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The emergence of hyperspectral image data to remotely map minerals on the surface of the Earth is the result of decades of laboratory, engineering, and physics research conducted by both commercial and government sectors. We present a synopsis of major events which culminated in the development of mature hyperspectral reflectance and thermal emissivity data collection capabilities that are currently available in worldwide capacity. Laboratory and field measurement efforts in the 1960s produced a foundation of knowledge pertaining to mineral spectral phenomenology. This in turn spurred the creation of first broadband multispectral and then hyperspectral data via airborne and spaceborne sensors to capitalize on mineral characteristics. Highly accurate radiometric calibration and atmospheric corrections allow remote measurements to closely emulate ground or laboratory measurements, while commercial hyperspectral data processing software enables timely analysis of the data. Increasing amounts of image data have been collected by a variety of commercial and government sensors, of which mineral exploration is a predominant application. The differences in sensor and image data acquisition parameters directly affect the ability to map minerals. A brief analysis of Cuprite, Nevada, using multiple sensors is used as an example to illuminate factors of importance.

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