This seminar is part of the Introduction to Remote Sensing module for Geography students at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The seminar provides a basic introduction into the practical work with remote sensing data. We primarily use Sentinel-2 images acquired over the region of Berlin and Brandenburg, later Landsat images from different study sites around the world are analyzed. Data processing is based on open source software (EnMAP-Box, QGIS, Google Earth). After completing this seminar, you are able to acquire and process remotely sensed data using basic analytic tools and generate insights that help you to answer research questions in other projects.

Seminar topics contain:

  • Visual image interpretation
  • Spectroscopy
  • Image acquisition and preparation
  • Vegetation analyses
  • Image classification
  • Accuracy assessments
  • Time series analyses
  • Change detection

The seminar is closely linked to the module’s lecture, where you will be exposed to the theoretical foundation and various application fields of remote sensing. Both lecture and seminar contents are closely related to ongoing research of the department´s remote sensing group, the Earth Observation Lab.


Each seminar session is structured into Background, Exercise and Assignment:

  • Background and Exercise are integral part of the weekly seminar session via Zoom. Participants are are requested to thoroughly read through both sections prior to seminar begin. The seminar offers time slots for questions regarding the background and for jointly working on the exercises in breakout groups with subsequent discussions.
  • The weekly Assignment will be introduced at the end of the seminar session. The participants have to complete the assignment in groups of four until the end of the week.

All necessary seminar materials are provided on this website.


Active participation in both lecture and seminar is expected. The seminar builds upon the theoretical foundations provided in the lecture. Successful completion of the seminar requires you to ask questions and get involved in discussion rounds.

Assignments will be worked on in teams of four and submitted individually via Moodle on a weekly basis. Submission deadline for the weekly exercise is always the following Monday at 10am. It is important to carefully read the assignment and submission instructions. We grade submissions based on a point scheme, where each submission can earn you at most three points:

  • no submission: 0 points
  • insufficient: 1 point
  • satisfactory: 2 points
  • good: 3 points

75% of the maximum available points must be achieved by the end of the semester for successful participation. In case your submission was graded with 1 or 2 points, you can re-submit your results until Monday the week after the initial submission. You will be informed about the grading of your submission via Moodle.

In addition to the weekly submission of assignments, a brief presentation of results of a final assignment towards the end of the class is mandatory for each participant.

Hardware and software

Due to the digital format of this seminar, participants are requested to work on their own Desktop PC or Laptop. We are aware that the current situation is complicated for many but hope that all participants can arrange a desktop PC or laptop with the following specs (or better):

  • an Intel Core i3 2.5GHz or a comparable processor and 4GB RAM
  • 20GB of free disk space (or cloud storage)
  • a 13" screen
  • a microphone & audio output
  • a stable internet connection

For the case of insufficient computing resources, participants are requested to contact us.

Common disk space may be needed for the group work. We suggest to use shared repositories on platforms like HU-Box, or store your data in a shared folder on student drive O:/ (access requires VPN connection).

We use openly available and platform independent (Windows, Linux, Mac OS) software packages throughout this course:

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