An updated version of the Global Subnational Infant Mortality Rates (IMRv2) data set has been released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN, with more recent (circa 2015) and higher resolution input data. IMR data have been collected for 234 countries and territories, of which 143 include subnational units and 91, mostly smaller nations, include only national units. Compared to version one of the Global IMR data set, which was benchmarked to the year 2000, version two has 78 more countries with subnational data, and the average input unit size has declined. As a georeferenced global subnational dataset of infant mortality rates, IMRv2 has many potential applications that may be of interest to a wide user community in interdisciplinary studies of health, development, sustainability, and the environment, as well as policy making. The IMRv2 data set is part of the SEDAC Poverty Mapping collection, an extensive group of data sets related to various aspects of the geographic distribution of people living in poverty.
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Advisory Committee Convenes in Switzerland to Address Next Steps for Platform on Disaster DisplacementFebruary 11, 2019
Susana Adamo, CIESIN research scientist, participated in the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) Advisory Committee Workshop held February 4–5 in Bogis Bossey, Switzerland, near Geneva. This third meeting of the committee was focused on defining the next phase of the PDD, and involved participants sharing their latest work on disaster displacement. Adamo also took part in a meeting of the PDD′s Data and Knowledge Working Group (DKWG), where the work plan for the next three years was discussed.
Adamo has served on the PDD Advisory Committee with Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for science applications, since 2016. The PDD continues the work of the Nansen Initiative, providing strategic guidance to the PDD chair and steering group, and helping implement PDD activities. Based in Geneva, the PDD is supported by the governments of France, Germany, and Switzerland; and by the MacArthur Foundation.
CIESIN information technology staff travelled to Washington DC recently to learn about the latest geographic information system (GIS) technologies and trends showcased by the software giant Esri at its annual gathering for developers, the 2019 Esri Developers Summit DC, held January 31 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. CIESIN associate director for information technology Sri Vinay, senior systems analyst and programmer Frank Pascuzzi, and senior media designer Al Pinto focused on innovative technologies and best practices for improving the organization’s capabilities for Esri’s ArcGIS, the GIS software used widely by today’s geospatial community. The overall goal is to improve the infrastructure that supports geospatial data development, mapping, and the implementation of geoprocessing services at CIESIN and its main program, the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, including the development of web and mobile mapping applications.
Barbara Ryan, former secretariat director of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and a Geospatial Hall of Fame awardee, is the new chair of the User Working Group (UWG) of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. With a multi-disciplinary academic background in geology, geography, and civil engineering, Ryan’s illustrious career spanned oversight of all US Geological Survey programs and policies associated with national mapping and remote sensing, including Landsat satellites; assignments in the U.S. Department of the Interior; and directing the space program at the World Meterological Organization, prior to her tenure at GEO, from which she is retired. She replaces Myron Gutmann, of the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado. Two new members have also joined the UWG: Brian O'Neill, University of Denver; and Navin Ramankutty, University of British Columbia. O’Neill is a professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and director of research at the School’s Pardee Center for International Futures. His research interests are in human-environment interactions, in particular the relationship between future societal development, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change impacts. Ramankutty is an agricultural geographer and professor of global food security and sustainability at the University of British Columbia, studying changes in land use and agricultural practices, and the effect on global food production. Ramankutty has contributed multiple data sets to SEDAC, including the cropland and pastureland data sets of the Global Agricultural Lands data collection, and he was co-author with Erle Ellis of the Anthropogenic Biomes of the World data collection.
The UWG provides guidance to SEDAC on user needs and priorities, drawing on the diverse expertise and experience of its members.
Earth science data creators, system developers, stewards, disseminators, and users met in Bethesda, Maryland, for the Winter Meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) January 14–17. Beginning in 2019, the theme of the ESIP meetings, held twice a year, is “Increasing the Use and Value of Earth Science Data and Information.” Robert Downs, CIESIN senior digital archivist, participated in the meeting, representing the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Application Center (SEDAC), one of the original ESIP members. During the business meeting of the ESIP Assembly on January 16, Downs was re-elected as the Type 1 Representative on the ESIP Governance Committee. At the meeting, he presented the poster, “Assessing Data Curation at a Scientific Data Center,″ authored with Robert Chen, CIESIN director and SEDAC manager, and Alexander de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications and SEDAC deputy manager.
