Problem Set 5

Due by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 2, 2021


You must submit all assignments as a Word document. Answer all questions carefully and neatly. Use section headings to distinguish what question you are answering. If the question involves a graph, copy/paste the graph into your document and make sure the graph has a title and axis labels.

Task 1: Identifying slums with satellite imagery

Go to Google Earth and in the search box look for the capital or a big city in the country you’ve been following all semester. In the bottom right, click the 3D button to turn on 3D viewing mode.

Now, spend some time looking through the city…

  1. Can you find rich and poor communities (e.g., slums) in the images1? Provide one screenshot of each. What are the characteristics of those neighborhoods?

Now go to Google Earth Engine2 and in the search box look for the same city as before. Zoom in a bit on your city and watch the city grow over time. Click through the time slider to move through 10 years of images (or however much is available).

  1. Can you observe the evolution of neighborhoods through time3? Describe your overall sense of how the spatial character of the city has changed and how your rich and poor neighborhoods from the bullet point above have changed. Provide one or two screenshots to help support your claims.

Task 2: World Bank Data

Look at this data from the World Bank on urbanization and slums in Latin America. For your country of interest (or another if yours is not available):

  1. Plot the percent change4 of the urban population for your country and for one other country in the dataset. Can be separate plots if that’s easier. How rapidly has your country urbanized (maybe relative to other country)?

  2. What are some periods of particularly high urbanization? Spending 10-15 min online, can you find any potential explanation for that period of growth?

  3. For the most recent year of available data, make a barplot/chart plot/column plot/etc. of the population living in slums and informal employment for all of the countries in the dataset.

  4. Which country has the biggest/smallest slum population? Which country has the most/least informal workers?

  1. Note that Google might be able to help you with the names of particularly posh and poor neighborhoods, if you’re having trouble finding them!↩︎

  2. Time-lapse used to be on Google Earth, but now they’ve moved it to Google Earth Pro (the Destkop app).↩︎

  3. if not, check the edges of the city!↩︎

  4. Percent change is = (THIS YEAR - LAST YEAR)/LAST YEAR.↩︎