Asian Surveying & Mapping
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October 15th, 2014
Gisat Begins Mapping South Asian Cities for EOWORLD2 Project

The World Bank is currently performing number of studies to better understand the extensive urban growth in the metropolitan areas in South Asia. Urbanization in South Asia is expanding rapidly as increasing numbers of people migrate to towns and cities in search of economic opportunity. Slums now account for 1/4 of all urban housing and many are situated near employment centers in the inner city, unlike in most other developing countries. Meeting the needs of soaring urban populations is and will therefore continue to be a strategic policy issue both for the World Bank and South Asia region countries.

In this context, the service case requested aims to contribute to these activities in selected four metropolitan areas in the region by generating land use mapping products with focus on urban expansion, its spatial and temporal patterns and land use change dynamics. Exploiting satellite imagery represents ideal and efficient source of such information while providing the necessary spatial attributes at the city level, which could be combined with Bank’s database on social and economic indicators, environmental attributes and demographic statistics. Similarly to the former project, the service will provide information on the land use dynamics within last decade (between 2000-2002 and 2010-2013 time horizons) but thanks to availability of very high resolution optical images also at better spatial detail. Improved granularity enables detection of desirable land use classes also at higher accuracy.

ESA and the World Bank has already long and successful track in collaboration to explore the potential of Earth Observation for the Bank’s operations. Based on the previous promising outcomes, Earth Observation information support is continuously scaled up and more and more incorporated into World Bank activities in the marine environment, water resources management, urban development, urban and disaster risk management, and agriculture and forestry.

In this assignment, Gisat capitalizes its long standing worldwide expertise in EO based land cover / land use applications in urban domain as well as previous practical experiences with EO based support of international financial institutions (e.g. World Bank, EIB, ADB,…)