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A structural catalogue of the settlement morphology in refugee and IDP camps

Weigand, Matthias and Worbis, Simon and Sapena Moll, Marta and Taubenböck, Hannes (2023) A structural catalogue of the settlement morphology in refugee and IDP camps. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, pp. 1-27. Taylor & Francis. doi: 10.1080/13658816.2023.2189724. ISSN 1365-8816.

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In the past decade, the number of refugees and internally displaced people (IDP) has doubled. This prompted the construction of more refugee camps and the proliferation of existing camps with diverse structural morphologies. Satellite imagery and machine learning (ML) are increasingly utilized to map these camps. However, there exists no standardized inventory that systemizes the built-up structures of these camps. In this study, we conceptualize the settlement morphology of refugee and IDP camps from satellite images and create a structure catalogue. Using visual image interpretation (VII) of very-high-resolution and multitemporal imagery, we compile a global database of settlement structures from 285 camps across 1,053 observations. This catalogue is subsequently used to synthesize patterns in camp structures and temporal dynamics. The results show stark variations in settlement structures across camps. Despite some similar regional patterns, stark differences in morphologies are a testament to the global heterogeneous landscape of refugee and IDP camp structures. These findings highlight the importance of considering morphological differences in image analyses across camps in future designs of ML-based automated detection and monitoring efforts. Therein, the Structure Catalogue serves as an important foundation for earth observation for humanitarian applications.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/194370/
Document Type:Article
Title:A structural catalogue of the settlement morphology in refugee and IDP camps
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Weigand, MatthiasUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5553-4152UNSPECIFIED
Worbis, SimonUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0008-1237-5164UNSPECIFIED
Sapena Moll, MartaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3283-319XUNSPECIFIED
Taubenböck, HannesUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4360-9126UNSPECIFIED
Date:28 March 2023
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-27
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Keywords:Refugee camps, IDP camps, UNHCR, settlement structures, satellite images, earth observation
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, R - Geoscientific remote sensing and GIS methods
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Geo Risks and Civil Security
Deposited By: Weigand, Matthias
Deposited On:08 May 2023 10:55
Last Modified:27 Mar 2024 03:00

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