Informal settlements, urban remote sensing, object based image analysis, fuzzy logic Informal settlements behave very dynamical over space and time and the number of people living in such housing areas is growing worldwide. The reasons for this dynamical behaviour are manifold and are not matter of this article. Nevertheless, informal settlements represent a status quo of housing and living conditions which is from a humanitarian point of view in the most cases below acceptable levels. Sub-standard sanitary situations and high crime rates are only a few of attributes which go aside with the phenomenon informal settlement. Due to their informal character, reliable and accurate data about informal settlements and their inhabitants is rarely available. On the other side there is a strong need to transform informal into formal settlements and to gain more control about the actual spatial development of informal settlements. Consequently, reliable procedures for detecting and monitoring the spatial behaviour of informal settlements are required in order to react at an early stage to changing housing situations. Thus, obtaining spatial information about informal settlement areas which is up to date is vital for any actions of enhancement in terms of urban or regional planning. For these tasks, conventional data sources, such as maps, statistics or even GIS data are usually obsolete, not available, not as accurate as needed or do not hold the information needed. The article present will demonstrate how informal settlements can be detected from VHR satellite image data using an object based approach of image analysis. The classified areas can act as basic information for further GIS-based tasks.
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