This project is an experiment in using simple image processing techniques on satellite images downloaded from Google Maps in order to quantify the relative density of temporary shelters in adjacent qudarants. The initial focus of this work is Port-au-Prince in Haiti where there are large numbers of slum dwellings, many of which appear to be covered in blue plastic tarpaulins. These provide a very distinctive feature which can be quantified. Take a look at my write up of the approach in the file BlueTarpQuantificationReport.pdf The image processing code is written in Python and uses the python interface to the excellent OpenCV library (http://opencv.org/). The code for downloading images is written in Ruby. This code is made freely available under the terms of the MIT license. The github repository is https://github.com/craic/count_shelters If you have any questions or comments please contact me - Robert Jones (firstname.lastname@example.org) Prerequisites: The OpenCV library with python bindings must be installed Fetching segments of satellite images from Google maps This URL will fetch a 640x640 pixel image centered on the latitude and longitude at a zoom level of 19: http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/staticmap?center=18.543012,-72.339585&zoom=19&size=640x640&maptype=satellite&sensor=false See google documentation for more information A zoom level of 19 (at least in terms of imagery in Haiti) corresponds to approximately 180 meters on the ground Example images See the files test_image_1.png and test_image_2.png for two example images Google owns the copyright to these images - I will be happy to remove them upon request Alternatively, use variants of the URL given above to fetch other images Scripts detect_blue_tarps.py This script processes an input image and outputs the area of blue pixels along with two derived images - a one bit deep (binary) thresholded image showing blue areas as white on black - and the original images in which blue regions are outlined in red. count_blue_pixels.py A stripped down version of detect_blue_tarps.py that simply returns the total area of blue regions fetch_image_times.rb A Ruby script that generates URLs to fetch adjacent image tiles that make up a matrix. The script fetches those images, computes blue regions inn each and outputs the results as a CSV file.