Economists generally struggle to quantify the impact of policies at the ground level. We illustrate how open Earth Observation data (or satellite imagery) can be used to measure economic activity.
The alarming speed with which the COVID19 global pandemic spread across the world and the subsequent quarantine & work-from-home (WFH) measures initiated by various governments has created an unprecedent situation. There has been a sharp decline in economic activity and the global GDP is projected to contract by 3% (IMF projections April 2020) That is equivalent to $3tn of lost economic output & precious jobs. World Bank believes that the pandemic will also push the poorer section of the society into extreme poverty. However the pandemic has also given us an opportunity to observe the impact - EO/ Satellite data is being used to quantify the impact on the global economy. We discuss the various methods with which economic activity can be measured. As an example we will also illustrate how, NO2 data can be extracted from multi-spectral satellite imagery. And highlight changes in pollution levels across major industrial belts.
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