Monika Kuffer is working as a Professor at the Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) as well as at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, University of Twente). My research focuses on sustainable development (SDGs), in particular poverty (deprivation), living quality, and economic development in urban/rural environments using remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and AI-based methods. I co-chair an international network on deprivation area mapping IDEAMAPS and (co) lead several research projects on urban deprivation and environment, e.g., IDEAtlas,  SPACE4ALL, IDEAMAPS Ecosystem, and ONEKANA. I am the project director of two NUFFIC-funded training grants (IDeAMapSudan - Capacity strengthening for gender-responsive and sustainable urban development and DATA4HUMANRIGHTS, Nigeria). I am a Steering Committee Member of the Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event (JURSE), the Dutch representative of the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL), SIG chair for Developing Countries, and a member of the Steering Committee: EO for Sustainable Cities and Communities Toolkit.



  • Earth and Planetary Sciences

    • Metropolitan Area
    • Datum
    • Area
    • Cartography
    • Earth
    • Observation
    • Image
    • Investigation


Monika Kuffer received her PhD from the University of Twente (NL) and one MSc in Human Geographer (TU Munich), and a second MSc in Geographic Information Science (University of London). She is working as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, University of Twente). Her main research foci are urban remote sensing, monitoring deprived areas (e.g., slums), and analyzing urban form and dynamics with remote sensing, spatial statistics, and spatial metrics. Her research is driven by providing spatial information to support planning and decision-making processes in complex cities, toward inclusive, livable, and sustainable cities.


