Merger of Remote Sensing and Census Data Yields Surprising Results
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Merger of Remote Sensing and Census Data Yields Surprising Results

RMSI Study Reveals Payoff from Merger of Satellite and Census Data

NEWARK CA, April 19, 2006: A recent RMSI study that involved merging satellite imagery with federal demographic data has produced unexpected and bountiful answers for government and business alike. The surprising results show it is possible to create “new” algorithm-based information sets by merging available census data with satellite-derived data. The study thus reveals that seemingly disparate and easily available macro-level information can now generate micro-level answers by using GIS.

Satellite-based land use data has long been a key input for various applications such as urban and utility planning, telecom sector and environmental/hazard planning. However, a team of specialists from RMSI is showing that by combining the satellite-harvested relative density and height of buildings with census data, a new picture emerges that sheds light on disciplines ranging from the study of commercial arteries, to civil engineering and retail buying potential.

Study Area

Subject of the study area was the city of Delhi, India. Using ERDAS Imagine v.8.6 and ESRI ArcView v.3.2 software, managers from RMSI successfully merged Census of India demographic statistics with existing land use raster maps, which were initially converted to vector format, and subsequently merged with geo-referenced census maps at the “ward” level. The result is output that is proving useful for analysis by urban planners, the banking sector, utility planners, consumer service centers and others in need of location-based analysis.

Data Inputs

The data used for the current study is listed below:

  1. Ward boundary map of Delhi
  2. Ward-wise census population statistics
  3. Satellite images of IRS 1D LISS-III at 23.5 meters and Pan images at 5.8 meters spatial resolution.
  4. Topographical maps at 1:50,000 scale

The satellite images required for the study were acquired from National Remote Sensing Agency of India (NRSA). LISS-III and Pan (5.8 meters) images were combined, respectively, to provide both spectral signatures and spatial resolution details.

The benefits of the study are expected to have application in any world region with appropriate administrative boundary, relatively detailed census data, and access to satellite imagery.

About RMSI

Originating in Silicon Valley in 1992, the company was founded and is managed by alumni from Stanford University. Today, RMSI's resource base comprises over 900 software, data and technology specialists. The company is part of one of the UK's largest listed companies, the Daily Mail and General Trust plc. The combination of technical, financial, and human resource strengths, coupled with domain knowledge in many vertical markets, makes RMSI a unique global solution provider.

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