EU Science Hub

Global datasets

The GHSL framework generates information layers from open and free input satellite image archives. A first set of  Global Human Settlement (GHS) information are produced from the historical records of Landsat imagery and organised in four data collections centred on the years 1975, 1990, 2000, 2014.  The data processed include imagery at spatial resolution of 15m, 30m, 60 m.  

The GHSL framework also processes data from the Sentinel satellite missions available at 10 m spatial resolution. The 2017 release of GHS data will combine the information extracted  from  Landsat and Sentinel images. All GHS data layers are open source and thus available and accessible.

The GHS layers available in 2016 include: 

  • GHS-BUILT:  built-up areas extracted from the Landsat image archives cantered on the year 1975, 1990, 2000, 2014.
  • GHS-POP:  population generated by disaggregating best-available resident population estimates to built-up areas extracted from Landsat imagery (GHS-BUILT), GHS-POP is  available for the four epochs 1975, 1990, 2000, and 2014. 
  • GHS-SMOD: settlement layer generated according to the degree of urbanization model adopted by EUROSTAT that combines the information from population grids GHS-POP_2015, GHS-POP_2000, GHS-POP_1990, and GHS-POP_1975.

The GHS information layers aim to facilitate the sharing of scientific knowledge and the standardisation of practices in the analysis of global human settlements with the international scientific and practitioners community.