Prof. Zhu was recently granted the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant on her project "So2Sat: Big Data for 4D Global Mapping - 1016 Bytes from Social Media to EO Satellites". Please read here for an overview of the ERC grants recieved by TUM this year. The following texts are quoted from the TUM news.

In the project So2Sat, we will use a new method to investigate how cities grow. More and more people move to metropolitan areas. In 2050 three fourths of the world's population will live in metropolises, a fact that presents an enormous challenge to urban planners and logisticians. Planning requires data which has been hard to obtain in the past. In many mega-cities nobody knows how many people live in slums or refugee settlements.

We intend to close these knowledge gaps using a new mapmaking method. Here she uses data supplied by several German and European earth observation satellites, which are equipped with innovative sensor technologies. We will develop new algorithms for the derivation of geo-information from these measurements. This makes it possible to create high-resolution images suitable for the detection of natural hazards and the mapping of cities. For the first time, this information will also be combined with data from social networks: Crowdsourcing platforms such as OpenStreetMap provide up-to-date map material; photos posted to the network provide authentic and current images in which buildings can be seen or which for example reveal the extent of damage caused by a flood. The major challenge here is consolidating this information and evaluating it automatically using machine learning methods. Prof. Zhu's objective in the project So2Sat is to map cities and their population densities and to make the data available to the research community.

Signal Processing in Earth Observation
Prof. Xiaoxiang Zhu

Technische Universität München
Arcisstr. 21
D-80333 München


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