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Professor Hongsheng Zhang  張鴻生 副教授

Associate Professor

Room 10.07

391 77022


Professor Hongsheng Zhang received the B.Eng. degree in computer science and technology and the M.Eng. degree in computer applications technology from South China Normal University in 2007 and 2010, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in earth system and geoinformation science from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2013. Before joining HKU, he was working in The Chinese University of Hong Kong as research associate and research assistant professor from 2013 to 2019. His research is mainly focused on incorporating multiple remote sensing technologies to understand the urbanization process and its environmental and ecological impacts at various spatial and temporal scales.

Research Interests

  • Smart Cities and Sustainable Development

  • Remote Sensing of Urban Environment

  • Remote Sensing of Wetlands

  • Multi-sensor Data Fusion



Earth as Seen by Satellite



Annual; 1st Semester


Modern Maps in the Age of Big Data



Annual; 1st Semester


Remote Sensing Applications #



Annual; 2nd Semester

Selected Publications


  • Liu, R., Zhang, H., Yip, K. H. A., Ling, J., Lin, Y., & Huang, H. (2023). Automatic building height estimation with shadow correction over heterogeneous compact cities using stereo Gaofen-7 data at sub-meter resolution. Journal of Building Engineering, 69, 106283.

  • Wang, J., Song, G., Liddell, M., Morellato, P., Lee, C. K. F., Yang, D., Alberton, B., Detto, M., Ma, X., Zhao, Y., Yeung, H. C. H., Zhang, H., Ng, M., Nelson, B. W., Huete, A., & Wu, J. (2023). An ecologically-constrained deep learning model for tropical leaf phenology monitoring using PlanetScope satellites. Remote Sensing of Environment, 286, 113429.

  • Li, X., Yang, B., Liang, F., Zhang, H., Xu, Y., & Dong, Z. (2023). Modeling urban canopy air temperature at city-block scale based on urban 3D morphology parameters– A study in Tianjin, North China. Building and Environment, 230, 110000.

  • Lin, J., Zhang, H., Chen, M., & Wang, Q. (2023). Socioeconomic disparities in cooling and warming efficiencies of urban vegetation and impervious surfaces. Sustainable Cities and Society, 92, 104464.

  • Liang, X., Lin, Y., Wu, R., Li, G., Khan, N., Liu, R., Su, H., Wei, S., & Zhang, H. (2023). Time-frequency analysis framework for understanding non-stationary and multi-scale characteristics of sea-level dynamics. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9.

  • Ling, J., & Zhang, H. (2023). WCDL: A Weighted Cloud Dictionary Learning Method for Fusing Cloud-Contaminated Optical and SAR Images. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 16, 2931-2941.

  • Ling, J., Wei, S., Gamba, P., Liu, R., & Zhang, H. (2023). Advancing SAR monitoring of urban impervious surface with a new polarimetric scattering mixture analysis approach. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 124, 103541.

  • Gong, P., Guo, H., Chen, B., Chen, F., He, G., Liang, D., Liu, Z., Sun, Z., Wu, J., Xu, Z., Yan, D., & Zhang, H. (2023). iEarth: an interdisciplinary framework in the era of big data and AI for sustainable development. National Science Review, 10(8), nwad178.

  • Pan, J., Huang, B., Zhang, H., & Devlin, A. T. (2023). Remote Sensing of Coastal Waters, Land Use/Cover, Lakes, Rivers, and Watersheds II. Remote Sensing, 15(23).

  • Bao, X., Zhang, R., Lv, J., Wu, R., Zhang, H., Chen, J., Zhang, B., Ouyang, X., & Liu, G. (2023). Vegetation descriptors from Sentinel-1 SAR data for crop growth monitoring. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 203, 86-114.


  • Jiang, Q., Xu, Z., & Zhang, H. (2022). Global impacts of COVID-19 on sustainable ocean development. The Innovation, 3(4), 100250.

  • Jiang, Q., Li, Z., Qu, S., Cui, Y., Zhang, H., & Xu, Z. (2022). High-resolution map of China's sustainability. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 178, 106092.

  • Liu, R., Zhang, H., & Ling, J. (2022). Hybrid Transformer Networks for Urban Land Use Classification from Optical and SAR Images. IGARSS 2022-2022 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium.

