The case study focuses on the problem of identifying the characteristics of dispersed refugee settlements for which there is limited documentation. The Rubkan settlement was the result of Syrians fleeing their country’s conflict and attempting to cross into Jordan at a remote location. However, they were prohibited crossing the border. Instead, an ad-hoc settlement developed on the Syrian side of the border. This case study examines Rubkan from imagery acquired by the PLEIADES satellite in November of 2014 and in April of 2015(imagery provided by ©CNES 2014 & 2015, Distribution Airbus DS) for the purpose of determining the feasibility of using high resolution remote imagery to estimate the habitation numbers, size and occupancy pattern in a remote refugee settlement.
Recommendation: In order to improve the accuracy of interpreting the imagery, a reference catalog of images should be created that contain both on-the-ground photos and aerial images of individual structures. A reference image catalog will allow analysts to accurately identify the various buildings and features of refugee settlements.
Support provided by Airbus Defense & Space and the Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University