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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is initiator and sustainer of the ‘Remote Sensing Revolution’, which began 40 years ago, and which has been essential to the development of geographic information systems (GIS) in the United States and around the world. NASA has been a leader in the development and use of remote sensing data and tools, and the evolution of GIS data and applications for a wide range of public and private sector organizations. This is supported by the vast number of professional papers and books or special publications that have been published, as well as a plethora of educational programs, workshops, and training courses that have been developed, which emphasize the utility of remote sensing in spatial analysis and mapping. Additionally, NASA has spurred the integration of remote sensing technology with GIS over four decades of funding through its research, application and educational programs to actively bring this technology to universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies via grants and cooperative agreements. Aerial imagery from aircraft and satellite platforms has played a critical role in GIS development. Since the 1960s, NASA has been in the forefront of acquiring such data, delivering tools and services for processing it, and providing GIS-based integration and applications for making use of remote sensing data for imagery and GIS users throughout the world.

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