CIESIN associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin teamed up with Prof. Andrew Tatem of the University of Southampton in the virtual event, “Using Big Data to Study Migration Patterns,” organized by the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC) and Columbia’s Data Science Institute (DSI) on April 22. The two researchers discussed the use of novel data streams such as cellphone and device location data to understand mobility patterns. Following the presentation, which drew more than 50 participants, a reception was held for CPRC and DSI affiliates to discuss research collaboration opportunities. Among other activities, de Sherbinin is co-lead of the Climate Mobility Network, a new “Earth Network” established by the Earth Institute. Tatem is the director of WorldPop and a director of Flowminder, and a key collaborator in the GeoReferenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program managed by CIESIN.
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Two side events held in preparation for the United Nations Statistical Commission 52nd Session included discussion of the use of georeferenced population data in supporting efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at global, national, and subnational levels. On February 16, CIESIN director Robert Chen served as a panelist in the virtual event, “Working to Improve Timeliness and Granularity of SDG data: Progress Made in the Data for Now Initiative.” Organized by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the side event drew more than 190 participants from around the world. Chen highlighted progress made by the POPGRID Data Collaborative to improve access to timely, internationally comparable data on human population, settlements, and infrastructure by National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and other users.
On February 25, Prof. Forrest Stevens of the University of Louisville participated in the side event, “The SDGs Geospatial Roadmap,″ organized by the UN Working Group on Geospatial Information (WGGI). The event included a panel on the launch of the Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable Cities, organized by UN-Habitat and the Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG) initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Stevens discussed contributions of the GEO Human Planet Initiative (HPI) to the new toolkit, which features a range of data, tools, and services developed by several HPI participants, such as the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and a NASA-funded project led by CIESIN in collaboration with the University of Louisville and ImageCat, Inc.
Established in 1947, the United Nations Statistical Commission is the highest body of the global statistical system, bringing together the chief statisticians from member states from around the world. Its 52nd Session was held virtually March 1–5.
2020 Human Planet Atlas Showcases Diverse Applications of Global Human Settlement and Population DataJanuary 22, 2021
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has released the 2020 edition of the Atlas of the Human Planet, focused on open geoinformation for research, policy, and action, under the auspices of the Human Planet Initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). This year′s Atlas features more than 30 applications of the georeferenced human settlement and population data in four thematic areas: disaster risk management, urbanization, development, and environment and sustainability. Two of the applications showcased were developed by CIESIN: the Global COVID-19 Viewer operated by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), in “Mapping the COVID-19 Pandemic and Potential Risk Factors,″ and a summary of an update to a 2007 data set available from SEDAC, in “New Estimates of Global Population and Land in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone Using GHSL-based Data Sets.″ The first showcase was prepared by CIESIN director Robert Chen, GIS programmer Kytt MacManus, and associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin. The second was authored by MacManus, former SEDAC project scientist Deborah Balk of Baruch College, staff associate Hasim Engin, UK demographer Gordon McGranahan, former research staff assistant Rya Inman, and intern Alexandra Hayes.
The JRC organized a virtual launch event January 21 that drew more than 90 participants. The event included 4 short presentations on selected applications, including the Global COVID-19 Viewer example, described by Chen. The Viewer, developed and enhanced in 2020, helps users visualize a range of data on COVID-19 cases and mortality in relationship to spatial data on demographic and environmental factors that may affect exposure and vulnerability, such as age structure, degree of urbanization, air quality, and elevation. Chen and Martino Pesaresi of the JRC are co-leaders of the GEO Human Planet Initiative.