  • Lin, Y., Zhang, H., Li, G., Wan, L., Wang, F., Ma, P., & Lin, H. (2022). Improving urban impervious surface extraction by synergizing hyperspectral and polarimetric radar data using sparse representation. The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science, 25(4), 1045-1056.

  • Lin, Y., & Zhang, H. (2022). Intra-Year Urban Renewal in Metropolitan Cities Using Time Series SAR and Optical Data. IGARSS 2022-2022 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium.

  • Li, Y., Liang, H., Sun, G., Yuan, Z., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, H. (2022). A Land Cover Background-Adaptive Framework for Large-Scale Road Extraction. Remote Sensing, 14(20), 5114.

  • Liang, X., Lin, Y., & Zhang, H. (2022). Mapping Urban Impervious Surface With an Unsupervised Approach Using Interferometric Coherence of SAR Images. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 15, 2734-2744.

  • Guo, Y., Zhang, H., Li, Q., Lin, Y., & Michalski, J. (2022). New morphological features for urban tree species identification using LiDAR point clouds. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 71, 127558.

  • Guo, Y., Lin, Y., Chen, W. Y., Ling, J., Li, Q., Michalski, J., & Zhang, H. (2022). New two-step species-level AGB estimation model applied to urban parks. Ecological Indicators, 145, 109694.

  • Ling, J., & Zhang, H. (2022). Pixel-Wise Cloud Dictionary Learning for Fusing Optical and SAR Data. IGARSS 2022-2022 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium.

  • Jiang, H., Guo, H., Sun, Z., Xing, Q., Zhang, H., Ma, Y., & Li, S. (2022). Projections of urban built-up area expansion and urbanization sustainability in China's cities through 2030. Journal of Cleaner Production, 367, 133086.

  • Lin, J., Ma, Q., Ju, Y., Zhang, H., Wang, Q., & Huang, B. (2022). Relationships between urbanization, tree morphology, and carbon density: An integration of remote sensing, allometric models, and field survey. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 76, 127725.

  • Lam, Y.-F., Chang, J. M. H., Loo, B. P. Y., Zhang, H.-S., Leung, K. K. M., & Axhausen, K. W. (2022). Screening Approach for Short-Term PM2.5 Health Co-Benefits: A Case Study from 15 Metropolitan Cities around the World during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Atmosphere, 13(1).

  • Guo, Y., Wan, L., Zhang, H., Lin, Y., & Wang, H. (2022). A Seasonal Resilience Index to Evaluate the Impacts of Super Typhoons on Urban Vegetation in Hong Kong. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 1-19.


  • Lin, Y., Wan, L., Zhang, H.S.*, Wei, S., Ma, P., Li, Y., & Zhao, Z. (2021). Leveraging optical and SAR data with a UU-Net for large-scale road extraction. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 103, 102498. (IF2020: 5.933)

  • Guo, Y., Wan, L., Zhang, H.S.*, Lin, Y., Wang, H. (2021). A seasonal resilience index to evaluate the impacts of super typhoons on urban vegetation in Hong Kong. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. DOI:10.1080/24694452.2021.1989284. (IF2020: 4.683)

  • Wei, S., Lin, Y., Wan, L., Lin, G., Zhang, Y. and Zhang, H.S.* (2021). Developing a grid-based association rules mining approach to quantify the impacts of urbanization on the spatial extent of mangroves in China. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 102, p.102431. (IF2020: 5.933)

  • Zhang, H.S., Lin, Y., Wei, S., Loo, B. P., Lai, P. C., Lam, Y. F., ... & Li, Y. (2021). Global association between satellite-derived nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and lockdown policies under the COVID-19 pandemic. Science of the Total Environment, 761, 144148. (IF2018: 6.551)

  • Bai, J., Meng, Y., Gou, R., Lyu, J., Dai, Z., Diao, X., Zhang, H.S., Luo, Y., Zhu, X., Lin, G. (2021). Mangrove diversity enhances plant biomass production and carbon storage in Hainan island, China. Functional Ecology. (IF2018: 4.430)

  • Lin, H., Zhang, H.S. (2021) Tropical and subtropical remote sensing: Needs, challenges, and opportunities. Journal of Remote Sensing. 25(1), 276-291

