Next Article in Journal
Occlusion-Free Visualization of Important Geographic Features in 3D Urban Environments
Next Article in Special Issue
A Workflow for Automatic Quantification of Structure and Dynamic of the German Building Stock Using Official Spatial Data
Previous Article in Journal
GeoWeb Crawler: An Extensible and Scalable Web Crawling Framework for Discovering Geospatial Web Resources
Previous Article in Special Issue
Measuring Land Take: Usability of National Topographic Databases as Input for Land Use Change Analysis: A Case Study from Germany
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

A Supervised Approach to Delineate Built-Up Areas for Monitoring and Analysis of Settlements

Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, Weberplatz 1, 01217 Dresden, Germany
Institute for Cartography, Dresden University of Technology, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Martin Behnisch, Gotthard Meinel and Wolfgang Kainz
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(8), 137;
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 6 August 2016
PDF [3688 KB, uploaded 6 August 2016]


Monitoring urban growth and measuring urban sprawl is essential for improving urban planning and development. In this paper, we introduce a supervised approach for the delineation of urban areas using commonly available topographic data and commercial GIS software. The method uses a supervised parameter optimization approach along with buffer-based quality measuring method. The approach was developed, tested and evaluated in terms of possible usage in monitoring built-up areas in spatial science at a very fine-grained level. Results show that built-up area boundaries can be delineated automatically with higher quality compared to the settlement boundaries actually used. The approach has been applied to 166 settlement bodies in Germany. The study shows a very efficient way of extracting settlement boundaries from topographic data and maps and contributes to the quantification and monitoring of urban sprawl. Moreover, the findings from this study can potentially guide policy makers and urban planners from other countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: settlement boundary; land take monitoring; automation; GIS; spatial planning settlement boundary; land take monitoring; automation; GIS; spatial planning

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Harig, O.; Burghardt, D.; Hecht, R. A Supervised Approach to Delineate Built-Up Areas for Monitoring and Analysis of Settlements. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 137.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top