More than 24,000 Earth scientists and other experts traveled to Washington DC December 9-14 for the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The meeting provided a unique opportunity to showcase recent developments in research, data, and tools developed by CIESIN and its partners and to network with a diverse community of scientists, policy experts, and practitioners. CIESIN director Robert Chen organized and co-chaired two sessions highlighting innovations in mapping human settlements, population, and infrastructure, and gave three presentations on the integration of socioeconomic and remote sensing data in support of sustainable development research and applications, including a “flash talk” at NASA′s exhibit booth. Senior digital archivist Robert Downs co-chaired sessions in the Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI) and Education tracks, and co-authored a number of oral, “e-lightning,” and poster presentations on various data management topics. He also served as a judge for student papers in the ESSI track. GIS programmer Kytt MacManus described CIESIN′s decision support tools for flood and sea level rise planning and presented a poster on the geoprocessing services and Web mapping tools available from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. Associate research scientist Sylwia Trzaska described her work on climate adaptation planning and as leader of a new project under way to map hard-to-reach populations in rural mangrove areas of West Africa. Greg Yetman, associate director for geospatial applications, presented the latest results from CIESIN′s collaboration with Facebook on high resolution population mapping, and contributed to a number of other presentations by CIESIN staff members and partners.
The meeting also provided the opportunity for CIESIN to hold an informal side meeting of the POPGRID Data Collective December 14 at the Henley Park Hotel. The meeting brought together more than 20 experts from the Washington DC area to review progress and develop plans for the next phase of POPGRID, which has received additional funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
CIESIN has released a new Web site and mapping tool designed to help users learn about the growing number of gridded population data sets, and make decisions about which data sets may be the most useful for their needs. The POPGRID web site and viewer were developed under the auspices of the POPGRID Data Collective, an initiative launched by CIESIN in 2017 with support from the Earth Institute, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). The POPGRID web site provides users with detailed background information and documentation, as well as direct links to the data and data sources.
The POPGRID Viewer incorporates a four-panel display of population count data available from six different data sets: the Gridded Population of the World (GPWv4.10) 2015 count developed by SEDAC; Landscan 2015 developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory; WorldPop Estimates 2014 from the WorldPop project; Global Human Settlement Population Grid 2015 (GHS-POP) developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and CIESIN; the Esri World Population Estimate 2016 (WPE); and the High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL) developed by the Facebook Connectivity Lab and CIESIN. Users may zoom in on a location of interest anywhere in the world and see the population estimates for four of the six data sets at the same time. A single-panel mode lets users compare national-level metadata across the data sets and draw a polygon or rectangle to obtain an intercomparison table and chart containing customized estimates from all six population data sets (when available). Users of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) may also supply a shapefile to obtain the population estimates for a specific region with a complex shape.
Direct comparison of these data sets is important because they are based on different data sources and methodologies that may affect their usability for different purposes. For example, the GPWv4.10 data are based solely on Census data for subnational administrative units, assuming a uniform distribution of population even in large rural districts. Other data sets utilize high-resolution remote sensing data combined with machine-learning algorithms to allocate population to built-up areas. In addition, some data sets use additional inputs such as distance from roads, slope, and other factors to model population distribution at high resolution. The data sets also differ in the time periods covered, the quality and consistency of inputs in different regions, and the demographic characteristics estimated (e.g., age groups). These differences may make the data more useful for some applications, such as assessing potential exposure to extreme events or climate change, but less useful for others, such as estimating the number of vaccines needed in an area of interest.
The POPGRID Data Collective was established to bring together and expand the international community of data providers, users, and sponsors concerned with georeferenced data on population, human settlements, and infrastructure. POPGRID seeks to promote cooperation and reduce overlap in producing data, and to encourage trans-disciplinary use and development of data, among other related goals. CIESIN led the initial phase of POPGRID, and is working with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) to initiate a second phase of POPGRID with support from BMGF. POPGRID is also contributing to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Human Planet Initiative, which aims to improve the quality and accessibility of data needed for assessing humanity’s impact on the planet, access to resources, and exposure to risk.