  • Wang, Z., Liu, J., Li, J., Meng, Y., Pokhrel, Y., Zhang, H.S. (2021). Basin-scale high-resolution extraction of drainage networks using 10-m Sentinel-2 imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment, 255, 112281. (IF2018: 8.218)

  • Su, H., Lu, X., Chen, Z., Zhang, H.S., Lu, W., & Wu, W. (2021). Estimating Coastal Chlorophyll-A Concentration from Time-Series OLCI Data Based on Machine Learning. Remote Sensing, 13(4), 576 (IF2018: 4.118)

  • Wei, S., Lin, Y., Zhang, H.S.*, Wan, L., Lin, H., Wu, Z. (2021). Estimating Chinese residential populations from analysis of impervious surfaces derived from satellite images. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 42(6), 2303-2326. (IF2018: 2.493)


  • Ferrentino, E., Nunziata, F., Zhang, H.S., Migliaccio, M. (2020). On the ability of PolSAR measurements to discriminate among mangrove species. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. 13, 2729-2737. (IF2018: 3.392)

  • Lin, Y., Zhang, H.S.*, Lin, H., Gamba, P.E., Liu, X. (2020). Incorporating synthetic aperture radar and optical images to investigate the annual dynamics of anthropogenic impervious surface at large scale. Remote Sensing of Environment, 242. (IF2018: 8.218)

  • Wan, L., Lin, Y., Zhang, H.S.*, Wang, F., Liu, M., Lin, H. (2020). GF-5 Hyperspectral Data for Species Mapping of Mangrove in Mai Po, Hong Kong. Remote Sensing. (IF2018: 4.118)

  • Wan, L., Zhang, H.S.*, Liu, M., Lin, Y., Lin, H. (2020). Early monitoring exotic mangrove sonneratia in Hong Kong using deep convolutional network at half meter resolution. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2020.2969522. (IF2018: 3.534)


  • Sun, Y., Xin, Q*, Huang, J., Huang, B., Zhang, H.S. (2019). Characterizing Tree Species of a Tropical Wetland in Southern China at the Individual Tree Level Based on Convolutional Neural Network. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. 2019. (IF2018: 3.392)

  • Zhang, H. S., Wan L., Wang, T., Lin, Y., Lin, H. and Zheng, Z. (2019) “Impervious Surface Estimation from Optical and Polarimetric SAR data using Small-patched Deep Convolutional Networks: A Comparative Study.” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 12(7): 2374-2387. DOI:10.1109/JSTARS.2019.2915277. (IF2018=3.392).

  • Fonseka, H. P. U., Zhang, H. S., Sun, Y., Su, H., Lin, H. and Lin, Y. Y. (2019) “Urbanization and its Impacts on Land Surface Temperature in Colombo Metropolitan Area, Sri Lanka, from 1988 to 2016.” Remote Sensing 11(8): 957. DOI: 10.3390/rs11080957 (IF2018=4.118).

  • Lin, Y., Zhang, H. S., Li, G., Wang, T., Wan, L. and Lin, H. (2019) “Improving Impervious Surface Extraction with Shadow-based Sparse Representation from Optical, SAR and LiDAR data.” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 12(7): 2417-2428. DOI:10.1109/JSTARS.2019.2907744. (IF2018=3.392).

  • Buitre, M. J. C., Zhang, H. S. and Lin, H. (2019) “The Mangrove Forests Change and Impacts from Tropical Cyclones in the Philippines Using Time Series Satellite Imagery.” Remote Sensing 11(6): 688. DOI: 10.3390/rs11060688 (IF2018=4.118).

  • Wan, L., Zhang, H. S., Lin, G. H. and Lin, H. (2019) “A Small-patched Convolutional Neural Network for Mangrove Mapping at Species Level using High-resolution Remote-sensing Image.” Annals of GIS 25(1): 45-55. DOI: 10.1080/19475683.2018.1564791


  • Zhang, H. S., Li, J., Wang, T., Lin, H., Zheng, Z., Li, Y. and Lu, Y. (2018a) “A Manifold Learning Approach to Urban Land Cover Classification with Optical and Radar data.” Landscape and Urban Planning 172: 11-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.12.009 (IF2018=5.144).

