Aerial photography and satellite imagery gathered by both federal agencies and private organizations can complement NCRN monitoring data by providing a greater context for data gathered at specific points on the ground. It also facilitates extrapolation of point measurements across landscapes and provides greater understanding of the ecological role of the parks in a regional context. Using remote sensing can help identify areas undergoing rapid changes in land use, roads, population, housing, and impervious surface (paved areas, development, roads), at a park scale, watershed scale, or even larger.
The set of landscape tools available through the NPS site NPScape allows users to display and print data layers on forest cover, housing, land cover, etc., and provides links to GIS data and associated metadata.
Measurable objectives for remote sensing and landscape pattern (RSLP) protocols may vary depending on the other monitored resources with which RSLP outputs will be integrated. For example, the needs in an analysis of land cover patterns for examining stream water quality may differ substantially from the needs for an analysis of wildlife habitat.