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Regions Set in Stone—Delimiting and Categorizing Regions in Europe by Settlement Patterns Derived from EO-Data

Taubenböck, Hannes and Ferstl, Joachim and Dech, Stefan (2017) Regions Set in Stone—Delimiting and Categorizing Regions in Europe by Settlement Patterns Derived from EO-Data. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 6 (2), pp. 1-27. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). DOI: 10.3390/ijgi6020055 ISSN 2220-9964

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Official URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/6/2/55/htm


The spatial patterns of landscapes are complex. Highly dense urban centers are not just mirrowed in a dichotomic sense by rural environments; landscapes are a spatially variable continuum. In this logic, nation-states (or any political or administrative unit) spatially integrate different types and physical appearances of land cover. Understanding regions in the sense that similar physical characteristics may construct alternative (natural) spatial entities which may sub-divide or cross-over adminstrative boundaries allows us to overcome common map projections. However, which indicators and which regional logics define and delimit regions is conceptually vague. With this paper we aim to add an empirical study to identify regional phenomena in Europe. To do so, we take advantage of a new data set from remote sensing, the Global Urban Footprint. It features European-wide consistent spatial information on settlement patterns. We use density and distribution of settlements as indicators for delimiting regions by similar characteristics. Our methodological approach classifies urban nodes (by settlement density and size), spans an unbounded soft space by the classification of spatial connectivity between nodes (by continuous settlement) and maps territorial entities (by density around nodes); the approach is following a space of place logic. From a geographic perspective we identify uneven development across Europe. The corridor streching from England via the Benelux areas via Germany, Switzerland, France to Northern Italy is mapped as the European backbone; however, new focal areas such as, e.g., towards eastern Europe are also detected. Applying a plausibility check reveals that the proxy settlement pattern corresponds well with regional conceptions presented in other studies.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/111245/
Document Type:Article
Title:Regions Set in Stone—Delimiting and Categorizing Regions in Europe by Settlement Patterns Derived from EO-Data
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Taubenböck, Hanneshannes.taubenboeck (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ferstl, Joachimjoachim.ferstl (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Dech, Stefanstefan.dech (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 February 2017
Journal or Publication Title:ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.3390/ijgi6020055
Page Range:pp. 1-27
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:regional phenomena; remote sensing; global urban footprint; settlement pattern; urban nodes; Europe; mega-region; urban corridor; spatial analysis
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Remote sensing and geoscience
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Geo Risks and Civil Security
Deposited By: Taubenböck, Dr. Hannes
Deposited On:23 Feb 2017 10:00
Last Modified:14 Dec 2019 04:22

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