Remote sensing is the process of obtaining information from instruments that are not in direct contact with the object of investigation. A common example is the use of cameras to obtain information about phenomenon at a location distant from the observer.
This particular form of remote sensing has been a frequent topic on my blog (see, Candid Camera in the label cloud). A good example arose Monday at the City Council's weekly pre-council meeting with department directors. One of our council members, Jonathan Cook, inquired of our Public Works and Utilities Director, Miki Esposito, about a movable message board sign he had seen near the intersection of 14th and Highway 2 earlier in the day. The message had something to do with the pending closure of S. 14th Street.
I was sitting next to Director Esposito when the question was asked, and we were both caught off guard. The Public Works Department is a big, complex operation, and there simply is no single person who knows about every single project, activity, and operation underway at any given time. I had driven right through that area on my morning commute, and had not noticed a message board at all.
Using my laptop, though, I accessed the traffic camera at 14th and Highway 2, zoomed in on the message board a couple blocks further south, and the three of us eventually read the message--a little tricky due to the dirty camera housing, the wind blowing its mast, and the mid-afternoon glare straight in the iris. Nonetheless, we confirmed the message, and from the tire tracks in the snow, the fact that the message board had been placed quite recently.
Looks like S. 14th Street will be closed for work on the railroad crossing south of Highway 2 after the morning rush on December 16. I, for one, intend to find an alternate route (assuming I remember--my remote memory sensor has been a little inconsistent lately)!