Over the last decades, the rapid growth of the world population has led to a large number of emerging megacities. The 1999 Izmit (Turkey) earthquake is a striking example of the impact of natural hazards on megacities. On August 17, 1999, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the area of Izmit, Turkey, resulting in 18,000 fatalities and US$ 18 billion in economic losses. The probability of a magnitude 7 earthquake striking Istanbul within the next 30 years ranges between 30% to 70%. In order to reduce the impact of natural hazards on human lives, emergency management plans are essential. The development of these plans strongly relies on up-to-date population and inventory data. However, existing techniques for population data generation do not meet the requirements of today’s dynamic cities. In this context, remote sensing has become an important source of information in the last years. However, detailed analyses on the suitability of remote sensing for urban applications are still rare.
For her study, Julia Kubanek conducted a quantitative evaluation of the suitability of Ikonos imagery (1m resolution) for population modeling in the district of Zeytinburnu (Istanbul, Turkey). The results show that Ikonos images can be used for complementing existing inventory data sets. The automated extraction of single buildings was identified as the major source of error in the estimation of the population.
Kubanek's study discusses the replacement of traditional, time-consuming and cost-intensive techniques for population estimation with remotely sensed imagery as a relatively new data source in an increasingly urbanized and fast-changing world. Her book addresses scientists and professionals in geography, remote sensing, urban planning, and natural hazards research.