Data Set Urban development

Published on October 20th, 2016 | by Joshua New


Tracking Humanity’s Impact on the Planet

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a series of datasets called the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) which consist of satellite images of the Earth and census data on population over the past 40 years to illustrate the relationships between growing human populations, their locations, and the physical environment. For example, GHSL shows that over the past four decades, an 80 percent increase in the population has resulted in a 250 percent increase in developed areas. JRC also published a report analyzing its findings from GHSL called the Atlas of the Human Planet, which the European Union will use to support the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 plan to promote sustainable development.

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Image: NASA

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About the Author

Joshua New is a policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life. Follow Joshua on Twitter @Josh_A_New.

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