AI perceives like a local: predicting citizen deprivation perception using satellite imagerynpj Urban Sustainability, 4(1), Article 20, 1-14. Abascal, A., Vanhuysse, S., Grippa, T., Rodriguez-Carreño, I., Georganos, S., Wang, J., Kuffer, M., Martinez-Diez, P., Santamaria-Varas, M. & Wolff, E., trends and impacts of light pollutionNature Reviews Earth & Environment, 5(6), 417-430 (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Linares Arroyo, H., Abascal, A., Degen, T., Aubé, M., Espey, B. R., Gyuk, G., Hölker, F., Jechow, A., Kuffer, M., Sánchez de Miguel, A., Simoneau, A., Walczak, K. & Kyba, C. C. M. Urban Slum Population Visible: Citizens and Satellites to Reinforce Slum CensusesIn Urban Inequalities from Space: Earth Observation Applications in the Majority World (pp. 287-302). Abascal, A., Georganos, S., Kuffer, M., Vanhuysse, S., Thomson, D., Wang, J., Manyasi, L., Otunga, D. M., Ochieng, B., Ochieng, T., Klinnert, J. & Wolff, E. of Unmonitored Graveyards in VHR Satellite Data Using Fully Convolutional NetworksIn Urban Inequalities from Space: Earth Observation Applications in the Majority World (pp. 167-188). Debray, H., Kuffer, M., Klaufus, C., Persello, C., Wurm, M., Taubenböck, H. & Pfeffer, K. the Invisible on the Map: Low-Cost Earth Observation for Mapping and Characterizing Deprived Urban Areas (Slums)In Urban Inequalities from Space: Earth Observation Applications in the Majority World (pp. 119-137). Vanhuysse, S., Kuffer, M., Georganos, S., Wang, J., Abascal, A., Grippa, T. & Wolff, E. and Peri-Urban? Investigation of the Location of Informal Settlements Using Two DatabasesIn Urban Inequalities from Space: Earth Observation Applications in the Majority World (pp. 77-98). Samper, J., Kuffer, M. & Boanada-Fuchs, A. a scalable and transferable approach to map deprived areas using Sentinel-2 images and machine learningComputers, environment and urban systems, 109, Article 102075, 102075. Owusu, M., Nair, A., Jafari, A., Thomson, D., Kuffer, M. & Engstrom, R. Global Estimate of the Size and Location of Informal SettlementsUrban Science, 8(1), Article 18, 1-17. Boanada-Fuchs, A., Kuffer, M. & Samper, J. Impact of Respondents‚Äô Background Towards Slum Conceptualisations and Transferability Measurement of Remote Sensing‚ÄďBased Slum Detections. Case Study: Jakarta, IndonesiaIn Urban Inequalities from Space: Earth Observation Applications in the Majority World (pp. 139-166). Springer. Pratomo, J., Pfeffer, K. & Kuffer, M.
Capturing deprived areas using unsupervised machine learning and open data: a case study in S√£o Paulo, BrazilEuropean Journal of Remote Sensing , 56(1), Article 2214690. Trento Oliveira, L., Kuffer, M., Schwarz, N. & Pedrassoli, J. C. Deprived Urban Areas Using Open Geospatial Data and Machine Learning in AfricaUrban Science, 7(4), Article 116. Owusu, M., Engstrom, R., Thomson, D., Kuffer, M. & Mann, M. L. relationship between multiple hazards and deprivation using open geospatial data and machine learningNatural hazards, 119(2), 907-941. Kabiru, P., Kuffer, M., Sliuzas, R. & Vanhuysse, S. the Invisibles: Global urban inequalities through night lightsIn 2023 Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event (JURSE) (pp. 1-4). IEEE. Abascal, A., Kyba, C., Hölker, F., Kuffer, M., Linares Arroyo, H., Walczak, K., De Miguel, A. S., Degen, T. & Roman, M. O. Geo-spatial modelling of urban povertyIn 2023 Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event (JURSE) (pp. 1-4). IEEE. Kuffer, M., Ali, I. M. M., Gummah, A., Da Silva Mano, A., Sakhi, W., Kushieb, I., Girgin, S., Eltiny, N., Kumi, J., Abdallah, M., Bad, M., Ahmed, F., Hamza, M., Wang, J., Elzaki, T., Gevaert, C. & Flasse, C. slums and informal settlements in Europe: Opportunities for geospatial and earth observation techniques. Publications Office of the European Union. Kuffer, M., P, P. & A, S. modelling of past and present Shahjahanabad through multi-temporal remotely sensed dataRemote sensing, 15(11), Article 2924. Rajan, V., Koeva, M. N., Kuffer, M., Da Silva Mano, A. & Mishra, S. + Morphometrics: Understanding cities through urban morphology at large scaleLandscape and urban planning, 233, Article 104691. Wang, J., Fleischmann, M., Venerandi, A., Romice, O., Kuffer, M. & Porta, S. walkable cities: Generative design approach towards digital twin implementationRemote sensing, 15(4), Article 1088. Kumalasari, D., Koeva, M., Vahdatikhaki, F., Petrova Antonova, D. & Kuffer, M. economic complexity to the intra-urban scale: The role of services in the urban economy of Belo Horizonte, BrazilApplied geography, 150, Article 102837. Magalhães, L., Kuffer, M., Schwarz, N. & Haddad, M. 3D Property Valuation‚ÄĒA Review of Urban 3D Modelling Methods for Digital Twin CreationISPRS international journal of geo-information, 12(1), Article 2. Ying, Y., Koeva, M., Kuffer, M. & Zevenbergen, J. and urban poverty: Detecting and characterising slums and deprived urban areas in low- and middle-income countriesIn Advanced Remote Sensing for Urban and Landscape Ecology. Springer Nature. Kuffer, M., Abascal, A., Vanhuysse, S., Georganos, S., Wang, J., Thomson, D. R., Boanada, A. & Roca, P. Learning: A Novel Approach for Mapping Urban Land Use/Cover of the Indian MetropolitansSustainability (Switzerland), 15(24). Barman, P., Mustak, S., Kuffer, M. & Singh, S. K. the Ability to Use Contextual Features to Map Deprived Areas 'Slums' in Multiple CitiesIn IGARSS 2023 - 2023 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Proceedings (pp. 3620-3623). IEEE. Engstrom, R., Owusu, M., Nair, A., Jafari, A., Thomson, D. & Kuffer, M.
Integrating remote sensing and street view imagery for mapping slumsISPRS international journal of geo-information, 11(12), Article 631, 1-19. Najmi, A., Gevaert, C. M., Kohli, D., Kuffer, M. & Pratomo, J. census from heaven: Unraveling the potential of deep learning and Earth Observation for intra-urban population mapping in data scarce environmentsInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 114, Article 103013. Georganos, S., Hafner, S., Kuffer, M., Linard, C. & Ban, Y.

Research profiles

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses academic year 2022/2023

Ongoing research projects on Earth Observation and mapping deprived urban areas: 

The¬†IDEAMAPS¬†Network is developing and maintaining an Integrated DEprived Area MAPping System (IDEAMAPS) that leverages the strengths of our current silo-ed approaches to ‚Äúslum‚ÄĚ area mapping.
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ACCOUNT (Accounting for the unaccounted) is developing a machine-learning based framework for estimating the population of invisible spaces in support of the SDG Slum Indicator.
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The SLUMAP project (Remote Sensing for Slum Mapping and Characterization in sub-Saharan African Cities) is a two-year research project (2019-2021) funded by the STEREO-III programme of the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO).
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IDEAMAPSUDAN (Integrated Deprivation Area Mapping System for Displacement Durable Solutions and socioeconomic reconstruction in Khartoum, Sudan) is implementing a training project in Sudan on Capacity strengthening for gender-responsive and sustainable urban development.
More info: 


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