Assessing Human Settlement Sprawl in Mexico via Remote Sensing and Deep Learning



Antonio Briseno Montes

Montes, Antonio Briseño, Joaquin Salas, Elio Atenogenes Villaseñor Garcia, Ranyart Rodrigo Suarez, and Danielle Wood. "Assessing Human Settlement Sprawl in Mexico via Remote Sensing and Deep Learning." IEEE Latin America Transactions 22, no. 3 (2024): 174-185.


Understanding human settlements' geographic location and extent can support decision-making in resource distribution, urban growth policies, and natural resource protection. This research presents an approach to assess human settlement sprawl using labeled multispectral satellite image patches and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN). By training deep learning classifiers with a dataset of 5,359,442 records consisting of satellite images and census data from 2010, we evaluate sprawl for settlements across the country. The study focuses on major cities in Mexico, comparing ground truth results for 2015 and 2020. EfficientNet-B7 achieved the best performance with a ROC AUC of 0.970 and a PR AUC of 0.972 among various CNN architectures evaluated. To evaluate human settlement sprawl, we introduce an information-based metric that offers advantages over entropy-based alternatives. 

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