Two Webinars led recently by CIESIN staff featured data products distributed by the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) managed by CIESIN. The November 14 NASA Earthdata Webinar, “Mapping Global Urbanization from Landsat Data and High-Resolution Reference Data,” was led by Sri Vinay, Information Technology associate director, with scientist Eric Brown de Colstoun from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. It featured the SEDAC data sets Global Man-made Impervious Surface (GMIS) and Human Built-up and Settlement Extent (HBASE), along with an associated data visualization and access tool. Nearly 200 individuals participated.
For a World Wide Human Geography Data (WWHGD) Working Group Webinar held November 27, Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, gave a presentation on the data and methods behind a recent World Bank report, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration. Several SEDAC data sets were mentioned during the Webinar, including Gridded Population of the World (GPWv4) and Anthropogenic Biomes, as well as Global Population Projection Grids Based on SSPs, v1 (2010 – 2100).
The under-explored intersection of climate, migration, and health was the subject of an online “cyberseminar,” hosted November 12–18 by the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) and sponsored by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and the Population Center at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder). Moderators were members of an IUSSP Special Emphasis Panel on Climate, Migration & Health, including Lori Hunter, CU-Boulder; Philippe Bocquier, Université Catholique de Louvain; Sabine Henry, Université de Namur; and Celia McMichael, University of Melbourne. Invited experts presented comments on specific topics: Lori Hunter and Daniel Simon of CU-Boulder on integrating health in the study of migration and climate; Fernando Riosmena of CU-Boulder on migrant health through the lens of climate and migration; Elizabeth Fussell of Brown University on research design; Stefanie Koning of Northwestern University on lessons from the field; William Pan of Duke University on migration as a mediator of climate; and Caroline Zickgraf of the University of Liège on the science-policy interface.
PERN Cyberseminars provide a forum for scientists from the social and natural sciences to debate and discuss cutting edge population-environment research topics. CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo and associate director of Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin are PERN co-coordinators. PERN is a scientific panel of the IUSSP and a sustained partner of Future Earth, an international initiative to advance global sustainability science.
Gaborone, Botswana, drew more than 800 data experts and other participants from 66 countries for International Data Week (IDW), a joint biennial meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the International Science Council (ISC) Committee on Data (CODATA), and the ISC World Data System (WDS). CIESIN director Robert Chen, associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin, and senior digital archivist Robert Downs played active roles in the meeting, chairing numerous scientific sessions, presenting seven different talks and three poster papers on a range of data topics, and participating in various side meetings. IDW opened on November 5 with a speech by the President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, accompanied by remarks from Prof. Ismail Serageldin, founding director of the New Library of Alexandria, and from several senior ministers from Botswana and other African countries. The week included both scientific sessions organized by CODATA and WDS as part of SciDataCon 2018 and working meetings of various RDA interest and working groups, as part of the RDA′s 12th Plenary. A key theme of IDW was the digital frontiers of global science, with a particular focus on the scientific challenges facing Africa and new initiatives such as the African Open Science Platform.
In conjunction with IDW, Downs participated in the RDA Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and Chairs Meeting on November 4 and a meeting of the CoreTrustSeal Board on November 8. On November 9, de Sherbinin co-chaired the WDS Data Repositories Day at the University of Botswana, where Downs represented the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), a regular member of the WDS. With Martina Stockhause of the World Data Center-Climate (WDC-C), Chen gave an overview of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Data Distribution Centre (DDC), which CIESIN has co-managed with the WDC-C and the UK Centre for Environmental Data Analysis for more than 20 years. Chen also served as the U.S. delegate to the CODATA General Assembly (GA) November 9–10. The GA approved a new CODATA-WDS task group, Citizen Science for the SDGs—Aligning Citizen Science Outcomes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to be co-chaired by de Sherbinin. The GA also approved a new Constitution and elected a new President, two Vice Presidents, and eight Ordinary members of the Executive Committee.
