GHSL: Global Human Settlement Layers, Settlement Grid 1975-1990-2000-2014 (P2016) (JRC/GHSL/P2016/SMOD_POP_GLOBE_V1)

Version v1

The GHSL relies on the design and implementation of new spatial data mining
technologies allowing to automatically process and extract analytics and
knowledge from large amount of heterogeneous data including: global,
fine-scale satellite image data streams, census data, and crowd sources or
volunteered geographic information sources.

The GHS-SMOD is the rural-urban Settlement classification MODel adopted by
the GHSL. It is the representation of the degree of urbanization
concept into the GHSL data scenario. Each grid in the GHS-SMOD has been
generated by integrating the GHSL built-up areas and GHSL population grids
data for reference epochs: 1975, 1990, 2000, 2015.

The DEGURBA classification schema is a people-based definition of cities and
settlements: it operates using as main input a 1 km² grid cell accounting
for population at a given point in time. The DEGURBA discriminates the
population grid cells in three main classes: ‘urban centers
(cities), ‘urban clusters
(towns and suburbs), and ‘rural grid cells’.
(base). These class abstractions translate to ‘high density clusters (HDC)’,
‘low density clusters (LDC)’, and ‘rural grid cells (RUR)’, respectively,
in the GHS-SMOD implementation.

The ‘HDC’ differ from the DEGURBA ‘urban centers
in that they account for the over-fragmentation of cities in regions
with large low-density residential development by integrating the
built-up layer. In the GHS-SMOD representation, the ‘HDC’ are the spatial
generalization of contiguous population grid cells (4-connectivity,
gap-filling) with a density of at least 1500 inhabitants per km² or a
density of built-up surface > 50%, and a minimum total resident population
of 50000. The ‘LDC’ are continuous grid cells with a density of at least 300
inhabitants per km² and a minimum total population of 5000. The ‘RUR’ are
grid cells outside ‘HDC’ and ‘LDC’ with population > 0 and < 300. Everything
else is classified as inhabited areas where population = 0.

This dataset was produced in the World Mollweide projection (EPSG:54009).

For more information visit:

smod_codeDegree of urbanization


EC JRC (producer, licensor)
Google Earth Engine (host)
STAC Version 0.6.0
Keywords jrc, settlements, smod
License proprietary
Temporal Extent 12/31/1974, 4:00:00 PM - 12/30/2015, 4:00:00 PM
Citation Pesaresi, Martino; Freire, Sergio (2016): GHS Settlement grid following the REGIO model 2014 in application to GHSL Landsat and CIESIN GPW v4-multitemporal (1975-1990-2000-2015). European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) [Dataset] PID: [](
Type image_collection
GSD metersm