Introduction: Remote Sensing in Indian Country

Have you ever wondered how remote sensing could supplement your work?
Wondered about what other tribes are doing with this technology?
Where to get training or more information outside of vendors?
Hi, my name is Laurie Ames and I am the Remote Sensing Specialist for the Nez Perce Tribe. We are housed in the Land Services office and provide GIS and remote sensing support to various tribal departments. While I don't usually 'do' the actual project, I do work closely with the project leader. I have been the Remote Sensing person here for over eight years. I've gained some perspective and knowledge of what is going on and how things have progressed in the area of indigenous remote sensing. Here are two examples of my work:
Sander Ground Level, Nez Perce Tribe Paul IP Riverview Nez Perce Tribe

The first image is a view shed for one of our proposed towers for broadband coverage of the entire reservation. The green areas mean that if you are in this area, you can get a signal from that tower.  The second map is the line of site from one tower to another. the red is not able to read the tower while the green is good, but any blockage means no signal from tower to tower.

I am certainly not the only expert out there and would love to know what others are doing as I am helping develop a community resource for Remote Sensing in Indian Country on the Indigenous Mapping Network website.

What it is that we really want to learn about?

I want to help facilitate this collaboration in any way that I can. That said, I could learn so much from you and plan to gather ideas from all the other groups out there to develop our project. Please take a moment to help identify what you’d like to see or want to contribute.


This project, an indigenous remote sensing community, is in its infancy; we seek your assistance in helping it grow. Our goal is that it can become a supplemental resource for remote sensing for Indian Country and possibly beyond. So please let us know what could help you most.  Videos that highlight projects, articles of lessons learned, a blog or a forum to share ideas and seek help? I’ve put together a short poll to find out what might work for our tribal communities.

We have also set up a specific forum to enable an online dialogue. Volunteer moderators welcome! Partners welcome! Please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let me know.

We also have a twitter account for catching remote sensing news as it comes in. We are looking for a Native American student as a volunteer social media intern, who can work from their home base to help manage  (Indigenous Remote Sensing Community) and help develop the project. Please contact me or Rosemarie McKeon for the internship position.