Among the approximately 18,000 attendees at this year’s annual Esri User Conference in San Diego July 9–13 were CIESIN deputy director Marc Levy; associate director for Geospatial Applications, Greg Yetman; Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programmer Kytt MacManus; and senior research staff assistants Olena Borkovska and Kira Topik. This year's conference theme was “GIS—Inspiring What’s Next.” On July 11, Yetman gave a talk, “Population Data Resources for Humanitarian and Development Applications,“ highlighting a range of georeferenced population data products and services developed by CIESIN and other groups important for disaster response, resource management, and other applications. CIESIN staff members also displayed two posters as part of the conference′s Map Gallery. The first described data visualization and access services for data sets on impervious surfaces and human built-up and settlement extents, developed by researchers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and University of Maryland, led by Eric Brown de Colston and Chengquan Huang. MacManus authored the poster with CIESIN staff members Sri Vinay, Frank Pascuzzi, Al Pinto, and Yetman. A second poster described the high resolution settlement layer (HRSL) developed in collaboration with Facebook′s Connectivity Lab. It was authored by Borkovska, with co-authors James Gill of Facebook and Linda Pistolesi, John Squires, and Yetman from CIESIN. HRSL data for 23 countries and Puerto Rico are currently available.
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Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, is lead author of the chapter, “Geospatial Modeling and Mapping,” in the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Displacement and Migration, edited by Robert McLeman of Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and François Gemenne of the University of Liège in Belgium. This handbook aims to be a convenient resource for people new to the topic and a reference for experts already working in this area. The chapter, co-authored with Ling Bai of the University of Southern California, discusses how mapping drivers and so-called hotspots of vulnerability can help identify regions that may become areas of out-migration. Another chapter, “Environmental Change and Migration: A Review of West African Case Studies,” is authored by Victoria van der Land of the University of Bamako in Mali, who was a visiting scholar at CIESIN in 2014. A third chapter discusses the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the protection needs of persons displaced across borders in the context of disasters and climate change; de Sherbinin and research scientist Susana Adamo serve on the PDD Advisory Committee. The handbook is available for online viewing free of charge for a limited time.
In July 1998, CIESIN officially became a center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University, establishing offices at the Lamont campus in Palisades, New York, and phasing out the original Consortium based in Michigan. In conjunction with this move, CIESIN also won the contract from NASA to operate the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) from its new home at Columbia. To commemorate this 20th anniversary, SEDAC′s User Working Group (UWG) met June 28–29 at the Columbia Morningside campus and attended a special reception and dinner June 28 at the Columbia Faculty House. Participants from NASA included Lawrence Friedl and Alfreda Hall from NASA headquarters and Jeanne Behnke, Drew Kittel, and Francis Lindsay from the Goddard Space Flight Center. Columbia University representatives included G. Michael Purdy, executive vice president for research, and Alex Halliday, the new director of the Earth Institute.
The UWG provides guidance to SEDAC on user needs and priorities, drawing on the diverse expertise and experience of its members. The current chair of the UWG is Myron Gutmann of the University of Colorado. The June meeting provided the opportunity to thank four members of the UWG whose terms are ending: Deborah Balk of Baruch College; Nina Lam of Louisiana State University; Shahid Naeem of Columbia University; and Tom Tomich of the University of California, Davis.
The Socio-Ecological Synthesis Center (SESYNC) organized an innovative, international Boundary Spanning Symposium June 11–13 in Annapolis, Maryland. Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications, gave an invited presentation, “Climate Change Hotspots Mapping and Migration as Adaptation,” and also discussed the use of data from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) in socio-ecological research. He examined spatial vulnerability assessment and modeling of climate migration to demonstrate how spatial data integration across the social and environmental sciences can help illuminate ways in which socio-environmental systems are under stress from climate change. The data integration and modeling methods behind the World Bank report, “Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration,” released in February 2018, were also discussed. Hosted by SESYNC in partnership with the National Science Foundation, Resources for the Future, and the University of Maryland, the international symposium brought together leaders, emerging scholars, and others interesting in innovating research and processes for solving socio-environmental problems.
