Collaborating Authors

Exposure to deadly urban heat has TRIPLED worldwide since the 1980s

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Exposure to deadly urban heat has tripled worldwide since the 1980s, a new study has warned. Researchers at Columbia University's Earth Institute said a quarter of the world's population is now affected as a result of both rising temperatures and booming urban population growth. They studied more than 13,000 cities across the globe and based their calculations on the number of'person-days' that inhabitants were exposed to extreme combinations of heat and humidity. These went from 40 billion per year in 1983 to 119 billion in 2016 -- a threefold increase. By 2016, 1.7 billion people were being subjected to such conditions on multiple days, the researchers said.

Now Even Satellite Images Are Not Deep Fake-Proof


It's making data look uncannily realistic" Recently, Bo Zhao, along with his team of researchers at the University of Washington, argued that with the widespread use of geographic information systems, Google Earth, and other satellite imagery systems, location spoofing has become much more sophisticated. Yifan Sun, a student in the UW Department of Geography, Shaozeng Zhang and Chunxue Xu of Oregon State University, and Chengbin Deng of Binghamton University, co-authored the report. Zhao, along with his team, deployed machine learning algorithms that take in the satellite images of urban areas to learn their characteristics and then impose them into the base map of another city to produce a deep fake image as output. "As technology continues to evolve, this study aims to encourage a more holistic understanding of geographic data and information so that we can demystify the question of absolute reliability of satellite images or other geospatial data. We also want to have more future-oriented thinking to take countermeasures such as fact-checking when necessary," Zhao said.

Painting roofs white can reflect the sun's heat and prevent thousands of deaths

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Thousands of lives lost each year in heatwaves could be prevented by painting roofs white, new research suggests. Cities can heat up by an extra 9 C (16 F) compared to surrounding areas - an effect called the'urban heat island'. But painting roofs in colours that reflect heat back into space can keep buildings significantly cooler, research has found. Cities can heat up by an extra 9 C (16 F) compared to surrounding areas - an effect called the'urban heat island'. Around half of deaths during heatwaves - mainly the elderly - are thought to be caused by the extra heat in cities.



We were fascinated by the possibility of generating new and non-existent but realistic images using conditional adversarial neural networks that remembers a certain set of features from what it has seen in the past; the same process that we humans undergo when we dream. Taking inspiration from the given examples, we applied a pre-defined color scheme to geographic data (OpenStreetMap) using Mapbox Studio: roads, green spaces, buildings, water were styled with different colours (black, green, red, blue), so that the neural network (NN) could compare these to aerial images and learn the correspondence between them. We then used vvvv as a tool to collect both satellite imagery and the associated labeled map tiles. We trained a conditional generative adversarial network, using pix2pix to reconstruct the satellite imagery from its map tiles. The sample below on the right shows the reconstructed sattelite image of the given map tile, closely resembling to the original on the left.

Mesmerizing NASA Images Show Just How Much Cities Grew Over 30 Years

Forbes - Tech

As the world's population continues to dramatically rise, the percentage of people living in cities is also expected to rise. This double effect is captured in NASA's visualization of 30 years of growth from cities around the world. While each set of images spans a unique city in a unique environment and country, they all have one thing in common. Humans are good at modifying our landscape and environment to fit our needs. This is never more evident than watching cities organically grow and make use of the space given to them.