CIESIN senior research associate Sandra Baptista joined about 60 participants at the 2018 Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) professional development workshop, “Building Leadership Skills for Success in the Scientific Workforce,” held October 28–30 at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Center Green Campus of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), in Boulder, Colorado. The workshop explored the components of solid leadership and effective communication for management through experiential learning and interactive dialogue. Additional activities included a session led by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Work Smart on salary negotiation and career counseling, a networking reception with scientists and representatives from regional scientific organizations, and an interactive careers panel with successful senior leaders from academic, private, and public sectors. Baptista is currently co- investigator of the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project and co-principal investigator of the Research Translation Core of Columbia University′s Superfund Research Program on Health Effects and Geochemistry of Arsenic, which is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). She has also had lead roles in the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN and in a range of other projects focused on climate vulnerability and adaptation. Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) colleagues Kirsteen Tinto and Yael Kiro, both associate research scientists, also attended the workshop.
“Mapping Urban Areas from Space 2018,″ organized for a second time by the European Space Agency (ESA), was held at ESA's European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Frascati, Italy, October 30–31. The conference provided a venue for scientists and data users alike to share satellite data research results and progress of applications and development. For the opening session on global data products, Greg Yetman, CIESIN associate director for Geospatial Applications, gave a presentation co-authored with Robert Chen, CIESIN director, “Comparing Settlement and Population Data Products; What Do Users Need?″ Yetman also presented a poster on the High Resolution Settlement Layer data collection, describing an ongoing data development activity with the Facebook Connectivity Lab.
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) organized “GEO Week 2018” in Kyoto, Japan, in conjunction with its 15th Plenary session, October 31–November 1. The week included two days of side events together with an exhibition held at Kyoto’s International Convention Center. CIESIN director Robert Chen organized a side event of the GEO Data Sharing Working Group (DSWG) and also participated in a session focused on Earth observation applications in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the DSWG session, he provided an overview of GEO’s longstanding efforts to advance open data sharing since GEO’s establishment in 2005, including the adoption of new data sharing principles in 2015. The DSWG has continued to address a range of implementation issues with regard to open data sharing at both national and international levels.
For the SDGs session, Chen reported on efforts by the GEO Human Planet Initiative (HPI) to expand understanding of human settlement, infrastructure, and population patterns and trends over time, drawing on an increasing array of remote sensing and other data sources. In particular, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has led development of the Atlas of the Human Planet, published in 2016 and 2017; the 2018 edition is due to be released soon, together with data that the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN helped develop. Chen also gave an overview of other HPI activities, including new resources being developed by the POPGRID Data Collective, an international collaboration supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Chen is a co-chair of the DSWG, representing the International Science Council, and co-leads the HPI with Martino Pesaresi of the JRC.
CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo attended the 2018 Population Conference of the Latin American Population Association (ALAP) in Puebla, Mexico, October 23–26, where she presented a paper, “Livelihood Diversification and Environmental Change in Argentina’s Drylands.” With Landy Sanchez, professor and researcher at the College of Mexico (Colmex) and chair of the Steering Committee of the Population-Environment Research Network (PERN), she co-organized a workshop on socioeconomic and remote sensing data integration, sponsored by PERN and ALAP’s Environment Working Group. Adamo, a co-cordinator of PERN, was also a speaker at the Plenary session, “Challenges in Monitoring the SDGs: a Regional Dialogue on Demographic Data and Indicators,” jointly organized by ALAP and IUSSP (International Union for the Scientific Study of Population), where she presented “Remote Sensing Data for Monitoring SDGs Environmental Indicators in Latin America and the Caribbean.″
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
Robert Chen, CIESIN director, far right, served as a panelist for the session, “Earth Observation Applications for the Sustainable Development Goals: Opportunities for Scaling Successful Methods,” at the Second United Nations World Data Forum October 23 in Dubai. The other panelists were (L-R): Argyro Kavvada, Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals Initiative; Robert Ndugwa, UN Human Settlements Programme; Jillian Campbell; UN Environment; Enrique Ordaz, National Institute of Statistics and Geography, Mexico; and Marc Paganini, European Space Agency.
