The continuous increase in deprived living conditions in many cities of the Global South contradicts efforts to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable places. Using examples of Asian, African, and Latin American cities, this study shows the scope and limits of earth observation (EO)-based mapping of deprived living conditions in support of providing consistent global information for the SDG indicator 11.1.1 “proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing”. At the technical level, we compare several EO-based methods and imagery for mapping deprived living conditions, discussing their ability to map such areas including differences in terms of accuracy and performance at the city scale. At the operational level, we compare available municipal maps showing identified deprived areas with the spatial extent of morphological mapped areas of deprived living conditions (using EO) at the city scale, discussing the reasons for inconsistencies between municipal and EO-based maps. We provide an outlook on how EO-based mapping of deprived living conditions could contribute to a global spatial information base to support targeting of deprived living conditions in support of the SDG Goal 11.1.1 indicator, when uncertainties and ethical considerations on data provision are well addressed.