Mapping India's Urbanisation

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Using satellite imagery and machine learning techniques, we analyse the level and form that urbanisation has taken across India over the last four decades. We look at the distribution of built-up settlements, population, urban clusters and economic activity at a high degree of spatial resolution, as well as changes over time starting from 1975 to present.

We are building tools that can be useful for urban planning, investments in transportation and public infrastructure, administrative classifications of areas and land-use policies. For instance, see this tool to explore patterns of growth inside the largest metros, and here to explore urban growth across the country. Our work is done entirely using open-source tools, and our all scripts, methodology and final processed datasets and made available for public use here

A part of our work was featured in chapter eight of the 2nd Volume of the Economic Survey released in August 2017 by the Union Ministry of Finance (see pages 221 onward here). Also, see here, here and here for newspaper pieces discussing our use of satellite data for policy.


Team Lead
Kshitij Batra

Former Junior Fellow

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