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Where we live – A summary of the achievements and planned evolution of the Global Urban Footprint

Esch, Thomas and Bachofer, Felix and Heldens, Wieke and Hirner, Andreas and Marconcini, Mattia and Palacios-Lopez, Daniela and Roth, Achim and Üreyen, Soner and Zeidler, Julian and Dech, Stefan and Gorelick, Noel (2018) Where we live – A summary of the achievements and planned evolution of the Global Urban Footprint. Remote Sensing, 10 (6), pp. 1-18. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/rs10060895. ISSN 2072-4292.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060895


The TerraSAR-X (TSX) mission provides a distinguished collection of high resolution satellite images that shows great promise for a global monitoring of human settlements. Hence, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has developed the Urban Footprint Processor (UFP) that represents an operational framework for the mapping of built-up areas based on a mass processing and analysis of TSX imagery. The UFP includes functionalities for data management, feature extraction, unsupervised classification, mosaicking, and post-editing. Based on >180.000 TSX StripMap scenes, the UFP was used in 2016 to derive a global map of human presence on Earth in a so far unique spatial resolution of 12 m per grid cell: the Global Urban Footprint (GUF). This work provides a comprehensive summary of the major achievements related to the Global Urban Footprint initiative, with dedicated sections focusing on aspects such as UFP methodology, basic product characteristics (specification, accuracy, global figures on urbanization derived from GUF), the user community, and the already initiated future roadmap of follow-on activities and products. The active community of >250 institutions already working with the GUF data documents the relevance and suitability of the GUF initiative and the underlying high-resolution SAR imagery with respect to the provision of key information on the human presence on earth and the global human settlements properties and patterns, respectively.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/120292/
Document Type:Article
Title:Where we live – A summary of the achievements and planned evolution of the Global Urban Footprint
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Esch, ThomasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5868-9045UNSPECIFIED
Heldens, WiekeUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6209-5664UNSPECIFIED
Hirner, AndreasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0007-5473-9424UNSPECIFIED
Marconcini, MattiaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5042-5176UNSPECIFIED
Zeidler, JulianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9444-2296UNSPECIFIED
Gorelick, NoelGoogle Earth EngineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:7 June 2018
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-18
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Series Name:Special Issue "Ten Years of TerraSAR-X—Scientific Results"
Keywords:global; urban footprint; processing; validation; community survey; sustainability
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Remote Sensing and Geo Research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
German Remote Sensing Data Center > Leitungsbereich DFD
Deposited By: Esch, Dr.rer.nat. Thomas
Deposited On:13 Jun 2018 10:30
Last Modified:02 Nov 2023 10:19

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