Photo credit  |  4EI’s Land Surface Temperature data over London, showing Hospital locations.

Climate and urban resilience data service

4EI, Climate services, Covid-19, Heat, Land, UHI  |  08 May, 2020  |  Reading time: 5 minutes

Climate and urban resilience data service – heat mapping

  • Multi-year coverage
  • 30 meter resolution
  • Available to UK Category 1 responders  in geospatial and CSV file format until end of September 2020

4EI has developed a heat product, making use of satellite data, to help health professionals, devolved authorities, local governments and building operators improve targeting of mitigation planning against the impact on workplaces and vulnerable populations of heat events.


The 4EI surface heat temperature mapping for urban areas and other satellite derived products forms part of a climate and urban resilience data service.It is helping cities understand their most vulnerable areas for targeting mitigation strategies, continually providing insights in a consistent and comparable manner.

4EI’s Land Surface Temperature data over London.

Derived from satellite imagery and created using automated algorithms, the data identifies hot spots within urban areas where temperatures are generally higher forming an Urban Heat Island.

4EI’s Land Surface Temperature data over London, showing Hospital locations.

The data has been derived from satellite imagery captured over the summers of 2017 to 2019. Automated algorithms have been applied to produce information on land surface temperature. Further processing has allowed the data to be standardised across different locations. This has been statistically analysed to show the location of heat anomalies throughout Great Britain. The heat anomalies are split into  five heat hazard categories, demonstrating the tendency of different locations to reach higher temperatures.

Covid-19 response

As part of 4EI’s response to Covid-19, and with support from the Ordnance Survey, they are providing a satellite derived heat hazard postcode dataset for free to national organisations and multi-agency partnerships, such as Local Resilience Forums, that are currently battling the coronavirus pandemic.  This will help responders reduce the potential impact of heat during  on the NHS. Some of the most vulnerable people to Covid-19 are locked down in areas that will experience the worst impacts of hot weather.

The 4EI Heat Hazard data will be supplied as CSV files for use in spreadsheets so that end users who are not used to working with geospatial data can easily access the data and will be available for use until the end of September 2020.

4EI Heat Hazard Postcode data

Richard Flemmings, CTO and co-founder of 4EI:

“Even during normal conditions extreme weather events can result in significantly higher numbers of deaths, especially amongst people over 65 and those with underlying health conditions – the same group that are more at risk of Covid-19 and are being asked to self-isolate”

“By providing Category 1 responders with intelligence derived from past events we hope that this will help plan for and mitigate against the worst scenario. This information can be used to target vulnerable households with information about coping strategies and signpost supporting organisations or emergency responders.”


UK expertise

4EI has worked with government and commercial organisations, and leading academic institutions, applying remote sensing and GIS expertise to create the data insights and monitoring necessary for climate resilience, transparency and monitoring the impact of policy and mitigation strategies across the world.

Bristol based, 4EI is a specialist in earth observation intelligence and data services. Built on decades of earth observation excellence, geospatial expertise and data analytics experience, 4EI creates data products, services and insights that enable organisations to manage risk and make informed decisions to improve outcomes. Using satellite data, combined with machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, they are working to provide smart data for global environmental challenges such as climate change, pollution and population pressure.

4EI operate internationally and have experience in, and capability for, running ESA Business Applications projects at Feasibility and Demonstrator level as well providing national level projects, products and services.

Examples include: the ESA Business applications demonstration project Satellite Air Quality modelling with Kings College London and both the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi national habitat mapping and mangrove monitoring service, derived from high resolution satellite data.

Team insight

Sam Waller, Sales Support Technician of 4EI:

“Recent estimates suggest that there are around 700 earth observation satellites, a staggering growth of 250 percent in just four years, which allows for the globe’s entire landmass to be imaged, in its entirety, every day!”

“An Urban Heat Island or UHI is a metropolitan area that is warmer than the surrounding areas. Heat, created by energy from people, cars, transport and buildings’ heating, cooling and ventilation systems, interacts with materials used to construct city infrastructure that are good at insulating and retaining heat to create a ‘perfect storm’ of elevated temperatures. This can result in urban temperatures that are 3-4 degrees hotter than the surrounding non-urbanised areas.”

“ We’ve used satellites to create the UK’s first street level map of ‘at risk’ areas to help emergency responders, public bodies and businesses plan for, and manage, the effects of extreme weather conditions.”