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Spatializing Global Urban Extent: A Source Driven Approach...

by Jessica J Moehl, Amy N Rose, Edward A Bright
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
International Conference on GIScience Short Paper Proceedings
Publication Date
Page Numbers
203 to 207
Conference Name
International Conference on GIScience (GIScience 2016)
Conference Location
Montreal, Canada
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

“Urban” is something that intuitively feels very well defined; however, when it comes time to express this idea on a map, things get complicated. Definitions of “urban” vary globally, and as such there is not universal understanding of what makes a given place “urban”. The common approach to spatially defining urban extents is through remotely sensed imagery. The alternative approach presented in this paper uses the percent of population in urban areas, which is a common macroeconomic (country-level) variable with the definition for urban generally defined by each country’s statistical office, along with temporally-aligned highresolution population data to spatially define urban extents for each country. Because the percent urban number is defined by the same producer as other urban/rural defined statistical data, such as household characteristics or birth rate, understanding the spatial aspect of urban from the same perspective is ideal for high resolution spatial modeling of these other phenomena.