CIESIN director Robert Chen, deputy director Marc Levy, and associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin joined nearly 2,000 delegates from around the world in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) October 22–24 for the second United Nations (UN) World Data Forum. The Forum brought together representatives from national statistical offices, UN agencies, development organizations, civil society groups, industry, academia, and other stakeholders to assess critical data challenges in efforts to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to collaborate in applying rapidly evolving data science approaches to meet these challenges. Chen co-organized two parallel sessions on population monitoring and geospatial data issues, including one focused on the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project for which CIESIN is the coordinating partner. He also discussed the growing use of remote sensing and population data in sustainable development applications in two panels, highlighting new data and services available from CIESIN and other organizations. In a session on data innovation for migration and development interventions, de Sherbinin reported on recent efforts led by the World Bank to model climate-induced migration and displacement.
The Forum served as a focal point for a range of complementary meetings and networking opportunities. On October 21, Chen, de Sherbinin, and Levy participated in a pre-meeting of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD), in which CIESIN is an Anchor Partner. Chen remained in Dubai through October 26 to co-chair a meeting of the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). TReNDS provides an important avenue for facilitating involvement and knowledge sharing by the global academic community in addressing sustainable development data challenges.
Both the Forum and the TReNDS meeting were hosted by the UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Agency (FCSA). The First World Data Forum was held in January 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa; the next Forum is expected to be held October 18–21, 2020, in Bern, Switzerland. Summaries of the discussions at the Forums have been provided by the Earth Negotiations Bulletin.
CIESIN geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi at the 2018 EFGS conference, where she described efforts to advance the use and impact of population and infrastructure data in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 11th Annual European Forum for Geography and Statistics (EFGS) was held in Helsinki, Finland, October 16–18, with participation by approximately 200 representatives of national statistical offices and geospatial agencies and other relevant experts from around the world. CIESIN geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi gave an oral presentation on CIESIN′s efforts to advance the use and impact of population and infrastructure data in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the formation of the POPGRID Data Collaborative. POPGRID is bringing together the international community of data producers, data users, donors, and other stakeholders interested in fundamental geospatial data on population distribution, human settlements, administrative boundaries, and built infrastructure. Such data are highly dependent on the efforts of national statistical offices and geospatial agencies, who may also benefit from advances in data collection, quality control, data integration, and other methods, such as the use of remote sensing and crowd sourcing. EFGS is an organization that advocates for the integration of geography and statistics, to improve quality, efficiencies, and analysis, and to encourage greater understanding between the statistical and geography communities.
Humans have altered the Earth′s land surface over many millennia, with the most dramatic changes coming in recent decades as population has grown, urban areas have spread, and technology and environmental changes have transformed ecosystems worldwide. A unique data set, Historical Urban Population, v1 (3700 BC‒AD 2000), is now available that documents the location and size of urban populations over the past 6,000 years. Developed by Meredith Reba of Yale University, Femke Reitsma of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and Karen Seto of Yale, the data set was assembled by digitizing, transcribing, and geocoding historical, archaeological, and census-based urban population records from diverse sources. The data set illuminates long-term urbanization trends and patterns, supporting better understanding of both current and future urbanization trends and associated implications for population, land use and land cover change, and environment.
In 2002, the first Human Footprint/Last of the Wild (HF/LOW) data sets, developed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in collaboration with CIESIN, were released through the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Version 1 mapped human influence on the planet′s land surface drawing on spatial data for population, settlements, roads, railroads, agriculture, power infrastructure, and other factors, mostly dating from the early 1990s. The least influenced or “wild” areas in each biome were identfied in the LOW data set. In 2005, version 2 of the data set was released, with more complete and consistent data from about the year 2000.
