Observing Thermal Conditions of Historic Buildings through Earth Observation Data and Big Data Engine

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Jul 2;21(13):4557. doi: 10.3390/s21134557.


This study combines satellite observation, cloud platforms, and geographical information systems (GIS) to investigate at a macro-scale level of observation the thermal conditions of two historic clusters in Cyprus, namely in Limassol and Strovolos municipalities. The two case studies share different environmental and climatic conditions. The former site is coastal, the last a hinterland, and they both contain historic buildings with similar building materials and techniques. For the needs of the study, more than 140 Landsat 7 ETM+ and 8 LDCM images were processed at the Google Earth Engine big data cloud platform to investigate the thermal conditions of the two historic clusters over the period 2013-2020. The multi-temporal thermal analysis included the calibration of all images to provide land surface temperature (LST) products at a 100 m spatial resolution. Moreover, to investigate anomalies related to possible land cover changes of the area, two indices were extracted from the satellite images, the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the normalised difference build index (NDBI). Anticipated results include the macro-scale identification of multi-temporal changes, diachronic changes, the establishment of change patterns based on seasonality and location, occurring in large clusters of historic buildings.

Keywords: Cyprus; Google Earth Engine; Landsat space program; built heritage; historic buildings; satellite data; thermal analysis.