Remotely-Sensed Derived Built-up Area as an Alternative Indicator in the Study of Thailand’s Regional Development

Sirivilai Teerarojanarat(1*)

(1) Geography and Geoinformatics Research Unit, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
(*) Corresponding Author


Nowadays measuring national and regional development primarily relies on demographic and socio-economic indicators. An indicator in physical dimension e.g., areas of human settlements and their economic uses of lands is usually ignored due to unavailability of data in countries like Thailand. Remotely-sensed derived built-up area was used, for the first time, as a physical indicator for studying Thailand’s regional development. Remote sensing - using the decision tree classifier with the combination indices of band ratios, NDVI, MNDWI, and NDBI - and GIS techniques were utilized to estimate the regional proportion of built-up area. The relationships between the percentage of the derived built-up area and the three development indicators - urbanization rate, Gross Regional Product, and Human Achievement Index - were analyzed. Resultantly, the estimate of the 2019 derived built-up area in Thailand was 2.46% with the average accuracy of 84.5%. Regional variation in development levels existed and relationships between the percentage of built-up area and the three development indicators for the regions were strong. However, there was no relationship after excluding the region having the effect of Bangkok. Therefore, remotely-sensed derived built-up area gives new information and is suggested for use for the analysis of Thailand’s regional development.


Built-up area; Remote sensing, GIS; Regional study; Thailand

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