Version 3 of the Human Footprint data sets, providing snapshots of human influence circa 1993 and 2009, is now available through SEDAC. The Human Footprint, 2018 Release (1993) and Human Footprint, 2018 Release (2009) were developed by an international team of scientists led by Oscar Venter of the University of Northern British Columbia. The team included Eric Sanderson of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who led development of the first HF/LOW data sets, and CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy. The new HF data sets are based on a modified methodology and more recent data inputs on built-up environments, population density, electric power infrastructure, crop lands, pasture lands, roads, railways, and navigable waterways. The data are available at a spatial resolution of about 1 kilometer and may be downloaded as a GeoTIFF file or accessed through open online web map services.
A screen capture from the updated Population Estimator mapping tool for an area along the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina, affected by Hurricane Florence in fall 2018, displays estimates of the distribution of males and females by 5-year age group. The tool accesses data from the Gridded Population of the World version 4 (GPWv4.10) data collection via the Population Estimation Service (PESv3).
The Population Estimation Service (PES) and associated Population Estimator mapping tool have recently been updated to provide users with the ability to visualize changes in total population over multiple decades together with basic demographic characteristics (age and sex) in the year 2010, for a user-defined geographic region. Version 3 of the Population Estimator enables users to draw a circle or polygon on a world map, which then produces a graph of estimated population for the years 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015, and a projection to the year 2020. The Population Estimator also provides a “population pyramid” for the year 2010, with estimated population counts by five-year age groups for males and females. Users may save the graphs in selected image formats and download the tabular data for further analysis.
These detailed demographic estimates may be highly useful to those interested in assessing how different areas of the world vary in terms of their population growth between 2000 and 2020, and in comparing the relative shape and structure of their population pyramids. The data may be used to estimate important demographic characteristics such as the sex ratio, median age, dependency ratios, and the number of women of child-bearing age. Estimated totals for specific age groups (children under five or the elderly) may be useful as indicators of potential vulnerability to natural, technological, or human health hazards or of the type and level of specific social or health services needed in an area. However, it should be noted that in many parts of the world, censuses have been infrequent, and detailed demographic data at subnational levels are not always available; therefore, population and age-sex data for small subnational areas should be used with caution and the documentation should be consulted.
Behind the scenes, the PESv3 draws on the latest version of the Gridded Population of the World data collection (GPWv4.10), which is based on the most current national census data available. Through open web service protocols, any client developer can send queries to the PES to obtain customized estimates for a specified circle or polygon. Links to the service descriptions are available online. Further information is available through SEDAC User Services. PESv3 and the Population Estimator are supported by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), operated by CIESIN as part of the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).
CIESIN director Robert Chen and senior digital archivist Robert Downs joined about 40 research data experts from across the U.S. at the Research Data Alliance–United States (RDA-US) Leadership Meeting in Troy, New York, September 24–25. The annual meeting was led for the first time by Dr. Leslie McIntosh, the new RDA-US executive director, and included participation by RDA′s current secretary-general, Hilary Hanahoe, and former Secretary General Mark Parsons. During the Community Updates portion of the meeting, Downs gave a brief update about the Repository Platforms for Research Data (RPRD) Interest Group (IG), which he co-chairs. The activities and plans of the Legal Interoperability IG, which Chen co-chairs, were also discussed. The meeting addressed RDA strategic initiatives and sustainability, encouraged awareness and coordination across the many different RDA data activities and those of partner organizations, and addressed plans for the RDA 12th Plenary to be held in Gaborone, Botswana, in November as part of International Data Week.
The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN has released updates to two national-level, policy-focused indicator data collections. The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), produced every two years by a research team from the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and CIESIN, ranks country performance on high-priority environmental issues in two broad policy areas: protection of human health from environmental harm and protection of ecosystems. The 2018 EPI evaluated 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across 10 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
The Natural Resource Protection and Child Health Indicators, 2017 Release (2010 – 2017), is the most recent update to a data set first released in 2010. It was created by CIESIN in support of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which has established selection criteria for the eligibility of countries for foreign assistance. This release includes a consistent time series of Natural Resource Protection (NRPI) scores for 234 countries from 2013 to 2017 and Child Health Indicator (CHI) scores for 199 countries from 2010 to 2017.
Both data sets are available for free download from the SEDAC web site. An Earthdata Login, available for free, is required to access the data.
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