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HIRIS is designed to acquire images in 192 spectral bands simultaneously throughout the solar-reflective part of the spectrum. It will provide the link between measurements of processes at the human scale and global monitoring by MODIS. HIRIS data are applicable to many disciplines in the earth sciences and will be particularly valuable in detecting change on land and in the bordering oceans. Data analysis techniques include the powerful tools of spectrum matching, which so far have provided unique results in the determination of column atmospheric water vapor amounts at high spatial resolution, as well as in vegetation biochemistry. The data sets are large but rich in information.