  • Zhang, H. S., Lin, H. and Wang, Y. (2018b) “A New Scheme for Urban Impervious Surface Classification from SAR Images.” ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 139: 103-118. DOI: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2018.03.007 (IF2018=6.942).

  • Zhang, H. S. and Xu, R. (2018) “Exploring the Optimal Integration Levels between SAR and Optical data for better Urban Land Cover Mapping in the Pearl River Delta.” International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 64: 87-95. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2017.08.013 (IF2018=4.846).

  • Zhang, H. S., Wang, T., Liu, M., Jia, M., Lin, H., Chu, L. and Devlin, A. T. (2018c) “Potential of Combining Optical and Dual Polarimetric SAR data for Improving Mangrove Species Discrimination using Rotation Forest.” Remote Sensing 10(3): 467. DOI: 10.3390/rs10030467 (IF2018=4.118).

  • Zhang, H. S., Wang, T., Zhang, Y. H., Dai, Y. R., Jia, J. J., Yu, C., Li, G., Lin, Y. Y., Lin, H. and Cao, Y. (2018d) “Quantifying Short-term Urban Land Cover Change with Time Series Landsat data: A Comparison of Four Different Cities.” Sensors 18(12). DOI: 10.3390/s1812431 (IF2018=3.031).

  • Zhang, H. S., Lin, Y., Wang, T., Wan, L., Li, Y., Lin, H. and Zhang, Y. Z. (2018) “Fusing Optical and SAR Remote Sensing data for Urban Impervious Surface Estimation.” Geography and Geo-Information Science 34(3): 39-46. DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-0504.2018.03.007

  • Xu, R., Zhang, H. S. and Lin, H. (2018) “Annual Dynamics of Impervious Surfaces at city level of Pearl River Delta Metropolitan.” International Journal of Remote Sensing 39(11): 3537-3555. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2018.1444290 (IF2018=2.493).

  • Wan, L. M., Zhang, H. S., Wang, T., Li, G. and Lin, H. (2018) “Mangrove Species Discrimination from Very High Resolution Imagery using Gaussian Markov Random Field Model.” Wetlands 38(5): 861-874. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-017-0925-1(IF2018=1.854).

  • Liu, M. F., Zhang, H. S., Lin, G. H., Lin, H. and Tang, D. L. (2018) “Zonation and Directional Dynamics of Mangrove Forests derived from Time-Series Satellite Imagery in Mai Po, Hong Kong.” Sustainability 10(6): 1913. DOI: 10.3390/su10061913 (IF2018=2.592).

  • Xu, J., Fang, C. Y., Gao, D., Zhang, H. S., Gao, C., Xu, Z. C. and Wang, Y. Q. (2018) “Optical Models for Remote Sensing of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) Absorption in Poyang Lake.” ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 142: 124-136. DOI: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2018.06.004 (IF2018=6.942).

  • Zhang, Y. Z., Hallikainen, M., Zhang, H. S., Duan, H. T., Li, Y. and Liang, X. S. (2018) “Chlorophyll-a Estimation in Turbid Waters using Combined SAR data with Hyperspectral Reflectance data: A Case Study in Lake Taihu, China.” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 11(4): 1325-1336. DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2017.2789247 (IF2018: 3.392).


  • Wang, T., Zhang, H. S., Lin, H. and Jia, X. (2017b) “A Sparse Representation Method for a Priori Target Signature Optimization in Hyperspectral Target Detection.” IEEE Access 6: 3408-3424. DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2773662 (IF2018=4.098).

  • Xu, R., Zhang, H. S. and Lin, H. (2017a) “Urban Impervious Surfaces Estimation from Optical and SAR Imagery: A Comprehensive Comparison.” IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 10(9): 4010-4021. DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2017.2706747 (IF2018=3.392).

  • Xu, R., Zhang, H. S., Wang, T. and Lin, H. (2017b) “Using Pan-sharpened High Resolution Satellite data to Improve Impervious Surfaces Estimation.” International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 57: 177-189. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2016.12.020 (IF2018=4.846).

  • Zhang, L., Lin, H., Hashim, M. B., Sutrisno, D., Khaing, M. M., Hossain, M. S., Lwin, Z. M., Zhang, H. S. and Zhu, L. (2017) “Earth Observation of Resources and Environment in Coastal Zone along the Maritime Silk Road.” Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences. 32(Z1): 26-33.


