Atlas Project

 Background of SAM


 SAM is jointly developed by Malaysian Center for Remote Sensing (MACRES) and the Faculty of Geoinformation and Real Estate (FGHT), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and the objectives are:

  • To provide interactive national satellite image atlas maps covering Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
  • To provide national atlas in multimedia environment with printing.
  • To develop map layers warehouse based on satellite remote sensing images.

The production of this image-based atlas is very important as the development of remote sensing technology especially in the applications of remote sensing for various aspects in the  monitoring and management of land, coastal and marine environment and resources and also for disaster management is rapidly increasing. This is mainly due to the development and improvement of techniques and equipments for acquiring, transmitting and interpreting of remote sensing data.


The development of remote sensing technology can be traced at least to the thirteenth-century after the invention of eyeglasses by Roger Bacon and literally got off the ground in 1858 when Gaspard Tournachon took the photographs of Paris, France from a hot air balloon for the production of topographic maps. However, the extensive airphoto surveys which begin in the 1930s and 1940s is said to be the beginning of modern development of the science of remote sensing. Many development projects have been benefited from this new development and with the advent of satellites and multispectral scanners, remote sensing has become increasingly useful especially after the launching of Landsat-1 on July 23, 1972.  Many satellite images have been available and utilize for various applications.


Looking at the current global scenario, remote sensing technology is becoming a common practice and well accepted at operational level in assisting decision making processes in natural resources management, environmental, conservation program and strategic planning. Remote sensing images and information extracted from such images are now beginning to be used extensively to locate specific features and conditions of the earth surface.


Despite rapid development in satellite technology and their applications, there are still gaps in term of basic understanding about remote sensing especially among the general publics. Confusion regarding many of the technical issues regarding satellite images still exist even among many remote sensing users. Many still think that all remote sensing images are similar and can be used for whatever purposes. Thus it is a great need to educate the general public to enable them understand the basic concept of remote sensing and therefore understand the suitability of various kinds of remote sensing data for different kind of applications. The development of this atlas that attempts to introduce the field of remote sensing both to the users and those who like to seek a broader background that include of the images is a timely effort. The development of SAM also can be considered as an effort to promote and encourage the used of this important technology in Malaysia.

 The concept of the development of SAM which focus on the applications of various types of satellite imageries from low to high resolution is to enable the interested reader to understand and realised that there are many different types of remote sensing images. SAM also highlighted the applications of remote sensing data for different kinds of applications such as for land, coastal and marine and also remote sensing for disaster management. Examples of different type of images together with suitable applications are clearly describes for the usefulness in the production of this atlas.