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  • Writer's pictureAZ NavTeq

Smart Urban Planning with High Resolution Satellite Imagery

Urban planning covers both the development of open land sites and the renovation of developed parts of the city, in particular, data collection and analysis, prediction, design, strategic planning, economic models and social research. Increasingly, the GIS technology has been applied to map the urban system and to project the consequences of changes.

Currently, lots of cities are developing, therefore there’s a growing demand for up-to-date land topography and land use maps, as well as other spatial data products. These maps are essential to land use development, natural resource management and engineering applications.

Many projects of urban sites planning are based on multi-source remote sensing techniques which are able to ensure best quality data over wide areas. Mapping applications within urban environments are focused on using the latest and least time-consuming approaches to provide the highest product quality at a lower cost.

Medium Resolution Satellite Imagery

Medium resolution satellite data can be applied to perform global spatial queries within urban environments. The wide area coverage allows for vast geographical areas to be covered with a single scene making it a cost-effective assessment tool. Landsat data enables decision-makers to assess the rate of informal settlement occurrence as compared to the rate of new housing development expansion as well as to visualize the patterns of informal settlement distribution in relation to new development projects being delivered. Moreover, it makes it possible to carry out land use trends analysis and identify areas of encroachment and environmental sensitivity.

High Resolution Satellite Imagery

The high-res imagery allows for spatial updates, settlement classification, infrastructure and service provision mapping, green sites development, access control mechanisms and regional planning. The increased spatial accuracy enables action scenario planning and compiles an accurate database of spatial environments.


Providing a basemap for graphical reference and assisting planners

The amount of details that orthoimagery produces using high resolution satellite imagery is of immense value and provides an extreme amount of detail of the focus and surrounding areas. Maps are designed to communicate highly structured message about the world. As maps are location-based, aerial imagery supports people to orient themselves.

Disaster mitigation planning and recovery

The result of a natural calamity can be calamitous and at times difficult to assess. But a disaster risk assessment is essential for rescue workers. This has to be prepared and executed quickly and with accuracy. Object-based image classification using change detection (pre- and post-event) is a quick way to get damage assessments. Other similar applications using satellite imagery in disaster assessments include measuring shadows from buildings and digital surface models.

Catching tax-evaders red-handed by locating new construction and building alterations

If you thought you could hide your home addition or swimming pool from your tax return without the city noticing… If you lived in Athens, Greece, you’d be wrong. The tax revenue agency in Athens, Greece is looking for signs of wealth using satellite data. Not a bad idea where more than 15,000 swimming pools went unclaimed to tax authorities in 2010. The money-strapped country is looking at increasing their tax revenues using remote sensing applications using satellite imagery.

Planning an optimal telecom network capacity

It’s estimated that 87% of the world population now use mobile devices. The astounding rate of growth in this industry requires extensive planning for optimal network capacity. Telecommunications companies are using remote sensing as a cost-effective way to optimize capacity requirements. Radio frequency coverage can be augmented with the appropriate antenna type, location and direction. Satellite-derived terrain, land use and other environmental factors can be modeled to achieve optimal network capacity.

Helping provide clean drinking water with basemaps

Water is life’s most basic need. But nearly 1 billion people live without clean drinking water. The first step in solving this problem is identifying areas that are in need of water. High spatial resolution satellite imagery can really differentiate where water shortages exist. This is the starting point to an action plan. Simple remote sensing applications like base maps can positively affect the lives of millions by establishing where and who is in need of essential resources like water.

Assessing the environmental change and promoting biodiversity in parks

There’s no kidding around of the importance of parks. Parks provide a home for a large number of animals and species at risk. They often prohibit development and are used for camping and recreation. Parks can be large in scale making them a difficult resource to manage. Remote sensing data gathered over time can show landscape change. Some remote sensing applications in parks include mapping biodiversity, invasive species and forest fire risk.

Observing population growth in urban areas using land use change

Urban planners want to know population growth and distribution to optimize development and improve the well-being of citizens. Land use change can be modeled to provide an accurate measure for population growth. Not only is it accurate, but land cover provided more detail for population growth distribution within cities and census tracts.

Reducing traffic jams using change detection

Our increasing populations and urbanization has led to increasing amounts of traffic in urban centers. Traffic jams mean wasted fuel and time. Ground measuring systems provide extremely precise traffic volumes but it’s limited to selected roadways. Traffic density is being monitored using change detection. Traffic analysts can compare two satellite images with slight lags. This shows traffic movement over a larger picture.

Creating an automated road network instantly

Urban planners, emergency crews and navigation systems require up-to-date road networks. As new neighborhood sprout up, it’s challenging to keep road network databases updated. An approach using multispectral images and object-based classification has automated the tedious process of generating road networks. One of the key challenges has been differentiating parking lots from roads.

What AZ NavTeq is Offering

Planning requires spatial thinking, geographic information system gives us the tools we need to think spatially. AZ NavTeq provides medium to high-resolution satellite imagery for urban planning and development. The experts at AZ NavTeq can also turn these satellite imageries into useful spatial database for topographic surveys, land use classification, land use planning and other essential products.

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