Capturing the diversity of deprived areas with image-based features: the case of Mumbai

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Many cities in the Global South are facing rapid population and slum growth, but lack detailed information to target these issues. Frequently, municipal datasets on such areas do not keep up with such dynamics, with data that are incomplete, inconsistent, and outdated. Aggregated census-based statistics refer to large and heterogeneous areas, hiding internal spatial differences. In recent years, several remote sensing studies developed methods for mapping slums; however, few studies focused on their diversity. To address this shortcoming, this study analyzes the capacity of very high resolution (VHR) imagery and image processing methods to map locally specific types of deprived areas, applied to the city of Mumbai, India. We analyze spatial, spectral, and textural characteristics of deprived areas, using a WorldView-2 imagery combined with auxiliary spatial data, a random forest classifier, and logistic regression modeling. In addition, image segmentation is used to aggregate results to homogenous urban patches (HUPs). The resulting typology of deprived areas obtains a classification accuracy of 79% for four deprived types and one formal built-up class. The research successfully demonstrates how image-based proxies from VHR imagery can help extract spatial information on the diversity and cross-boundary clusters of deprivation to inform strategic urban management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number384
JournalRemote sensing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • METIS-322154


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