High Performance Geocomputation for Assessing Human Dynamics at Planet Scale

Settlements are key indicators of human presence on the landscape. Large scale mapping of human settlements and their morphology from very high-resolution satellite images is a critical step towards developing an interpretative understanding of population distribution and the sociocultural attributes of the built environment they live in. Convolutional neural network (CNN) based Deep Learning experiments indicates that such computations can be scaled to some of the largest high-performance computing (HPC) architectures. While early results are encouraging for developing settlement and corresponding population maps
at unprecedented speed and spatial resolutions, characterizing human dynamics at planet scale with high temporal resolution will require the community to develop novel geocomputational infrastructures and ecosystems.