Two different international organizations focused on data sharing and management organized working meetings in Europe June 11–15. In Geneva, Switzerland, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) held its 2018 Symposium June 11‒12 at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization. CIESIN director Robert Chen served as co-chair and co-moderator for a plenary session on GEO challenges and opportunities for data sharing and management. During the session, senior digital archivist Robert Downs gave a short presentation on data quality control and documentation efforts under way at the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. Chen then co-chaired a June 13 meeting of the GEO Data Sharing Working Group (DSWG), which has led GEO′s efforts to promote open data sharing for more than a decade. The meeting included discussions with the incoming GEO Secretariat Director, Gilberto Câmara. GEO is an international partnership of more than 100 national governments and in excess of 100 Participating Organizations working to ensure that coordinated, comprehensive, and sustained Earth observations inform decisions and actions that benefit humanity.
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) held its 9th Working Group (WG) and Interest Group (IG) Collaboration Meeting June 13‒15 in Vienna, Austria. The meeting brought together RDA WG and IG chairs and co-chairs to identify collaborative opportunities and develop specific plans. Downs serves as a co-chair for the RDA Repository Platforms for Research Data IG and for the RDA Data Versioning WG, and represented both groups at the meeting. RDA is a community-driven international organization aiming to build the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing of data. RDA currently has more than 7,000 members from 137 countries.
Credit: Chandranath Basak
CIESIN senior research associate Pinki Mondal has been featured in a NASA Earthdata user profile published online May 24. The user profile is part of a regular series about users of NASA earth science data. Mondal combines remotely-sensed data with census and other data to study the effects of climate change on agricultural systems and communities. Her current research focuses on smallholder farms in tropical countries that can be especially vulnerable to climate variability and to impacts from socioeconomic factors such as urbanization and government policies. She utilizes microwave satellite data, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, and high-resolution optical satellite data from a variety of sources to help characterize land use/land cover changes over time in relationship to climate and other factors.
For the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN, Mondal has had lead responsibility for establishing the India Data Collection, which currently consists of the India Village-Level Geospatial Socio-Economic Data Set:1991, 2001 and the India Annual Winter Cropped Area, v1 (2001–2016). She also led development of the Global Summer Land Surface Temperature (LS) Grids, v1, and helped develop the Global Urban Heat Island (UHI) Data Set, v1 (2013), as well as other SEDAC data sets.
In August, Mondal will begin a position as assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a voluntary international partnership of more than 100 national governments and 125 participating organizations, brought together both providers and users of Earth observation data at the European Space Agency in Frascati, Italy, May 2–4. The 3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop served as a venue to share knowledge and best practices in data management and use, in support of the ongoing development of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The workshop, which drew some 200 participants from more than 130 organizations and 33 countries, included three days of sessions and a two-day “hackathon” connecting data providers and users in the GEOSS Platform community. Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications and deputy manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN, gave a lightning talk on an international initiative to improve the quality and coordination of global-scale georeferenced data on human settlements, infrastructure, and population, known as the POPGRID data collective. He also gave the presentation, “GEOSS Data Management Principles: Importance and Implementation,″ co-authored with Gregory Giuliani of the University of Geneva and Joan Maso of CREAF, a research center in Barcelona, in a plenary session on the first day of the workshop.
CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo and CIESIN director Robert Chen participated in two different scientific conferences, presenting recent work on the geospatial dimensions of population, infrastructure, and social vulnerability. At the annual meeting of the Population Association of America (PAA) April 26–28 in Denver, Colorado, Adamo presented the paper, “Social Vulnerability in Shoreline Counties of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, 1990–2010,” co-authored with senior research associate Valentina Mara, senior research staff associates Olena Borkovska and Jane Mills, and CIESIN alumna Erin Doxsey-Whitfield of Fiera Biological Consulting in Canada. This work stemmed from a NASA-supported research project on the Vulnerability of the U.S. Atlantic Coast to Hazards Associated with Extreme Winter Storms (StormEVAAC). Adamo also presented the poster, “Global Spatial Distribution of Age and Sex Structures,” co-authored with geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi, Geographic Information System (GIS) programmer Kytt MacManus, Mills and Borkovska, information specialist Maria Elisa Lukang, and associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman. The poster describes efforts to create a new global data set on Basic Demographic Characteristics as part of the Gridded Population of the World version 4.10 data collection, available via the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. The PAA is a nonprofit, scientific, professional organization established to better the human condition through research on issues related to human population.
The Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) at Harvard University, together with the Harvard Data Science Initiative and Esri, held its 2018 conference, “Illuminating Space and Time in Data Science,” April 26–27 in Cambridge, MA. Chen participated in a panel on the topic, “Geography, Civic Engagement, and the Future of Data Science,” giving a short presentation, “Why We Need Both Geography & Data Science to Achieve Sustainable Development.” He focused on the need for both geographic information scientists and data scientists to collaborate to address pressing sustainable development challenges, for example, in developing integrated spatio-temporal data and models of human settlements, infrastructure, and population dynamics. The CGA was established in 2005 to support research and teaching in all disciplines across Harvard University with emerging geospatial technologies.
At the Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 17–18, Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications, presented a keynote address on trends in scientific data management, co-authored with Wim Hugo, Chief Data and Information Officer with the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON). The workshop was convened by the International Council for Science (ICSU) World Data System (WDS) and hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. It highlighted best practices for scientific data repositories located throughout Latin America and the Caribbean as well as initiatives that are either under way or in the process of being developed, their strengths and limitations, and new opportunities for collaboration. In addition, future trends and perspectives for scientific data systems, as well as criteria and standards for certification of data repositories, were discussed. Some 150 participants from throughout the region attended. Video recordings of the workshop presentations are available online via Facebook (de Sherbinin′s presentation begins at approximately 14:30 in the Day 1 Morning video). Following the workshop, de Sherbinin participated in the WDS Scientific Committee meeting April 19–20.
Representatives of the NASA earth science data system community, including data managers, system developers, and other staff from the NASA Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) and Science Investigator-led Processing Systems (SIPs), gathered in Annapolis, Maryland April 18-20 for the annual Earth Science Data System Working Group (ESDSWG) meeting. ESDSWG teams reported on tasks completed during the past year, and new teams formed and planned tasks for the next year. Representing the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN were Robert Downs, senior digital archivist; Frank Pascuzzi, senior systems analyst; and John Scialdone, manager of Data Center Services. Downs co-authored a presentation on accomplishments of the ESDSWG on Data Quality over the past year, in his capacity as chair of its reuse readiness assessment subgroup,and presented the poster, “Reuse Readiness Assessment of Data Quality Software Solutions.” He also presented “Evaluating the Reuse Readiness Levels of Recommended Data Quality Software Solutions” during a breakout session on data quality. Scialdone participated in meetings of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Standards Office, which he will be supporting as part of a two-year assignment.
As part of festivities worldwide celebrating Earth Day, CIESIN participated in a fair at St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) in Sparkill, New York, April 17, co-hosted by STAC and Columbia University′s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The free event, held for the third year, was attended by both undergraduate and K-12 students and educators, together with members of the general public. Senior research staff assistant Alyssa Fico coordinated CIESIN’s participation in the event, with the assistance of geographic information specialist Linda Pistolesi, staff associate Emilie Schnarr, and CIESIN director Robert Chen. They demonstrated the Hazards Mapper and HazPop mobile app developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center operated by CIESIN. They also engaged attendees in an interactive data gathering exercise using online geographic information system (GIS) software to locate nearby areas of interest such as eateries, parks, and schools. The fair featured environmental science projects conducted by STAC students as well as a range of hands-on science education activities offered by other scientists from around the Lamont campus.
