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Copernicus Human Settlements Services (HSS)

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With the Sentinel suite of satellites the European Copernicus program provides free and open satellite data for the Copernicus services and the scientific community. Also the monitoring of built-up and population by the GHSL project will rely on the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites.

The first experiment on Global Processing of Sentinel-1 Copernicus Earth Observation Data for Monitoring Human Presence on Earths resulted in several thematic layers that can be visualized through our interactive map. The dataset has been produced by means of the GHSL methodology and soon they will be available for download.

During 2017, the JRC plans to perform the first assessment of the GHSL production using Sentinel2 multispectral EO data. The first results of the experiments on integrated assessment of S1, S2, and Landsat data in support to the GHSL production are planned during 2018.

For the next phase of Copernicus after 2020, the JRC proposes a dedicated Copernicus Human Settlements Services (HSS) aims at providing free, high quality standardized data about the status of human settlements and their dynamics both in terms of built-up and population. It will include all typologies of settlements from the megacity to the rural hamlet, but also taking into account temporary and informal settlements like slums or refugee camps. It will maximize the use of Copernicus Earth Observations missions (i.e. Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2) in conjunction with in-situ population data.