CIESIN senior geographic information specialist Dara Mendeloff was an invited rapporteur for select sessions of the OGC Location Powers Urban Digital Twins virtual summit held January 12–14. The focus of the conference was how “digital twins” at the urban scale use location and geospatial technology to transform how cities are planned, built, and managed to better deliver services in order to create more livable, inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable urban environments. Mendeloff represented both OGC members CIESIN and the NYC Geographic Information System and Mapping Organization (GISMO), where she is a member of the Board of Directors. In consideration of the international audience of the virtual summit, the OGC aimed to make presentations available in both east and west time zones and to build on each other, so she also presented her summary report of the 1W session to sessions 1E and 2W. Her report will be included in a final document that summarizes discussion on the status of Digital Twins and recommends future technology innovations, best practices, and standards development. The OGC is the Open Geospatial Consortium, an international organization committed to improving access to geospatial and location information, including the development of free, publicly available geospatial standards that enable new technologies.
On January 21, Mendeloff reprised her role as an instructor for the Earth Institute (EI) Live K–12 science education video series, when she offered a session aimed at grades 9–12, “Climate Data—The Numbers Behind the Numbers.” The 45-minute video, available on the EI Live channel, explains the data science tools used in climate research by scientists to understand geographic data, perform spatial analysis, and visualize data while communicating a story.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, many international conferences have shifted to online, virtual platforms in 2020, opening up opportunities for CIESIN staff to interact remotely with new communities and showcase recent work and new resources. For example, associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin recently gave a remote keynote address, “Groundswell Model Results for South Asia,” November 25 at the International Conference on Building Resilient and Sustainable Societies, organized by Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. The address discussed ongoing work with the World Bank to model how climate impacts may induce migration out to 2050. He and research scientist Susana Adamo also participated in the virtual meeting of the Platform for Disaster Displacement’s Data and Knowledge Working Group November 24, where they gave the respective presentations, “Novel and Big Data Approaches to Identifying Disaster Displacement,” and “Migration, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Climate in Central America’s Northern Triangle.”
During the International CODATA FAIR Convergence Symposium 2020 held virtually November 27–December 4, CIESIN director Robert Chen presented in a panel session, “Synergies between Citizen Science Data and the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicators,” organized by Dilek Fraisl of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. Chen then led a breakout group within this session. Alex de Sherbinin also contributed to the session, “Citizen Science in Africa for the SDGs,” giving closing remarks. The Symposium was organized by the Committee on Data (CODATA) of the International Science Council and the GO FAIR initiative.
On December 1 Chen gave a short presentation, “Open Data Sharing Across the Disaster Lifecycle," in the community session, "A Call to Action for Resilience: Moving from Research to Practice,” held as part of the World Bank’s 2020 Understanding Risk Forum (UR2020) December 1–3. The session was organized by Charles Huyck of ImageCat, Inc. and Shanna McClain of NASA. Chen highlighted the importance of open data access and reuse throughout the disaster management lifecycle, not just in the immediate aftermath of an extreme event.
Experts from Colombia and Paraguay Participate in Workshop on Using Gridded Population Data for Sustainable DevelopmentDecember 2, 2020
Professor Stefan Leyk of the University of Colorado organized and led a virtual workshop November 30, “Gridded Population Data for the Sustainable Development Goals,” for experts from Colombia's National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) and Paraguay's General Directorate of Statistics, Surveys, and Censuses (DGEEC). The workshop provided an overview of the development and sources of gridded population data, hands-on technical training in working with selected data, and a forum for obtaining feedback on user needs. CIESIN Director Robert Chen gave introductory remarks during the opening session, and in the final session research scientist Susana Adamo provided an update in Spanish on progress and plans for the fifth version of the Gridded Population of the World (GPW) data set. Associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman, and research staff assistant Juan Martinez also attended.
The workshop was organized by Leyk and Maryam Rabiee of the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), under the auspices of the POPGRID Data Collaborative. Funding for the workshop was provided by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. POPGRID is an initiative launched by CIESIN in 2017 to bring together both developers and users of global georeferenced population data in support of development applications. POPGRID activities and resources are supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Leyk is also a member of SEDAC′s User Working Group.
