In the last half century the world has faced dramatic growth of its urban population. The number of so-called megacities increased in the period from 1975 to today from 4 to 22, mostly in less developed regions. Urbanisation is arguably the most dramatic form of irreversible land transformation. While urbanisation is a worldwide phenomenon, it is exceptionally dynamic in India, where unprecedented urban growth rates have occurred over the last 20 years. The pattern of urbanisation in India is characterized by continuous concentration of population and activities in large cities. This is manifested in a high percentage of urban population being concentrated in “class-1 cities” (cities having a population of more than a million), and its population has systematically gone up over the decades in the last century. In this uncontrolled explosive situation city planning lacks data and information to measure, monitor and understand urban sprawl processes. The analysis of such changes has become an important application of multispectral remote sensing data. Using time series of remote sensing data to classify the urban footprints enables detection of temporal and spatial urban sprawl, redensification and urban development in India.
In this study the attempt has been made to integrate town directory data with data of class-1 cities of India to get patterns of urbanization of the whole country by extracting the spatial extent of urbanisation in different regions from remote sensing data. For further insight into the temporal extent of urbanisation, a time series of remote sensing data is being used for Delhi & Jaipur.