  • Sukawattanavijit, C., Chen, J. and Zhang, H. S. (2017) “GA-SVM Algorithm for Improving Land-Cover Classification using SAR and Optical Remote Sensing data.” IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 14(3): 284-288. DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2016.2628406 (IF2018=3.534).


  • Zhang, H. S., Li, G. and Lin, H. (2016a) “An Automatic Co-registration Approach for Optical and SAR data in Urban Areas.” Annals of GIS 22(3): 235-243. DOI: 10.1080/19475683.2016.1199595

  • Zhang, H. S., Lin, H., Li, Y., Zhang, Y. Z. and Fang, C. Y. (2016b) “Mapping Urban Impervious Surface with Dual-polarimetric SAR data: An Improved Method.” Landscape and Urban Planning 151: 55-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.03.009 (IF2018=5.144).

  • Wang, T., Zhang, H. S., Lin, H. and Fang, C. Y. (2016) “Textural-spectral Feature-based Species Classification of Mangroves in Mai Po Nature Reserve from Worldview-3 Imagery.” Remote Sensing 8(1): 24. DOI: 10.3390/rs8010024 (IF2018=4.118).


  • Zhang, H. S., Lin, H. and Li, Y. (2015) “Impacts of Feature Normalization on Optical and SAR data Fusion for Land use/Land cover Classification.” IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 12(5): 1061-1065. DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2014.2377722 (IF2018=3.534).


  • 2020 NSFC Excellent Young Scientist Fund (Hong Kong and Macau)

  • 2020 ACM SIGSPATIAL China Rising Star Award

  • 2019 Best Paper Award, The 16th Chinese Conference of Geographic Information Science: Theory and Methods

  • 2018 Best Poster Award, ESA-MOST DRAGON 4 PROGRAMME

  • 2015 Science and Technology Progress Award of Guangdong Province

  • 2015 Excellent Young Scientists of NRSCC, Ministry of Science and Technology, China

  • 2013 Postgraduate Research Output Award, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • 2013 Lion Dr. Francis K Pan Scholarship, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • 2011 Best Paper Award in the 19th International Conference GeoInformatics

Research Grants

  • Inter- and intra-annual dynamics of urban impervious surfaces in the Pearl River Delta using deep learning networks from synergized optical and SAR data, Principal Investigator, RGC GRF

  • Mangrove Species Discrimination in Hong Kong with Synergistic Use of High Resolution Optical and SAR Satellite Data, , Principal Investigator, RGC GRF

  • Improving the estimation of impervious surfaces using optical and polarimetric SAR data in humid subtropical urban areas, , Principal Investigator, RGC GRF

  • Impervious Surfaces Estimation in Subtropical Urban Areas Using Optical and Dual PolSAR Data, Principal Investigator, NSFC

Journal Reviews

Remote Sensing of Environment; IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Magazine; IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing; Environmental Science & Technology; Landscape and Urban Planning; Scientific Reports; Journal of Biogeography; Ecological Engineering; Building and Environment; International Journal of Geographical Information Science; ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing; Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing; International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation; IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing; International Journal of Digital Earth; International Journal of Remote Sensing; Remote Sensing Letters; Journal of Transport Geography; Journal of Forestry Research; Journal of Applied Remote Sensing; Remote Sensing; Sensors; Frontiers of Earth Science; Water; Annals of GIS; Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment; Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology; PeerJ; EURASIP Journal on Image and Video Processing; Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing; Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing; IEEE Access; Sustainability; Geomatics and Information Science of Wuhan University; Forest Ecosystems.

Professional Qualification/Membership

  • Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2020-present

  • Life Member, The International Association of Chinese Professional in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS), 2015-present

  • Member, International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), 2015-present

  • Member, DBAR-COAST Working Group, Digital Belt And Road, 2017-present

  • Member, Global Urban Observation, Group on Earth Observations (GEO), 2014-present

Editorship and Editorial Board Membership

  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 2021-present

  • Associate Editor, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 2021-present

  • Topical Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (TGRS), 2020-present

  • Editorial Board Member, National Remote Sensing Bulletin, 2020-present

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