Yann Forget Post-doc

Yann Forget graduated in Geography and Geomatics at the University Toulouse II (France) in 2014, where he completed his MsC thesis on Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULC) modeling under the supervision of Thomas Houet. He joined the Spatial Epidemioly Lab in 2014 to work on his PhD thesis entitled “Mapping 20 Years of Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa from Space: An approach based on multi-sensor satellite imagery and volunteered geographic information”, in the context of the MAUPP project and under the supervision of Marius Gilbert. In 2018, he joined the Signal Image Centre of the Royal Military Academy of Brussels to work on the GEPATAR project. He returned to SpELL in 2019 for two years as a Post-Doc to work on the GeoHealthAccess project.

Research interests

Yann is interested in spatial issues in human and health geography, including land use and land cover changes, human population mapping, urbanization and health accessibility. He combines satellite remote sensing with spatial modeling to produce and analyze large-scaled geospatial datasets, allowing for a better understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics in health and human geography in a context of global change. He is particularly interested in the development of new methods that leverage the synergy between new open-access satellite catalogs and crowd-sourced geographic databases such as OpenStreetMap.

Areas of expertise

  • Urban geography
  • Health geography
  • Human population mapping
  • Land use and land cover changes
  • Geographical information systems
  • Radar and multi-spectral remote sensing


  • “Fusion of SAR and Optical Data for Built-Up Mapping in Sub-Saharan Africa”. MAUPP Final Event, Nairobi, Kenya, 2018.
  • “Urban Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa”. MAUPP Final Event, Nairobi, Kenya, 2018.
  • “Multi-temporal Analysis of Urbanization Dynamics in Sub-Saharan African Cities”. EARSeL 5th Joint Workshop, Bochum, Germany, 2018.
  • “Multitemporal Urban Expansions For African Cities Using SAR Data”. EARSeL 5th Joint Workshop, Bochum, Germany, 2018.
  • “Fusion scheme for automatic and large-scaled built-up mapping”.International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), Valencia, Spain, 2018.
  • “Automated Supervised Classification of Ouagadougou Built-up Areas in Landsat Scenes Using OpenStreetMap”. Joint Urban Remote Sensing Event (JURSE), Dubai, U.A.E., 2017.
  • “Automated urban remote sensing with Python”. FOSS4G-BE, Brussels, Belgium, 2016.


Yann also maintains the following Python packages:

  • landsatxplore: Search and download Landsat scenes from USGS EarthExplorer.
  • pylandsat: Search, download, and preprocess Landsat imagery from Google Cloud.
  • asarapi: Search and download ERS-1, ERS-2, and Envisat products from the ESA Online Catalogue.


Mapping 20 years of urban expansion in 45 urban areas of Sub-Saharan Africa
Y. Forget, M. Shimoni, M. Gilbert, and C. Linard. "Remote Sensing", Vol. 13, Issue 3, 2021.

Diversity of urban growth patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1960–2010 period
E. Wolff, T. Grippa, Y. Forget, S. Georganos, S. Vanhuysse, M. Shimoni, and C. Linard. "African Geographical Review", Pages 1-13, 2019.

Complementarity between Sentinel-1 and Landsat 8 for built-up mapping in Sub-Saharan Africa
Y. Forget, M. Shimoni, M. Gilbert, and C. Linard. "Preprints", 2018.

Mapping urban land use at street block level using OpenStreetMap, remote sensing data, and spatial metrics
T. Grippa, S. Georganos, S. Zarougui, P. Bognounou, E. Diboulo, Y. Forget, M. Lennert, S. Vanhuysse, N. Mboga, and E. Wolff. "ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information", Vol. 7, Issue 7, Pages 246, 2018.

Supervised classification of built-up areas in Sub-Saharan African cities using Landsat Imagery and OpenStreetMap
Y. Forget, C. Linard, and M. Gilbert. "Remote Sensing", Vol. 10, Issue 7, Pages 1145, 2018.

Downscaling scenarios of future land use and land cover changes using a participatory approach: an application to mountain risk assessment in the Pyrenees (France)
T. Houet, M. Grémont, L. Vacquié, Y. Forget, A. Marriotti, A. Puissant, S. Bernardie, Y. Thiery, R. Vandromme, and G. Grandjean. "Regional Environmental Change", Vol. 17, Issue 8, Pages 2293-2307, 2017.