Digital world meets urban planet–new prospects for evidence-based urban studies arising from joint exploitation of big earth data, information technology and shared knowledge

Thomas Esch, Hubert Asamer, Felix Bachofer, Jakub Balhar, Martin Boettcher, Enguerran Boissier, Pablo d' Angelo, Caroline M. Gevaert, Andreas Hirner, Katerina Jupova, Franz Kurz, Andrews Kwarteng, Emmanuel Mathot, Mattia Marconcini, Alessandro Marin, Annekatrin Metz-Marconcini, Fabrizio Pacini, Marc Paganini, Hans Permana, Tomas SoukupSoner Uereyen, Christopher Small, Vaclav Svaton, Julian Nils Zeidler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The digital transformation taking place in all areas of life has led to a massive increase in digital data–in particular, related to the places where and the ways how we live. To facilitate an exploration of the new opportunities arising from this development the Urban Thematic Exploitation Platform (U-TEP) has been set-up. This enabling instrument represents a virtual environment that combines open access to multi-source data repositories with dedicated data processing, analysis and visualisation functionalities. Moreover, it includes mechanisms for the development and sharing of technology and knowledge. After an introduction of the underlying methodical concept, this paper introduces four selected use cases that were carried out on the basis of U-TEP: two technology-driven applications implemented by users from the remote sensing and software engineering community (generation of cloud-free mosaics, processing of drone data) and two examples related to concrete use scenarios defined by planners and decision makers (data analytics related to global urbanization, monitoring of regional land-use dynamics). The experiences from U-TEP’s pre-operations phase show that the system can effectively support the derivation of new data, facts and empirical evidence that helps scientists and decision-makers to implement improved strategies for sustainable urban development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Earth
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • decision support
  • earth observation
  • human settlements
  • Service platform
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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