A major milestone for CIESIN′s main program, the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), has been reached: 100,000 registered users since implementing the registration system back in February 2015, or about 17,000 per year. Note that this includes only the users registering to download data; the SEDAC Web site receives more than 50,000 visitors a month. SEDAC users constitute about 10% of the registered users in the wider NASA Earthdata Login (EDL) system, which includes 11 of the other sister data centers (DAACs) in the NASA Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), and various other elements and components.
Users who participated in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey gave SEDAC an overall positive evaluation again. The survey assesses user satisfaction with the data, tools, and support provided by the NASA EOSDIS data centers and services, of which SEDAC is the only one to focus on the integration of remote sensing and socioeconomic data.
CIESIN has developed a collaboration with the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences at Lehman College of the City University of New York to develop and enhance hazards data, working initially with five Lehman graduate and undergraduate students. Supervised by CIESIN alumnus Yuri Gorokhovich, associate professor in the Department, the students are Christopher Aime, Diana Calderón, Nira Rahman, and Raychell Velez from Lehman's Master′s program in Geographic Information Science; and Hadja Doumbouya, a senior majoring in environmental sciences. CIESIN associate director for Geospatial Applications Greg Yetman is assisting the students in using machine learning methods to develop improved data on the exposure and vulnerability of buildings and other infrastructure to hazards, extending recent work for the State of New York supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Carolynne Hultquist, CIESIN postdoctoral research scientist, and Andrew Kruczkiewicz, senior staff associate at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), are also working with the students to apply the data to flash flood hazard assessment.
The collaboration is supported by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) as part of SEDAC's efforts to achieve small business purchasing goals established by NASA, which include collaboration with Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Outputs of the collaboration will be made available via SEDAC after appropriate review. Based in the Bronx, Lehman is one of the only MSIs (or HBCU′s) in the US to offer a master of science degree in geographic information science.
The 2020 United Nations (UN) World Data Forum was held virtually October 19–21, in place of a physical meeting in Bern, Switzerland, that has been postponed to 2021. The Forum serves as a platform for intensifying cooperation on sustainable development data across a diverse set of communities, under the auspices of the UN Statistical Commission.
Several CIESIN staff participated actively in the Forum. On October 20, Sandra Baptista, senior research associate, and Andrea Jordan, special assistant to the deputy director, both representing the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program, co-organized the live panel, “Use of Geospatial Data to Support COVID-19 Response,” with Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE). The panel was moderated by Io Blair-Freese of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and included two partners in the GRID3 program: Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and co-chair of GRID3′s Nigeria national steering committee; and David Moinina Sengeh, minister of basic and senior secondary education and chief innovation officer for the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Forum also included a number of pre-recorded sessions. NASA, UN-Habitat, the European Space Agency, and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) organized a session on the use of Earth observations to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. CIESIN Director Robert Chen co-authored a short presentation with Thomas Kemper of the European Commission′s Joint Research Centre on behalf of the GEO Human Planet Initiative, which he co-leads. They also participated in a pre-recorded question-and-answer session.
Recordings of Forum sessions are now available online. The UN World Data Forum was originally established in response to a key recommendation in the 2014 report, “A World that Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development,″ prepared by the UN Secretary-General′s Independent Expert Advisory Group on a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.
CIESIN has developed and released several new data sets recently. Now available from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) is the Food Insecurity Hotspots data set, which consists of gridded data identifying the level of intensity and frequency of food insecurity over ten years between 2009 and 2019, as well as hotspots of consecutive food insecurity events. The data set covers five regions: Central America and the Caribbean, Central Asia, East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa. The grids are at 250 meter (~7.2 arc-seconds) resolution and are based on subnational food security analyses for these regions provided by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). FEWS NET was established in 1985 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
As part of the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program managed by CIESIN, data on operational settlement points and/or boundaries, health facilities, and points of interests have been released for Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Settlement extent data are now available for 41 African countries, created from Digitize Africa building footprints powered by Maxar. GRID3 has expedited settlement extent mapping to support countries in their COVID-19 response efforts. The data are broadly intended to support country decision-making in public health and education.
Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications, Susana Adamo, research scientist, and Tricia Chai-Onn, senior geographic information specialist, are co-authors of a new study on the link between environmental challenges and religion, published in the Journal of Religion and Demography. Vegard Skirbekk of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health is lead author. The paper, “Religious Affiliation and Environmental Challenges in the 21st Century,” builds on a growing body of research carried out at the Columbia Aging Center, where researchers analyzed religious affiliation together with a variety of environment and climate change-related indicators at the country level.
The Global COVID-19 Viewer map from September 25 shows the prevalence of COVID-19 cases, defined as the total number of cases per 100,000 people, for the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico since early in the pandemic.
The latest update to the Global COVID-19 Viewer: Population Estimates by Age Group and Sex features enhanced capabilities for visualizing the status and reach of the pandemic around the world, daily and over time since its beginning, and to identify at-risk populations. A pop-up trends graph illustrates daily and 7-day moving averages of COVID-19 cases and deaths for a range of select time scales—one month, three months, six months, and beyond. The graph may be accessed by simply clicking on a country. User-friendly mapping tools let users define a custom area or fly to a location of interest. Users may also easily move up or down administrative levels in many countries and view demographic and urbanization estimates relevant to possible risk factors for the virus. The Viewer was developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) managed by CIESIN. The underlying population data are from SEDAC′s Gridded Population of the World (GPW) Basic Demographic Characteristics, v4.11, for the year 2010, with estimates to 2020. The COVID-19 data are from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.
During August and September, CIESIN scientists contributed to numerous online meetings and Webinars focused on diverse issues related to citizen science data, data quality and stewardship, geospatial data development and applications, and climate migration modeling and data.
Senior digital archivist Robert Downs gave the presentation, “Improving Data Stewardship Based on the TRUST Principles for Digital Repositories,” at the #WeMissiPRES virtual meeting on 23 September. The annual International Conference on Digital Preservation (iPRES) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was replaced by a virtual event consisting of three half-day sessions September 22–24. Downs′ presentation focused on the ongoing implementation of the TRUST Principles (transparency, responsibility, user focus, sustainability, and technology) at the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. Downs also presented, “NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC): Current Status, Road Map and Challenges,″ during a virtual meeting of the World Data System (WDS) Harvestable Metadata Services (HMetS) Working Group on September 9.
Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, gave the talk, “Data for the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: The role of citizen-generated data,” at a Technical Validation Workshop on September 16 for the project, Standardizing City-Level Data-Gathering for Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11 in Africa (SCiLeD). On 14 September, he also served as a panelist during the 2020 Global Shifts Colloquium, organized by the Perry World House at the University Pennsylvania, where he presented work on climate migration modeling and data sources.
August 26–27 and September 4, CIESIN participated as an observer organization in the virtual Tenth Session of the United Nations Group of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). CIESIN′s delegation was led by director Robert Chen. The UN-GGIM promotes international collaboration on geospatial data and information and reports on all matters relating to geography, geospatial information, and related topics to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). CIESIN has been a non-governmental organization with special consultative status recognized by ECOSOC since 1995.
At the 2020 Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Summer Meeting Highlights Webinar on August 13, Robert Downs gave a lightning talk summarizing the ESIP Information Quality Cluster session, “Citizen Science and Data Quality.” The Webinar provided an overview of plenary and breakout sessions from the Summer Meeting, and is available for viewing on YouTube.
Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, is guest editor of a special Issue of the journal Sustainability on climate risk and vulnerability mapping, with co-editor Stefan Kienberger of the University of Salzburg. He is also a co-author of one of the papers in the special issue, on using flood disaster data to validate components of social vulnerability to floods. The paper’s lead author is Earth Institute Fellow Beth Tellman.
