Combining expert and crowd-sourced training data to map urban form and functions for the continental US

Matthias Demuzere, Steve Hankey, Gerald Mills, Wenwen Zhang, Tianjun Lu, Benjamin Bechtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Although continental urban areas are relatively small, they are major drivers of environmental change at local, regional and global scales. Moreover, they are especially vulnerable to these changes owing to the concentration of population and their exposure to a range of hydro-meteorological hazards, emphasizing the need for spatially detailed information on urbanized landscapes. These data need to be consistent in content and scale and provide a holistic description of urban layouts to address different user needs. Here, we map the continental United States into Local Climate Zone (LCZ) types at a 100 m spatial resolution using expert and crowd-sourced information. There are 10 urban LCZ types, each associated with a set of relevant variables such that the map represents a valuable database of urban properties. These data are benchmarked against continental-wide existing and novel geographic databases on urban form. We anticipate the dataset provided here will be useful for researchers and practitioners to assess how the configuration, size, and shape of cities impact the important human and environmental outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number264
JournalScientific Data
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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