In Ho Chi Minh City, computer analysis of orbital images overlooks some urban communities. To represent them, cities will have to put boots on the ground.
RAKSYBH / SHUTTERSTOCK
It turns out to be more complicated than that. When three different research groups (including my own at the University of Southern California) processed almost the same images of Ho Chi Minh City’s rapid urbanization during the 2000s, we produced different results. All three groups agreed on the location of the city center, but mine mapped the city’s periphery differently. That’s the place where most megacities in the global South exhibit their most dramatic physical growth. In particular, we identified more of the informal, self-built housing in the swampier southern area of the city.
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