Potential applications

Monitoring change

Urban development is one of the key issues facing land-use planning departments today. Monitoring the spread of urbanization concerns regions, groups of urban communities or even entire countries, and may sometimes span international borders. Regional and local development programmes need geographic information to give decision-makers a broad picture that reaches across all sectors. Such programmes have to ensure that land-use provisions are spatially coherent and take environmental issues fully into account.
Collecting uniform and current geographic data for planning purposes is not always an easy task. Tools for tracking built-up areas, especially in peri-urban zones, require map coverage of vast areas that is both accurate-to locate buildings-and uniform.

Land-use planning departments rely on geographic data updated on a yearly basis covering urban conurbations at a scale of 1:10 000. SPOT 5's improved resolution and wide-area coverage lets urban planners:

Shape and distribution criteria can be applied to built-up areas and vegetation to classify urban areas as:
- urban historic centre
- urban extra-muros
- urban
- detached housing
- apartments
- specific urban areas


To promote sustainable urban development and enhance quality of life, urban planning departments are focusing their attention on vegetation in urban and peri-urban zones-parks and green spaces, hedgerows and wooded areas bordering lakes, rivers and canals-in order to zone and protect greenbelt areas.
SPOT 5's improved resolution and spectral sensing capability make it possible to:

SPOT 5 2.5-metre colour imagery enables automatic calculation of indicators showing the area covered by vegetation inside each census parcel of the urban database (at a scale of 1:10 000).



Cities grow by spreading outwards or through a process of densification. Spatial distribution of housing and unoccupied land is the kind of information SPOT 5 imagery can highlight for urban land-use planning.


The advantages of SPOT 5 for urban mapping at 1:10 000

HRG instrument (High Resolution Geometric)
Multi-resolution, wide-swath imaging

- Finer ground resolution in black-and-white mode: 2.5 metres and 5 metres (instead of 10 metres).
- Finer resolution in colour mode: 10 metres (instead of 20 metres) for studying vegetation.
- Like all their predecessors, each SPOT 5 instrument covers a 60-kilometre swath, making it possible to image large conurbations in a single pass.