Origins and philosophy of building a temporal database to examine human transformation processes

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in partnership with the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is using historical maps and satellite images to map human-induced land transformations for the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. This work builds on an earlier effort that documented the historical urban development for the San Francisco Bay area. That effort used a geographic information system to compile a database that provided a visual and historical perspective of the urban growth experienced in the Bay area between 1850 and 1990. Historical overviews of urban development can be used to provide insights into the future. The Bay area work was inspired by the desire to draw upon the USGS's rich 100-year topographic map, and 20-year Landsat satellite data archives. A methodology was developed to combine the information from a variety of sources into an integrated, multi-scale, and multi-resolution dataset. Temporal urban mapping is used to examine past landscapes by incorporating historic maps, census statistics, and commerce records to generate a progressive geo-referenced representation of the past changes in the region. Contemporary analysis focuses on the use of remotely sensed data, existing digital land use data, digital census information, and a variety of Earth science infrastructure data, such as Digital Line Graphs, Digital Elevation Models, and key ancillary demographic information. The resulting database of temporal urban demographic changes provides an ideal source of test data and information for both urban geographers and global change research scientists.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Origins and philosophy of building a temporal database to examine human transformation processes
Year Published 1996
Language English
Publisher American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Publisher location Bethesda, Maryland
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Annual Convention and Exhibition, Baltimore, Md., 22–25 April 1996, Proceedings
Conference Title Annual Convention and Exhibition
Conference Location Baltimore, Maryland
Conference Date April 22-25, 1996
Country United States
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay