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Dynamics of human presence on Earth maps by satellite images

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission presented on 18 October 2016 at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) a series of numbers extracted from a new global database which tracks human presence on Earth.

The datasets are based on more than 12.4k billions of individual image data records collected by different satellite sensors in the past 40 years.

For instance, since 1975, built-up areas have increased by 2.5 times globally, while the global population increased by a factor of 1.8. Today 7.3 billion people live and work in only 7.6% of the global land mass.

Nine out of the ten most populated urban centres are in Asia, while five out of the ten largest urban centres are in the United States.

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(Source European Commission)