Geographers from across the U.S. and the world met in New Orleans, Louisiana, April 10–14 to present and discuss recent and ongoing research on diverse geographic topics, including hazards, urbanization, public engagement. Several sessions on human settlement and population mapping were organized, including two on high-resolution population modeling and a session on advancements in detecting and projecting population and the footprint of human settlements. CIESIN director Robert Chen gave a presentation in the latter session on the ongoing efforts of the POPGRID Data Collective to advance the use and impact of geospatial settlement, infrastructure, and population data in sustainable development and other applications. Greg Yetman, associate director for Geospatial Applications, discussed mapping green infrastructure and impervious surfaces in New York City, in a session, “Making the City Green.″ His presentation was co-authored with John Squires, senior research staff assistant, and was based on work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation as part of the project, Developing High Performance Green Infrastructure Systems to Sustain Coastal Cities, led by Patricia Culligan of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and the Urban Design Lab. POPGRID activities are supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
Current trends suggest that the already extensive populations of the Asian megadeltas, where more than 174 million people now live less than 7 meters above sea level, will continue to grow. A new study appearing in the journal Global and Planetary Change combines updated gridded population density data with data on “night-time lights″ measured from space and a digital elevation model to assess the spatial evolution of population and development on the nine Asian megadeltas. The invited research article, “Decades of Urban Growth and Development on the Asian Megadeltas,” is authored by Lamont Research Professor Christopher Small, together with Daniel Sousa, a graduate student with the Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences; CIESIN associate director Gregory Yetman and GIS programmer Kytt MacManus; and Christopher Elvidge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The gridded population data are from the fourth version of the Gridded Population of the World data collection developed by the NASA Socioeconomic and Data Applications center operated by CIESIN.
MacManus is also a co-author of “Palm Oil in Myanmar: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Effects of Industrial Framing on Biodiversity Loss,” which presents the results of a spatial analysis to determine areas in Myanmar best suited for oil palm tree growth. Findings suggest potential tension in the Tanintharyi region between suitability of oil palm trees and biodiversity protection. Kristopher Nicholas, a recent Columbia College graduate and an advisee of MacManus, was the lead author of the paper, which is published in the open access journal, Global Health: Science and Practice. MacManus serves as a lecturer at Columbia College and the School of International and Public Affairs.
The third round of intergovernmental negotiations on the Global Compact for Migration was held at United Nations headquarters in New York City April 3–6. In conjunction with the negotiations, the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) organized a briefing April 4 at the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to discuss migration in the context of disasters and climate change. Susana Adamo, CIESIN research scientist, and Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, spoke on data and knowledge gaps at the briefing. Other event speakers included Professor Walter Kaelin, Envoy of the Chair of the PDD, and representatives of Refugees International, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Organization for Migration. The PDD, which is currently chaired by Bangladesh, is following up on work begun by the Nansen Initiative to implement the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, endorsed by 109 governmental delegations during a Global Consultation in October 2015. The Global Compact for Migration will be the first intergovernmental negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the United Nations to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
CIESIN welcomes two new visitors, Koji Osumi and Rebeca de Bakker Doctors, this spring. Osumi, who is section chief in the Geographic Department, Geoinformation Processing Division at the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, is being hosted by the Geospatial Applications Division for one year. He will be collaborating with the associate director of the division, Greg Yetman, and with associate director of Science Applications, Alex de Sherbinin, on studies of spectral mixing analysis from satellite imagery and modeling of temporal change using vegetation indexes. Osumi has a BS and MA in earth science from Hokkaido University and has worked at both the Geospatial Information Authority and the Ministry of the Environment in Japan.
An Alliance Program intern from École Polytechnique, de Bakker Doctors is conducting research on the use of geospatial data for decision making in complex settings, supervised by deputy director Marc Levy. She will work with senior research associate Sandra Baptista and team members on the new Geo-referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) initiative. She is studying for an MS in the Challenges for Environmental Sciences program at École Polytechnique, and has a BSc in economics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.
Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications, participated in a National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) Pursuit event March 28–29 that focused on populations displaced by sea level rise and coastal extremes. The workshop was hosted by the University of Maryland in Annapolis and led by David Wrathall of Oregon State University and Valerie Mueller of Arizona State University. Twenty researchers from a variety of academic and government institutions in the United States and abroad were invited to participate. Funded by a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, SESYNC facilitates interdisciplinary collaborations to develop data-driven solutions to socio-environmental issues.
Two new data sets have been released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. The India Village-Level Geospatial Socio-Economic Data Set: 1991, 2001, provides detailed administrative boundary data for India (village/town-level) together with more than 200 socioeconomic variables from the 1991 and 2001 censuses. The data are available for the 28 states and combined Union Territories in existence in 1991 and 2001. The data set was developed as part of a research project on the dynamics and determinants of land change in India by Prasanth Meiyappan of the University of Illinois and colleagues from India and from Columbia University. This is the second data set in the India Data Collection, which also includes the data set, India Annual Winter Cropped Area, v1 (2001–2016).
SEDAC has also released a new data set on global patterns of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) over nearly two decades: the Global PM2.5 Grids from MODIS, MISR and SeaWiFS Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) with Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR), 1998–2016. The data set consists of estimated annual concentrations (micrograms per cubic meter) of PM2.5, with dust and sea salt removed, on a grid of 0.01 degree resolution, or about 1 km at the equator. This version supersedes a previous data set with coarser resolution (0.1 degree, or about 10 km) and data only through 2012. The new data set combines AOD measurements from the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), and the Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) with a chemical transport model. GWR is used to adjust estimates drawing on available ground-based measurements. The data set was developed by a team led by Aaron van Donkelaar at Dalhousie University in Canada.
Attendees at the workshop, “Linkages between Earth Observations and Ecosystem Services,” March 21‒22 in Palo Alto, California. CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo is third from left in the first standing row.
Potsdam and Berlin in Germany, Palo Alto in California, and Bristol in the United Kingdom were the venues for meetings of three different communities concerned with digital data for different applications. Robert Downs, CIESIN senior digital archivist, traveled to Potsdam March 18 for the FAIR Data Workshop organized by the American Geophysical Union and then to Berlin March 20 for a meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Technical Advisory Board and Chairs. He then participated in the 11th RDA Plenary March 21–23, where he gave presentations about the World Data System of the International Council for Science (ICSU-WDS), principles and practices for enabling open data use, and characterizing data quality. He also co-convened a session of the RDA interest group on Repository Platforms for Research Data, which he co-chairs.
CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo joined researchers from academia, government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector for a March 21–22 workshop in Palo Alto, “Linkages between Earth Observations and Ecosystem Services,” as part of the Natural Capital Symposium. This was the second workshop in a series of three exploring the use of Earth observations in ecosystem services research and applications, organized by the Institute on the Environment-University of Minnesota, Stanford Woods Institute-Stanford University, and the Gund Institute for Environment-The University of Vermont, and funded by NASA.
The emerging community of organizations and individuals involved in data for international development gathered in Bristol March 21–23 for the first Data for Development Festival organized by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD). CIESIN director Robert Chen and deputy director Marc Levy both attended, giving presentations on two initiatives addressing foundational geospatial data needs for sustainable development. Chen described efforts to coordinate global-scale data on human settlements, infrastructure, and population through POPGRID, a project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Levy participated in a special session on the new Geo-referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) initiative, supported by BMGF and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). GRID3 aims to build national capacity to collect, analyze, integrate, disseminate, and utilize high-resolution population, infrastructure, and other reference data in support of national sectoral development priorities, humanitarian efforts, public health, and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Chen remained in Bristol March 24–25 to co-chair a meeting of the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. CIESIN is an anchor partner of the GPSDD and coordinating partner of GRID3.
