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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

A review of building footprint datasets for sub-Saharan Africa: to what extent are current datasets comparable? Seminar

20 April 2023

Event details

Geography & Environmental Science Seminar

Short overview of the seminar (postponed until further notice, due to speaker illness)

Growth and developments in computing power, machine-learning algorithms and satellite imagery resolution (both spatial and temporal) have led to rapid developments in automated feature-extraction over recent years. These methods have been applied to create geospatial datasets of features such as roads, trees and building footprints, at a range of spatial scales, with national and multi-country datasets now available as open data from multiple sources. In settings with well-developed geospatial data systems, such datasets may complement existing authoritative sources, but in data-scarce settings, they may be the only source of data available. Building footprint data is particularly useful in a range of diverse applications including for mapping population distributions, planning resource distribution campaigns and in humanitarian response activities. However, the degree to which building footprint datasets are comparable, and the impact of selecting a particular dataset on subsequent analyses has not been analysed in detail. Focussing on countries in Africa, in this talk I will review the building footprint datasets that are available and explore their similarities and differences in terms of building area and count metrics at a range of geographic scales.

Speaker Information

Heather Chamberlain is based in the WorldPop research programme, School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton.


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