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Historical assessment of spatial growth of build-ups in metropolitian areas of India and Bangladesh

Assessment of build-ups for World Bank

Project duration: 2011 to 2012

Project manager: Tomáš Soukup

Gisat has supported activities of World Bank in the field of sustainable urban development and planning in selected megacities in India and Bangladesh by creation of service for historical assessment of spatial growth of built up areas. In a joint initiative of World Bank and ESA named eoworld the project has been solved together with fourteen other projects in different thematic areas such as crisis management in urban areas or water resources management.

The service created in this project is an instrument for assessing growth of built up areas in three megacities – Delhi, Mumbai and Dhaka in 1990, 2000 and 2010/2011. The project work also included in addition to processing of satellite images a creation of report evaluating the quantitative aspects of the identified changes and their spatial and temporal distribution.

World Bank deals with impact of megacities growth in South Asia as a part of its program of South Asia Megacities Improvement Program. These metropolitan areas are an example of development in the form of rapid expansion due to high natural increase and immigration. The studies showed that although the urbanization is an integral part of economic development, developing countries fail in providing appropriate opportunities for housing and access to infrastructure.

For urban planners these conditions make a challenge to implement a policy of sustainable development and improving the situation in slums and to provide access to infrastructure. Insight into the structure of urban growth enables to predict the future development and therefore better prioritization of investments and preparation of the basis for future World Bank activities in the region.

The service, created in GISAT that supports activities of World Bank in the region in South Asia, uses SPOT sensor data at spatial resolution of 2,5, 10 and 20 m and RapidEye data at 5 m spatial resolution. Results can be viewed using a web tool here, that was developed in the framework of ESA‘s project Urban Atlas. The purpose of the instrument is viewing land use and land cover in the spatial and temporal context or in the context of economic statistics on the satellite data background.


The company was founded in 1990 as a first Czech company providing geoinformation services in the area of remote sensing. The company is oriented on remote sensing and GIS applications including satellite data retail. The wide scope of services is based on partnerships with all major Earth observation satellite data providers. Gisat has extensive long-term experiences with leadership of international projects, as well as a solid knowledge of the specific situation in countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Its clients are both public administration bodies and companies from commercial and industrial sector.

What would you name as main benefits of the project to your company?

“Participation in the project EOWORLD primarily enabled us to establish direct cooperation with the World Bank. In the future this means for us a better understanding of processes and methods of decision making in this international institution, a better insight into the current state of information infrastructure in the Bank and its future needs in this area. Finally, this project brought us important personal contacts in this institution.”