Several CIESIN staff members have contributed to a range of publications in prominent journals and books and to a major new World Bank report. Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, is lead author of the chapter, “Geospatial Modeling and Mapping,” in the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Displacement and Migration. Edited by Robert McLeman of Wilfrid Laurier University and François Gemenne of the Hugo Observatory at the University of Liège, Belgium, the Handbook constitutes a major review of research on how environmental variability and change influence current and future global migration patterns and may trigger large-scale population movement. The chapter′s co-author is Ling Bai, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California.
The World Bank report, Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, was released March 19 through the Bank's Open Knowledge Repository. Alex de Sherbinin and research scientist Susana Adamo are among the co-authors of the report, which examines the potential impacts of climate change on population movement within countries in Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa in future decades. CIESIN coordinated the study with the Institute for Demographic Research at the City University of New York and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Kytt MacManus, CIESIN GIS programmer, is a co-author of the paper, “Flood Hazard Assessment from Storm Tides, Rain and Sea Level Rise for a Tidal River Estuary,” appearing in the journal, Natural Hazards. The research team led by Philip Orton of Stevens Institute of Technology found that areas along the Hudson River south of Poughkeepsie are dominated by storm surge-induced flooding, whereas areas north of Poughkeepsie to Albany are impacted more by precipitation-based flooding. The research included further development of the Hudson River Flood Impact Decision Support System, and was supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
MacManus also contributed to a second paper, “NASA’s Black Marble Nighttime Lights Product Suite,” published in the journal, Remote Sensing of Environment. A companion to the well-known “Blue Marble” image of the Earth, the Black Marble provides insight into distributions and changes in visible lights at night. The lead author of the paper, Miguel Román of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, is collaborating with CIESIN on two new projects funded by NASA in support of the Human Planet initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).
The most recent update to the fourth version of the Gridded Population of the World data collection, GPW version 4.10, contains the first global data set on the spatial distribution of population broken down into different age groups by sex (male and female). The data were developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
Prior versions of GPW provided estimates of the total population in each latitude-longitude grid cell. Now with the inclusion of age and sex information drawn from the 2010 round of national population censuses, it is possible to map specific demographic subgroups such as elderly populations, school-aged children, young adults, and women of childbearing age. This enables users to better understand spatial variations in age structure and sex ratios within countries for specific regions of interest. The age and sex data expand GPW’s usefulness in many research and application areas, including vulnerability and risk mapping, urbanization and migration studies, and emergency response and public health applications. In addition, gridded age and sex data can help in monitoring and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with respect to efforts to disaggregate data to support the objective to “leave no one behind,” e.g., the elderly, the young, and other subgroups who may be geographically isolated.
The new downloadable data consist of population counts and density rasters for 5-year age groups and for selected age categories (0–14, 15–64, 65 and older), as totals and by sex. A raster data set of women of childbearing age (15–49) is also available. All of the GPWv4.10 raster data sets are now available in ASCII and netCDF formats as well as GeoTiff. Files with coarser resolution (2.5, 15, 30, and 60 arc minutes) may be selected to enable faster raster processing and compatibility with data sets from other scientific domains. A vector data set, “Administrative Unit Center Points,” has been updated to include age and sex attributes.
First developed in 1994, GPW provides population estimates on a latitude-longitude grid for all land on the planet except Antarctica, created through analysis of census and administrative boundary data from every country in the world. The gridded format permits easy integration with a wide range of data, supporting research, planning, and applications in energy and water management, disaster and humanitarian response, agriculture and food security planning, public health interventions, transportation and communications development, urban and coastal zone planning, and many other aspects of sustainable development.
The free, downloadable data and descriptions, including documentation and maps, are available at http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/collection/gpw-v4/whatsnewrev10. The data are disseminated using the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY-4.0) license, which permits free sharing, adaptation, and use of the data for both commercial and noncommercial purposes, so long as appropriate credit is given.
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