South Africa - High Resolution Settlement Layer

Last Updated:
March 23, 2018
South Africa

The High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL) provides estimates of human population distribution at a resolution of 1 arc-second (approximately 30m) for the year 2015. The population estimates are based on recent census data and high-resolution (0.5m) satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe. The population grids provide detailed delineation of settlements in both urban and rural areas, which is useful for many research areas—from disaster response and humanitarian planning to the development of communications infrastructure. The settlement extent data were developed by the Connectivity Lab at Facebook using computer vision techniques to classify blocks of optical satellite data as settled (containing buildings) or not. Center for International Earth Science Information Networks (CIESIN) at Earth Institute Columbia University used proportional allocation to distribute population data from subnational census data to the settlement extents.

The data-sets contain the population surfaces, metadata, and data quality layers. The population data surfaces are stored as GeoTIFF files for use in remote sensing or geographic information system (GIS) software.

The data can also be explored via an interactive map -

Citation: Facebook Connectivity Lab and Center for International Earth Science Information Network - CIESIN - Columbia University. 2016. High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL). Source imagery for HRSL © 2016 DigitalGlobe.

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About this data

Last Updated
March 23, 2018
Release Year