Science Service System
You are here : Home : Proposals_Summary

Summary of Proposal LAN0896

TitleGlobal Urban Footprint - A world wide inventory of human settlements
Investigator Esch, Thomas - German Aerospace Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center, Land Surface
Team Member
Dr. Esch, Thomas - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
Mr. Roth, Achim - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
Dr. Taubenböck, Hannes - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
mr. Felbier, Andreas - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
Heldens, Wieke - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
Metz, Annekatrin - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD)
SummaryUrban areas are counted among the most dynamic regions on earth. Particularly the actual process of rapid urbanisation is associated with various ecological, social and economic changes in both, the urban area and the adjacent natural environment. As cities grow, the degree and complexity of environmental change caused by human settlements increase. Hence, a spatially detailed global mapping of urban areas and their dynamics is a key issue in science related to urban applications. The global acquisitions of the TanDEM-X mission afford an excellent opportunity to face the challenges scientist are confronted with in the context of global analyses of urbanization and its consequences. The TerraSAR-X like image data show a spatial resolution of less than 3m - a quality that holds enormous potential in terms of a detailed detection of settlements on a global scale. This product has also a high potential to serve as a world-wide reference data set for comparative future analyses on urban growth in different regions of the world. The research groups 'Urban Areas and Land Management' and 'SAR Topography' of DFD's department 'Land Surface' have already developed an 'Urban Footprint Processor' which is currently integrated into the operational TanDEM-X processing environment in order to generate a global data set providing the location, shape and distribution of human settlements for the years 2011/2012. It is intended to provide the 'Global Urban Footprint' product in the same resolution as the TanDEM-X DEM (0,4”) with an overall thematic accuracy of 85%. All SAR-image data will be kept in the TanDEM-X processing environment. They will not be distributed. The final output is the Global Urban Footprint that shall be released for free to support global change research.

Back to list of proposals

© DLR 2004-2016