Urban areas are growing rapidly in all countries of the world. Urban growth and its associated problems are very challenging tasks in which remote sensing imageries could help to get up-to-date information. During the last decades and especially during the last few years we recognized rapid advances in the imaging technology (e.g. high spatial resolution and 3D) and in the digital image analysis techniques. According to the growing awareness of urban areas, agglomerations and mega cities more and more scientists focus on topic related to them. Based on the previous works of Prof. Dr. Carsten Jürgens, a national Urban Remote Sensing event was organized in 1997, and then he and Prof. Dr. Derya Maktav established the International Urban Remote Sensing Symposium (later fusioned with URBAN conferences and since then known as Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event (JURSE)) in 2001 in Regensburg (Germany) and 2002 in İstanbul (Türkiye). Due to the international recognition of these events, the former EARSeL president Prof. Dr. Eberhard Parlow asked them to introduce a new Special Interest Group (SIG) on Urban Remote Sensing for EARSeL and they agreed to further support research and information exchange in this area with the name of “Urban Remote Sensing”.

This SIG is chaired by Dr. Valerie Graw from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany and co-chaired by Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Topan from Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Türkiye.

If you have any comments, ideas or suggestions relating this SIG please do not hesitate to contact us.

Former Chair and Co-chair:

Prof. Dr. Carsten Jürgens (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Derya Maktav (İstanbul Technical University, Türkiye)


  • To be a forum for the community interested in use of remote sensing and GIS for urban areas.
  • Organize symposia, workshops, tutorials and special conference sessions to disseminate urban remote sensing knowledge.
  • To bring together experts from the various remote sensing agencies working in the field of remote sensing and GIS for urban areas.
  • Create a forum for international discussion to better prepare the urban remote sensing and geography communities for new developments in technology and application.


  • Urban climatology, geology, and geohazards
    • Urban heat island (UHI) effects,
    • Air quality assessment,
    • Subsidence,
    • Hydrology,
    • Earthquake/volcanic/ falling, landslide and debris flow geological hazards,
    • Coastal hazards,
    • Environmental monitoring (soil, groundwater contaminant studies),
  • RS applications to social sciences
    • Applications to vital statistics,
    • RS and health,
    • RS and GIS applications to social sciences,
    • Applications to security and emergency,
    • Applications to “World Expo” and “Olympic Games”,
    • RS and GIS applications in archaeology,
  • RS applications to urban planning and conservation
    • Urban planning,
    • Transportation planning,
    • Digital city,
    • Urban conservation,
    • Urban simulation based on RS,
    • Cultural heritage,
  • Urban development and growth pattern
    • Change detection,
    • High spatial resolution satellite data,
    • Pixel and object based classification,
    • Unmixing,
    • Urban development modeling,
    • Contributions to urban trajectory theory,
    • Detailed structure change,
    • Smart growth,
  • Urban and peri-urban ecology
    • Urban and peri-urban landscape ecology,
    • Urban and peri-urban ecological process modeling,
    • Comparative studies,