The Global Urban Footprints survey project involves creating a massive database of radar imagery from twin German satellites TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X. Using close to 180,000 radar images, the scientists seek to uncover human development around the world.
Visible Radar Image of Delhi
Considering the project is in its beginning stage, the scientists are yet to put hard numbers on the exact extent of the planet covered by mankind. These numbers are expected to surface in the second phase of the project.
Human Footprints of Paris
The imagery is presented in three colours–black for urban areas, grey for water and white for land surface and many cities resemble Rorschach inkblots that are used as psychological tests. These patterns show amazing forms and differences, and it is fascinating to understand that they finally reflect the result of human-nature interaction over the centuries', held Thomas Esch, one of the scientists on the project.