The article, “Still in Need of Norms: The State of the Data in Citizen Science,″ has been published in the journal Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. Anne Bowser of the Wilson Center is lead author, and de Sherbinin is a co-author. The article is a major output of the CODATA-World Data System (WDS) Task Group on Citizen Science and the Validation, Curation, and Management of Crowdsourced Data, which de Sherbinin co-chaired in 2016-2018.
Senior digital archivist Robert Downs is a co-author of the report, “Laying the Groundwork for Developing International Community Guidelines to Effectively Share and Reuse Digital Data Quality Information—Case Statement, Workshop Summary Report, and Path Forward,” published in Open Science Foundation (OSF) Preprints. Ge Peng of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Information Quality Cluster is lead author. The report, which stems from a pre-workshop held in July 2020 prior to the ESIP Summer Meeting, describes the approach that will be taken to develop community guidelines for preparing and sharing data quality information.
The Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program managed by CIESIN has released the white paper, “Harmonizing Subnational Boundaries,” on GRID3 efforts to support the harmonization, production, and use of digitized legal/administrative units, operational units, and statistical areas. This work addresses three primary areas: improving and harmonizing operational units; fostering improved collaboration on boundary harmonization among disparate government bodies; and using boundaries harmonization to support census efforts. The paper focuses on case studies in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia.
Cascade Tuholske has joined CIESIN for a two-year appointment as an Earth Institute postdoctoral research scientist. Tuholske is a geographer specializing in the integration of global-scale human and environment geospatial data to examine the relationship between urbanization and climate change. At CIESIN, he has begun working with director Robert Chen and associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin to construct a globally extensive, longitudinal, and fine-scale synthesis of extreme heat events, urban population growth, and the urban heat island effect. His goal is to inform adaptation strategies that reduce the harmful and inequitable impacts of urban exposure to extreme heat. He will also contribute to another NASA-funded project on the use of gridded population and settlement datasets to assess progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tuholske received his PhD in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he focused on the nexus of climate change, urbanization, and food security in Africa under the guidance of Prof. Kelly Caylor.
CIESIN Alumna Appointed Director of Institute for Demographic Research at City University of New YorkAugust 4, 2020
Former CIESIN scientist Deborah Balk has assumed the directorship of the Institute for Demographic Research (IDR) at the City University of New York (CUNY). She had served as IDR′s associate director since 2006. Balk is also professor of public affairs at the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. She serves on several noteworthy committees, including the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Population, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and the New York City Panel on Climate Change, for which she is a co-chair. She was an Andrew Carnegie Fellow 2016–2018. Her research focus is urbanization in the developing world, using a spatial framework to explore the demographic implications of climate-change issues. Balk is currently working with Kytt MacManus, senior systems analyst/GIS developer at CIESIN, and with Gordon McGranahan of the Institute of Development Studies in the United Kingdom, on updates to the low-elevation coastal zone estimates developed in a 2007 study. She was lead project scientist for the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN from 1998 to 2006, spearheading the development of many widely-used population-related data products and services. She later served as a member of SEDAC′s User Working Group (UWG) 2015–2018.
Several new interns have joined CIESIN this summer, working remotely due to closure of CIESIN offices along with the rest of Columbia University during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alexandra Hays is working with senior systems analyst/GIS developer Kytt MacManus on the third version of the Urban-Rural Population and Land Area Estimates, which is part of the Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ) data collection developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Hays is a senior at Columbia University majoring in economics, with a concentration in sustainable development. Interns Serena Killion and Caitlyn Linehan are also working with MacManus, on analysis of nighttime lights data and development of map services for SEDAC. Killion is a senior at Columbia, majoring in computer science; Linehan is completing her MS in geographic information systems (GIS) at City University of New York-Lehman College.
Four interns are working with Greg Yetman, associate director for geospatial applications, on a project supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to assess potential flood impacts on building infrastructure. Elizabeth Jackson and Elan Ganeles are juniors at Columbia; Jackson is majoring in sustainable development, and Ganeles is majoring in urban studies and earth science. Chris Mangnani is a senior at Columbia majoring in sustainable development. Siobhan Milán is a junior from the University of Virginia, majoring in economics with a minor in statistics.
