A spatial typology for settlement pattern analysis in small islands

Michael Rodrigues


This paper presents a method of settlement mapping and typological classification in small islands. Selecting the Atlantic islands of São Miguel, Madeira, Gran Canaria and Tenerife as study areas, data acquisition was made through classification of remotely sensed imagery. This study addresses the islands’ lack of large scale spatial data, since there are no land use/cover datasets covering all these islands at a suitable scale for more detailed studies. Due to the large scale data produced, settlement differentiation is only possible through a morphological approach, therefore a morphological restricted typology is proposed. In order to apply the proposed settlement typology in a systematic and representative analysis, the study concludes measuring the relationship between settlement types and terrain attributes through a multinomial logit model. Overall, the study contributes to a better understanding of the islands’ settlement pattern using a method that may be applied elsewhere.

Texto completo:



Ackermann, G.; Mering, C. & Quensiere, J. (2003): “Analysis of built-up areas extension on the Petite Côte Region (Senegal) by remote sensing”, Cybergeo European Journal of Geography, Cartography, Images, GIS, 249.

Alvheim, S. (2000): The urban system of eastern Norway, Working paper No. 67/00, Bergen, Foundation for Research in Economics and Business Administration.

Aytekin, Ö. & Ulusoy, İ. (2011): “Automatic segmentation of VHR images using type information of local structures acquired by mathematical morphology”, Pattern Recognition Letters, 32, 13, pp. 1618-1625.

Barnsley, M.; Barr, S.; Hamid, A.; Muller, P.; Sadler, G. & Shepherd, J. (1993): "Analytical tools to monitor urban areas", in Mather, P. (ed.), Geographical information handling research and applications, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 147-184.

Benediktsson. J.; Pesaresi, M. & Arnason, K. (2003): "Classification and feature extraction for remote sensing images from urban areas based on morphological transformations", IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 41, 9, pp. 1940-1949.

Blaschke, T.; Burnett, C. & Pekkarinen, A. (2004): "Image segmentation methods for object-based analysis and classification", in Jong, S., Van Der Meer, F. (eds.), Remote sensing image analysis: including the spatial domain, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 211-236.

Cihlar, J.; Latifovic, R. & Beaubien, J. (2000): "A comparison of clustering strategies for unsupervised classification", Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 5, pp. 446-454.

Comber, A. (2008): "Land use or land cover?", Journal of Land Use Science, 3, 4, pp. 199–201.

Coombes, M. (2004): "Multiple dimensions of settlement systems: coping with complexity", in Champion, T. & Hugo, G. (eds.): New forms of urbanization: beyond the urban-rural dichotomy, Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 307-324.

Corander, J.; Gyllenberg, M. & Koski, T. (2009): "Bayesian unsupervised classification framework based on stochastic partitions of data and a parallel search strategy", Advances in Data Analysis and Classification, 3, pp. 3-24.

Costea, A. & Eklund, T. (2003): "A two-level approach to making class predictions", Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

EEA (2006): "Annex: data and methodological approach", in European Environment Agency, Urban sprawl in Europe: the ignored challenge, EEA Report No 10/2006, Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, pp. 49-52.

Epstein, J.; Karen P. & Kramer, E. (2002): "Techniques for mapping suburban sprawl", Photogrammetric Engineering Remote Sensing, 63, 9, pp. 913-918.

ESPON (2005): “Part 1: summary”, in ESPON 1.1.1: potentials for polycentric development in Europe. Final report. Stockholm, NORDREGIO, pp. 1-32.

EUROSTAT (2012): "Focus on territorial typologies", in Eurostat regional yearbook 2012, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union, pp. 195-201.

Foody, G. (2002): "Status of land cover classification accuracy assessment", Remote Sensing of Environment, 80, 1, pp. 185-201.

Gluch, R. & Ridd, M. (2010): "The V-I-S model: quantifying the urban environment", in Rashed, T., Jurgens, C. (eds.): Remote sensing of urban and suburban areas, New York, Springer, pp. 85-116.

Hall, O. (2010): "Remote sensing in social science research", The Open Remote Sensing Journal, 3, pp. 1-16.

Hasse, J. & Lathrop, R. (2003): "Land resource impact indicators of urban sprawl", Applied Geography, 23, pp. 159-175.

Huang, B.; Zhang, L. & Wu, B. (2009): "Spatiotemporal analysis of rural-urban land conversion", International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 23, 3, pp. 379-398.

Hu, Z. & Lo, C. (2007): "Modelling urban growth in Atlanta using logistic regression", Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 31, 6, pp. 667-688.

Jensen, J. R. & Cowen, D. C. (1999): "Remote sensing of urban/suburban infrastructure and socio-economic attributes", Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 65, 5, pp. 611-622.

