available data

To achieve greater understanding of the linkages between land cover change, the environment, and human activities, our research has included development of maps, computer models, and datasets to describe the behavior of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems.

Maps of urban expansion in East-Southeast Asia, 2000-2010

Download the dataset and the readme file
The countries that comprise East, Southeast and South Asia collectively make up greater than 50% of the global population. During the last decade, this region has become one of the fastest urbanizing locations in the world, with rapidly developing countries such as China moving from 20 to 50% urbanization in just a few decades. In the next 20 years, populations are projected to add another 1 billion people in these countries, with 90% of that growth occurring in cities and metropolitan areas that comprise <1% of the total land area. Clearly, such a transition to urban living has profound economic, social, political, and environmental impacts, depending on the shape, form, and type of urbanization that has occurred. Information on urban trends are of critical importance for a wide range of researchers, practitioners, governments and institutions interested in food/water security, disaster management, climate change adaptation, and human health and well-being. This raises several important questions: How have cities changed during the last decade? Where has urban expansion occurred, and how fast? How are population growth and urban spatial expansion related? With these questions in mind, we are pleased to present a new satellite-based dataset depicting urban land c 2000 and urban expansion 2000-2010 for 17 countries in East and Southeast Asia at 250 m spatial resolution. For more information and access to these data, please email Annemarie Schneider. These maps were developed in tandem with population density maps for the same region, available through the WorldPop project.
maps of urban expansion

Global maps of urban extent from satellite data

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Although cities cover a tiny fraction (< 1%) of the world’s surface, urban areas are the nexus of human activity with >50% of the population and 70-90% of economic activity. As such, material / energy consumption, air pollution, and expanding impervious surface are all concentrated in urban areas, with important environmental implications at local, regional and potentially global scales. New ways to measure the built environment over large areas are thus critical to answering a wide range of research questions on the role of urbanization in climate, biogeochemistry and hydrological cycles. In this ongoing research initiative, we have developed a new dataset depicting global urban land c. 2001-2002 based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 500-m satellite data. Our methods exploit temporal and spectral information in one year of MODIS observations, classified using an ensemble decision tree classification approach. Contact Prof. Annemarie Schneider with any questions about this dataset.
global maps urban extent

Irrigated lands from remote sensing

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This dataset contains information on irrigated lands at high spatial resolution (500 meters) for the continental US circa year 2001. It was generated from data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument and globally extensive ancillary sources of gridded climate and agricultural data using a supervised decision tree classification algorithm. This is a highly detailed map of irrigated lands in the US where each pixel in the dataset shows the fraction of irrigated area [0-100 %] at the native resolution. Contact Prof. Mutlu Ozdogan with any questions about this dataset.
irrigated lands

Maps of urban expansion in China, 1978-2010

Coming soon!

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