Remote sensing – typically from low earth orbit or geostationary orbit uses electro-magnetic waves emitted diffracted or reflected from objects on the earth. Whether the technology is applied to meteorology, earth mapping, natural resource monitoring, urban planning or other application, how remote sensing is conducted falls within a governance regime. The UN Remote Sensing Principles are the only international principles which directly deal with remote sensing activity from space.
The commercial applications and derivative services which remote sensing facilitates is also governed by legal terms – usually licencing of data. It is important to ensure that such licences operate within the limits of what intellectual property law permits – which means understanding fully what the data actually comprises.
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