Northern Virginia Urban Sprawl Analysis Using Landsat Imagery and Demographic Data
In the last twenty years, northern Virginia has undergone much land use change, specifically urbanization. Influenced by the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, the area is characterized by high economic activity and population density while also being surrounded by suburbs. This study maps land surfaces that indicate urban sprawl (vegetation, impervious areas, and barren areas) and draws connections between urbanization and demography. This study uses Landsat 5 satellite imagery from 1991, 2000, and 2010as well as census data from the same (or about the same) years in order to classify land surfaces relate it to demographic data. Such a study can be utilized by urban planners and government officials as well as citizens who want to understand their spatial surroundings in an urbanizing area.