Because of the limitations of hardware devices, such as the sensors, processing capacity, and high accuracy altitude control equipment, traditional optical remote sensing (RS) imageries capture information regarding the same scene from mostly one single angle or a very small number of angles. Nowadays, with video satellites coming into service, obtaining imageries of the same scene from a more-or-less continuous array of angles has become a reality. In this paper, we analyze the differences between the traditional RS data and continuous multi-angle remote sensing (CMARS) data, and unravel the characteristics of the CMARS data. We study the advantages of using CMARS data for classification and try to capitalize on the complementarity of multi-angle information and, at the same time, to reduce the embedded redundancy. Our arguments are substantiated by real-life experiments on the employment of CMARS data in order to classify urban land covers while using a support vector machine (SVM) classifier. They show the superiority of CMARS data over the traditional data for classification. The overall accuracy may increase up to about 9% with CMARS data. Furthermore, we investigate the advantages and disadvantages of directly using the CMARS data, and how such data can be better utilized through the extraction of key features that characterize the variations of spectral reflectance along the entire angular array. This research lay the foundation for the use of CMARS data in future research and applications.
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