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RMIT University (2020)

Mapping informal settlements in a Middle Eastern environment using remote sensing techniques (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as a case study)

FALLATAH Ahmad Mohammed O

Titre : Mapping informal settlements in a Middle Eastern environment using remote sensing techniques (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as a case study)

Auteur : FALLATAH Ahmad Mohammed O

Université de soutenance : RMIT University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2020

Résumé partiel
Informal settlements and slums have become the new reality for much of the world’s urban poor. Informal settlements result from the urgent need for shelter, high urban growth rates and a shortage of suitable affordable housing. Mapping informal settlements from satellite imagery is challenging in terms of definitions, data availability and methods. Spectral and spatial indicators have been used successfully to analyse informal settlements, using very high spatial resolution imagery (VHR), but require substantial effort in terms of tuning thresholds to local conditions. This research was designed to categorise and explore informal settlements attribution in a Middle Eastern context, using Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as a case study. The thesis poses three research questions and concludes by adapting an ontological framework for mapping informal settlements in this environment. The first research question asks, “How can object-based image analysis (OBIA) be used for mapping informal settlement indicators using VHR imagery in a Middle Eastern context ?” It documents the application of OBIA to map informal settlements, drawing on an existing ontology Kohli et al. (2012) and the indicators of Owen and Wong (2013). Three informal settlements with different land-use histories were selected to represent old and new informal settlements in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Vegetation extent was the most useful indicator, followed by road network with 100% and 84% producer accuracies, respectively. Informal and formal settlements were mapped with an overall accuracy of 83%. It concludes that OBIA is a useful method for mapping informal settlement indicators in Middle Eastern cities. However, a generic ruleset for mapping informal settlements remains elusive, as each indicator requires significant localised ‘tuning’.

Mots clés : ustainable Development Goals (SDG) Informal settlement Object-based image analysis (OBIA) Machine learning (ML) Time series analysis Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Surveying (incl. Hydrographic Surveying) Date/Year Published 2020

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