in research projects, advising on the application of RS-GIS technologies, and maintaining RS-GIS facilities.


Unit Leader

David Sprague
Research Topics : GIS Analysis, ecology

Unit Members

Research Topic
Naoki Ishitsuka Principal Researcher Radar imagery
Toshihiro Sakamoto Senior Researcher Image classification, crop penology monitoring


GAEN-View: Global Agro-Environment Viewing System
Corporate Number 7050005005207