Mapbox Studio provides a powerful workflow of uploading and visualizing custom datasets. But what if the data you need is so recent or niche that a dataset doesn’t exist yet? If the data does exist, what if it’s in a format that’s not easily machine-readable such as imagery? Using Mapbox Studio dataset editor drawing tools, you can create the data yourself. In the case of suburban settlements in Ulaanbaatar, the dataset editor makes it possible to import and then extract housing data from drone imagery.

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The Ger district of Ulaanbaatar (Photo credit: The Guardian)

Mongolia has faced governmental, infrastructure, and environmental challenges as it grows into an industrialized nation. Even in the capital of Ulaanbataar, ad hoc settlements comprise much of the city, sometimes without water, power, or basic services. As a whole, local accountability is spotty, and urban data is hard to come by.

Drone imagery of suburban Ulaanbaatar (Source: Asia Foundation)

Bringing this drone imagery from the Asia Foundation into the new data editor, we can do visual inspection and analyses otherwise impossible in this neighborhood. In the example below, the property lines of each household are traced by hand. Having access to this data could help the city gain a better understanding of the existing settlements and plan out land and infrastructures for the future.

Extracting data in the Mapbox Studio dataset editor

Create your own dataset!

Have imagery data that needs culling, tracing, and aggregating? Try the Mapbox Studio dataset editor and share your work with us on Twitter @Mapbox!