Jensen, J. & Im, J. (2007): "Remote sensing change detection in urban environments", in Jensen, R.; Gatrell, J. & McLean, D. (eds.): Geo-spatial technologies in urban environments: policy, practice, and pixels, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, pp. 7-31.

Jin, X. & Davis, C. (2005): "Automated building extraction from high-resolution satellite imagery in urban areas using structural, contextual, and spectral information", EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing, 14, pp. 2196–2206.

Lamovšek. A. (2007): "Settlement patterns in Europe: elements and comparative typology", in Getimis, P. & Kafkalas, G. (eds.): Overcoming fragmentation in southeast Europe: spatial development trends and integration potential, Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 235-266.

Liu, H.; Wang, Y. & Luan, Q. (2007): "Semiautomatic extraction of building information based on mathematical morphology", in Chen, J. & Pu, Y. (eds.): Geoinformatics 2007: geospatial information science, Proceedings of the SPIE, Volume 6753.

Lu, D. & Weng, Q. (2007): "A survey of image classification methods and techniques for improving classification performance", International Journal of Remote Sensing, 28, 5, pp. 823-870.

Menard, S. (2002): "Applied logistic regression analysis". Quantitative applications in the social sciences, Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications.

Millington, J.; Perry, G. & Romero-Calcerrada, R. (2007): "Regression techniques for examining land use/cover change: a case study of a mediterranean landscape", Ecosystems, 10, pp. 562–578.

Mitković, P.; Vasilevska, L.; Bogdanović, I. & Dinić, M. (2002): "Functional and size typology of village settlements in the city of Niš territory", Architecture and Civil Engineering, 2, 4, pp. 231-249.

Newman, P.; Marinova, D.; Armstrong, R.; Raven, M.; Marley, J.; McGrath, N. & Spring, F. (2008): Desert settlement typology: preliminary literature, DKCRC Research Report 35, Alice Springs, Desert Knowledge CRC.

NUREC (1994): Atlas of agglomerations in the European Union, Duisburg, NUREC.

Pesaresi, M. & Ehrlich, D. (2009): "A methodology to quantify built-up structures from optical VHR imagery", in Gamba, P. & Herold, M. (eds.): Global mapping of human settlements: experiences, data sets and prospects. New York, Taylor and Francis, pp. 27–59.

Sharma, L.; Pandey, P. & Nathawat, M. (2012): "Assessment of land consumption rate with urban dynamics change using geospatial techniques". Journal of Land Use Science, 7, 2, pp. 135–148.

Soille, P. (2003): Morphological image analysis: principles and applications, Berlin, Springer-Verlag.

Soille, P. & Vogt, P. (2009): "Morphological segmentation of binary patterns", Pattern Recognition Letters, 30, 4, pp. 456-459.

Triantakonstantis, D.; Mountrakis, G. & Wang, J. (2011): "A spatially heterogeneous expert based (SHEB) urban growth model using model regionalization", Journal of Geographic Information System, 3, pp. 195-210.

UN-HABITAT (1976): “Vancouver declaration on human settlements”. UN Conference on Human Settlements, Vancouver, 31 May-11 June, 1976.

Vogt, P.; Riitters, K.; Estreguil, C.; Kozak, J.; Wade, T. & Wickham, J. (2007): "Mapping spatial patterns with morphological image processing", Landscape Ecology, 22, 2, pp. 171–177.

Wang, X. & Kockelman, K. (2009): "Application of the dynamic spatial ordered probit model: patterns of land development change in Austin, Texas". Papers in Regional Science, 88, 2, pp. 345-366.

Weber, C. (2001): "Urban agglomeration delimitation using remote sensing data", in Donnay, J.; Barnsley, M. & Longley, P. (eds.): Remote sensing and urban analysis, London, Taylor and Francis, pp. 145-160.

Williams, K. (2005): "Spatial planning, urban form and sustainable transport: an introduction", in

Williams, K. (ed.): Spatial planning, urban form and sustainable transport, Hampshire, Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 1-13.

Yang, X. (2010): "Integration of remote sensing with GIS for urban growth characterization", in Jiang, B. & Yao, X. (eds.): Geospatial analysis and modelling of urban structure and dynamics, New York, Springer, pp. 223-250.

Licencia Creative Commons

Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivar 4.0 Internacional.

GeoFocus es la revista del Grupo de Tecnologías de la Información Geográfica de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles. Recibe soporte institucional y técnico de RedIRIS (Red Española de I+D soportada por el Gobierno de España), de la FECYT (Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología) y Grumets (Grupo de Investigación Métodos y Aplicaciones en Teledetección y Sistemas de Información Geográfica).