When economists look to the sky
Economists are increasingly turning to data from satellite images to estimate the level of economic activity in regions where economic data is erratic or unavailable
One key innovation by the finance ministry in its annual Economic Survey has caught everyone’s attention this year: the use of satellite data. The first volume of the Survey released in February had used data from satellite images to calculate built-up area and estimate potential property tax collections to show how Indian cities are failing to tap a lucrative source of revenue. The second volume released in August uses satellite data to show that India may be more urbanized than thought previously.