Dr. Georgios Ouzounis, Head of AI Research, Atlas AI
Evan Koester, ML Solutions Engineer, Atlas AI
Elliot Macy, Geospatial Data Analyst, Atlas AI
In response to the devastating recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Atlas AI, a leading provider of geospatial intelligence products, has announced the public release of its Atlas of Human Settlements (AHS) 2021 data layers covering Turkey and Syria. We expedited the production and release of the AHS data to support crisis management bodies with crucial intelligence and to help inform the most sustainable approach to long-term rebuilding efforts in these tragically affected regions.
Why the Atlas of Human Settlements is Crucial for Disaster Response
Analysis of the settlements and assets affected by a natural disaster can greatly aid search and rescue efforts, improve the distribution of humanitarian aid, and prioritize mid- and long-term reconstruction and investment planning. The Atlas of Human Settlements (AHS) provides a comprehensive and up-to-date view of human settlements around the world, delivering precise information on the evolving footprint and density of human activity through the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to satellite imagery.
The Atlas of Human Settlements product is explicitly designed to help response agencies answer critical questions during a disaster. For example, where were buildings clustered in the highest density before the incident? Which clusters coincide with the highest population density? How best to approach and access the densest built-up parts within settlements?
Up-to-Date and High-Quality Data
The Atlas of Human Settlements data is available on Google Cloud’s Analytics Hub and powered by BigQuery. Unlike the best alternative source, the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) from 2018, the AHS offers the most up-to-date pre-crisis data from 2021, is of superior quality, and is delivered with annual updates at a spatial resolution of 10 meters. The AHS package being released under Atlas AI’s Open Data Humanitarian License includes three data products covering Turkey and Syria. These include:
- 2021 Built-up Surface Map (binary estimate of human presence in each 100 square meter unit area)
- 2021 Built-up Index Map (scaled estimate of the extent of human presence in each 100 square meter unit area)
- 2021 Built-up Settlement Map (a vector representation of the built-up surface, spatially aggregated within a 50m radius)
Years of research and development have gone into the AHS solution, making it possible to produce high-resolution global settlement maps within hours of a crisis. Nothing is more fundamental than ensuring that we have an up-to-date and accurate picture of where people live on the planet to inform a wide range of investment and humanitarian activities.
Focusing on the Built Environment and Human Settlement
The Atlas of Human Settlements (AHS) focuses on the relationship between the built environment and human settlement -- where people have been known to be living and working. Knowing this with precision can help response efforts, especially in prioritizing outreach to the most densely settled and built-up parts of the region, those most likely to be affected by a natural disaster such as an earthquake.
In conclusion, the Atlas of Human Settlements (AHS) 2021 data layers for Turkey and Syria provide crucial intelligence for crisis management bodies and help inform the most sustainable approach to long-term rebuilding efforts. Atlas AI's platform has been used around the world to expand infrastructure access, inform economic policy, optimize logistics networks, power commercial growth activities, and monitor the sustainability of supply chains.
About Atlas AI
Atlas AI’s inclusive growth platform analyzes, monitors, and forecasts regions of growth, vulnerability, and opportunity around the world. The platform offers insight into where organizations can grow most successfully, and where investment can boost historically under-served communities. Atlas AI's platform has been used around the world to expand infrastructure access, inform economic policy, optimize logistics networks, power commercial growth activities and monitor the sustainability of supply chains. Atlas AI was founded by a team of Stanford University scientists in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and with support from Airbus Ventures and Micron Technologies Inc.
If you would like to learn more about the AHS, please contact Atlas AI at firstname.lastname@example.org.