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The detection of settlements without electricity challenge track (Track DSE) of the 2021 IEEE GRSS Data Fusion Contest, organized by the Image Analysis and Data Fusion Technical Committee (IADF TC) of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SolarAid, and Data Science Experts, aims to promote research in automatic detection of human settlements deprived of access to electricity using multimodal and multitemporal remote sensing data.

Last Updated On: 
Sun, 02/28/2021 - 07:59
Citation Author(s): 
Colin Prieur, Hana Malha, Frederic Ciesielski, Paul Vandame, Giorgio Licciardi, Jocelyn Chanussot, Pedram Ghamisi, Ronny Hänsch, Naoto Yokoya

This dataset consists of orthorectified aerial photographs, LiDAR derived digital elevation models and segmentation maps with 10 classes, acquired through the open data program of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia ( and refined with OpenStreeMap. Please check the license information (


Dataset description

The data was mostly acquired over urban areas in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. Since the acquisition dates for the aerial photographs and LiDAR do not match exactly, there can be discrepancies in what they show and in which season, e.g., trees change their leaves or lose them in autumn. In our experience, these differences are not drastic but should be kept in mind.

We have included two Python scripts. creates the example image used on this website. calculates and plots the class statistics. Furthermore, we published the code to create the dataset at, which makes it easy to extend the dataset with other areas in North-Rhine Westphalia. The repository also contains a PyTorch data loader.

This multimodal dataset should be useful for a variety of tasks. Image segmentation using multiple inputs, height estimation from the aerial photographs, or semantic image synthesis.


Similar to the original source of the data (, we organize all samples by the city they were acquired over. Their filenames, e.g., 345_5668_rgb.jp2 consists of the UTM zone 32N coordinates and the datatype (RGB, DEM or seg for land cover).

File formats

All data is geocoded and can be opened using QGIS ( The aerial photographs are stored as JPEG2000 files, the land cover maps and digital elevation models both as GeoTIFFs. The accompanying scripts show how to read the data into Python.


The 2020 Data Fusion Contest, organized by the Image Analysis and Data Fusion Technical Committee (IADF TC) of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) and the Technical University of Munich, aims to promote research in large-scale land cover mapping based on weakly supervised learning from globally available multimodal satellite data. The task is to train a machine learning model for global land cover mapping based on weakly annotated samples.

Last Updated On: 
Mon, 01/25/2021 - 09:03