Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Earth Observation Lab

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Berlin, captured by Sentinel-2 (2015)

Scene: Berlin, Sentinel-2 satellite image, 2015. Source: Copernicus Open Access Hub

Modules offered by the Earth Observation Lab are open to students from all study programs in the Geography Department. Topics cover a wide range of geographic research questions. These are mainly related to physical geography and land system science, and yet are often relevant for economic geography or urban and rural planning. Depending on the regulations of the study program, students are offered different combinations of mandatory and optional courses.

In case you wish to specialize in remote sensing during bachelor studies you may take a look at the recommended B.Sc. schedule below and consult our staff for developing your individual study plan. If you are interested in writing your thesis in the field of remote sensing you can take a look at the list of best practices and take these as an inspiration for your own topic.

Our modules

Introduction to Remote Sensing 🖉

German: Einführung in die Geofernerkundung

This module introduces students to basic concepts of remote sensing and its application in various fields of geography. Students learn how to design a remote sensing study for a geographic research question, how to acquire and analyse the image data, and how to interpret the results. The integration of additional geodata sources and the use of remote sensing products in GIS projects are exemplified.

Color Vision for Copernicus

Colour Vision for Copernicus. Photo: ESA/ATG medialab

  • Prerequisites: Statistics, Introduction to GI
  • B.Sc. (2018): mandatory
  • B.Sc./B.A. (2014): optional (highly recommended for those advancing to M.Sc. Global Change Geography)


Study project🖉

German: Studienprojekt-Felderhebungen und Fernerkundung

Here, students learn how to set up their own research project, apply methods to assess land cover and land use changes from various remote sensing data sets and get detailed insights into planning and conducting practical field work. The study project is based on a well defined research question, carefully determined through the students' literature reviews. Photo: Kira Pfoch

landscape study area

Study project 2018, Polish Carpathians

  • Prerequisites: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • B.Sc.: optional (recommended for students with interest in bachelor thesis in applied remote sensing)
  • B.A.: optional


Advanced Remote Sensing Topics using R 🖉

German: Vertiefungsmodul Vegetationsfernerkundung

The monitoring and mapping of vegetation and land cover is one of the key activities in Earth observation (EO). Advanced EO products are pivotal for many geographic and environmental studies. In this module students learn concepts and techniques for analyzing and mapping land cover and its characteristics at various spatial scales and with different sensor systems. Data analysis is done fully in R, and students learn to create customized R-scripts along a series of processing tasks throughout the semester.

R code and rgb plots masks

Canopy Height model, Camp Creek, West Virginia, USA, D. Pflugmacher

  • Prerequisites: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • B.Sc.: optional (recommended especially for students with interest applied programming and bachelor thesis in methods of remote sensing)
  • B.A.: optional