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Continental-scale mapping and analysis of building footprint, height and volume.

Li, Mengmeng and Koks, Elco and Taubenböck, Hannes and van Vliet, Jasper (2020) Continental-scale mapping and analysis of building footprint, height and volume. Remote Sensing of Environment, 245, pp. 1-16. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.111859. ISSN 0034-4257.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425720302297


Urban land use is often characterized based on the presence of built-up land, while the land use intensity of different locations is ignored. This narrow focus is at least partially due to a lack of data on the vertical dimension of urban land. The potential of Earth observation data to fill this gap has already been shown, but this has not yet been applied at large spatial scales. This study aims to map urban 3D building structure, i.e. building footprint, height, and volume, for Europe, the US, and China using random forest models. Our models perform well, as indicated by R2 values of 0.90 for building footprint, 0.81 for building height, and 0.88 for building volume, for all three case regions combined. In our multidimensional input variables, we find that built-up density derived from the Global Urban Footprint (GUF) is the most important variable for estimating building footprint, while backscatter intensity of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is the most important variable for estimating building height. A combination of the two is essential to estimate building volume. Our analysis further highlights the heterogeneity of 3D building structure across space. Specifically, buildings in China tend to be taller on average (10.35 m) compared to Europe (7.37 m) and the US (6.69 m). At the same time, the building volume per capita in China is lowest, with 302.3 m3 per capita, while Europe and the US show estimates of 404.6 m3 and 565.4 m3, respectively. The results of this study (3D building structure data for Europe, the US, and China) are publicly available, and can be used for further analysis of urban environment, spatial planning, and land use projections.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/135030/
Document Type:Article
Title:Continental-scale mapping and analysis of building footprint, height and volume.
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Li, MengmengVU University AmsterdamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Taubenböck, HannesUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4360-9126UNSPECIFIED
van Vliet, JasperVU University AmsterdamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing of Environment
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-16
Keywords:Urban form, Land use intensity, Building height, Urban density, SAR
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 > Geo Risks and Civil Security
Deposited By: Taubenböck, Prof. Dr. Hannes
Deposited On:03 Jun 2020 11:02
Last Modified:04 Jun 2020 14:11

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