Interns under CIESIN’s Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) program include Mariem Ayadi, Zane Peycke, and Nancy Yun, who are completing their MS degrees in data science at Columbia′s Data Science Institute. Ayadi is working with data and program analyst Jolynn Schmidt and senior research associate Paola Kim-Blanco, creating a model that checks for errors in building footprints data. Peycke and Yun are both working with Schmidt; Peycke is is cleaning and compiling points of interest data for the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Yun is cleaning and compiling health facility data for countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
New Data and Indicators Released on Resource Protection, Child Health, Urban Change, and India′s PopulationJuly 6, 2020
The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN has released the 2019 annual update to the Natural Resource Protection Indicators (NRPI) and Child Health Indicators (CHI) together with two new spatial data sets developed by former SEDAC project scientists Christopher Small of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) and Deborah Balk of the City University of New York (CUNY).
Natural Resource Protection and Child Health Indicators, 2019 Release supports the annual country selection process conducted by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which bases its selection criteria on a basket of governance, social, economic, and environmental indicators. For 2019, the NRPI covers 234 countries and is calculated based on the weighted average percentage of biomes under protected status. The CHI is a composite index for 195 countries derived from the average of three proximity-to-target scores.
Spatial Data from the 2011 India Census, v1 contains gridded estimates of India′s population at 1-kilometer resolution, with two spatial renderings of urban areas: one based on official tabulations of population and settlement type and the other based on the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL). The data set was developed by a team led by former CIESIN research scientist Deborah Balk, who is now associate director of CUNY’s Institute for Demographic Research. It is part of SEDAC′s India Data Collection.
VIIRS Plus DMSP Change in Lights, v1 provides changes in brightness and extent of global nighttime lights networks over two decades (1992, 2002, 2013). The nightime lights imagery was sourced from the U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS) and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Day-Night Band. It was developed by Christopher Small and several CIESIN geospatial experts. The data set was used to assess urban growth and development in Asian megadeltas, described in a paper published in 2018 in Global and Planetary Change. The data set is part of SEDAC's collection, Satellite-Derived Environmental Indicators.
All of these data are available for free download from SEDAC (registration with Earthdata required). The India and nighttime lights data may be visualized through the SEDAC Map Viewer or open web services.
The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN has updated two of its online mapping tools with new data and functionality. The latest version of the tool, the SEDAC Global COVID-19 Viewer: Population Estimates by Age Group and Sex, provides new visualizations of COVID-19 data in relationship to population characteristics and other potentially relevant factors. Users may now view rates of COVID-19 cases and mortality per 100k people; age pyramids and population numbers for user-defined areas; trend data on cases at the country, state (province), or county level where available; and more.
The POPGRID Viewer, a tool designed to facilitate visualization and intercomparison of the many different global-scale gridded population data sets now available, has been updated with new and more complete versions of the six population data sets included. Data for two different time periods are now included for three data sets. Users may view any combination of data in a unique four-panel viewer, and then compare population estimates for all six data sets for a specific area of interest. The POPGRID Viewer was developed by SEDAC in support of the POPGRID Data Collaborative, an initiative launched by CIESIN in 2017 to bring together both the developers and users of global georeferenced population data.
The Population-Environment Research Network (PERN) held an online cyberseminar May 18–25 on analysis of the population-climate change-food security nexus. The cyberseminar was moderated by Raya Muttarak of the University of East Anglia and included statements by seven expert panelists from a range of disciplines. A webinar launching the cyberseminar May 18 was led by Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications. He and CIESIN research scientist Susana Adamo are co-coordinators of PERN, which is a panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and a sustained partner of Future Earth. PERN is supported by the NASA Socioeonomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN. A YouTube video of the webinar is available online, and background materials from the cyberseminar are posted on the PERN website.
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