GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Title of Paper:
Deriving transportation patterns and densities in urbanized areas from geospatial methods: A comparative case-study of the Muscat Capital Area
Paper Proposal Text :
A major problem of doing research in the gulf region is the inaccessibility or complete lack of official primary data. This paper shows how Geographic information systems (GIS), in combination with geospatial data and / or satellite imagery can be a workaround for researchers in many domains for this general problem.
The presence (or absence) and quality of roads, their patterns and density can be seen in direct relation to the economic development of a region, social practices, cultural influences and political agendas.
Object-Based Image-Analysis (OBIA) of remotely sensed imagery and GIS offer a powerful tool to analyze, visualize and communicate urbanization changes. Building on previous research on the urbanized area of Muscat Capital Area (MCA) (von Richthofen, Langer 2015) this paper examines transportation networks and densities in urbanized areas by including analysis on data from openstreetmap.
While infrastructure planning of roads and highways has been pushed substantially in MCA and Oman (more than 1500 km of coastal highway completed, a second “Southern Expressway” opened in 2011 and billions of Dollars, worth of transportation projects) actual numbers regarding transportation infrastructure and densities are only partially available. These numbers are crucial to plan, implement and finally evaluate services in neighborhoods equally. They are also crucial to determine the connectivity, accessibility and reach of land that is, in Oman allocated by lottery.
Based on ground-observation and collection of available data juxtaposed with OBIA inferred data the author investigates key parameters and analyzes patterns and densities of the road network in urban context of the Muscat Capital Area. The results of the study aim to show flaws in the effective use of resources and (spatial) discrimination tendencies along existing lines of social status and economical wealth in areas of MCA (Qurm, Madinat Sultan Qabous, Bowsher, etc.). It can be further argued, that the existing traffic network creates centralities that are exploited by large corporations (Bank Muscat, Carrefour, etc.) and even instigates the segregation of communities (e.g.: the Wave). Finally, the developed method could be further used to compare situations in other regions of the gulf.
The paper shows a new analysis and mapping method developed by the author and maps produced for the research.


Guindon, Bert; Zhang, Ying; Dillabaugh, Craig (2004): Landsat urban mapping based on a combined spectral-spatial methodology. In: Remote Sensing of Environment. Vol 92, Issue 2, 2004.
Haklay, Mordechai Muki.; Weber, Patrick. (2008): OpenStreetMap: User-Generated Street Maps. In: Pervasive Computing, IEEE. Vol 7, Issue 4, 2008.
Haklay, Mordechai Muki (2010): How good is volunteered geographical information? A comparative study of OpenStreetMap and Ordnance Survey datasets. In: Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design. Vol 37, Issue 4, 2010.
Von Richthofen, Aurel; Langer, Sebastian (2015): Evaluating the Urban Development and Determining ‘Peak-Space’ of Muscat Capital Area. In: Scholz, Wolfgang (ed.); Nebel, Sonja (ed.): Urbanisation in the Gulf Countries, Trialog – Journal for Planning and Building in the Third World, Vol 111, Issue 1, 2015.
Weidleplan. 1990. Muscat Regional Plan Phase 2 Strategy Report.
World Highways (2013): Roads a priority in Oman’s $14.8bn infrastructure spend. ( )