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.
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.
The data used for the current study is listed below:
- Ward boundary map of Delhi
- Ward-wise census population statistics
- Satellite images of IRS 1D LISS-III at 23.5 meters and Pan images at 5.8 meters spatial resolution.
- 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.