Geographers and other experts from around the world met in Washington DC April 3–7 for the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Three panels, organized by the AAG Specialty Groups on Population and Human Dimensions of Global Change, focused on the topic, ″environmental migration, current realities, and future prospects.″ Associate director for Science Applications Alex de Sherbinin gave one of 12 presented papers, summarizing efforts to model climate change-induced migration based on the World Bank′s 2018 Groundswell report. The project continues to examine climate impacts on crop and water resources and the ways in which they may influence internal migration in the future. Sophie Vanwambeke, a geographer visiting CIESIN for one year from Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, and Sheng Miao, visiting for one year from East China Normal University in Shanghai, also participated in the conference.
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“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Participants in the launch of a new project, “Geo-referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3),″ at at a side event of the 49th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission held March 7 in New York City. Left to right: Roger Shulungu Runika, director general, Ministry of Planning, National Statistics Institute, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Rachel Snow, chief, UNFPA; Homere Ngoma Ngoma, census coordinator at the Central Bureau of the Census, National Statistics Institute, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Marc Levy, deputy director, CIESIN; Linus Bengtsson, executive director and co-founder, Flowminder; and Tapiwa Jhamba, technical advisor, UNFPA.
A new project, “Geo-referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3),” was launched at a side event of the 49th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission held March 7 in New York City. The side event featured a panel presentation on project objectives and applications by representatives of core GRID3 partners, including Marc Levy, CIESIN deputy director; Linus Bengtsson, executive director and co-founder of Flowminder; Rachel Snow, chief, Population and Development Branch, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Tapiwa Jhamba, technical advisor, also of UNFPA. Joining the core partners as a panelist was Homere Ngoma Ngoma, census coordinator at the Central Bureau of the Census, National Statistics Institute, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), who made a presentation on the 2019 DRC census and the potential impact of GRID3 involvement. Also attending were CIESIN senior research staff assistants Olena Borkovska and Kira Topik, and project coordinator Kevin Tschirhart. A lively question-and- answer session followed the presentations.
GRID3 is facilitating the collection, analysis, integration, dissemination, and utilization of high-resolution population, infrastructure, and other reference data in support of national sectoral development priorities, humanitarian efforts, health, and sustainable development goals (SDGs). The project aims to increase developing countries’ capabilities for mapping population distribution as a way of ensuring that everyone, especially the most vulnerable, is counted, refining development priorities and extending and improving the scope and efficacy of countries’ development efforts. The project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom′s Department for International Development (DFID). Sandra Baptista, senior research associate, is a co-project investigator, with Marc Levy.
Heather Chamberlain of WorldPop and Flowminder visited CIESIN March 8 in Palisades, New York to give an informal talk on high-resolution population mapping in Afghanistan. Chamberlin is a geographer based at Southampton University in the UK working on humanitarian applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing. She discussed methods used to create population estimates for Afghanistan using statistical models, geographic correlates, and survey data. CIESIN is a partner with WorldPop and the University of Louisville on the project, “Global High Resolution Population Denominators,″ supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. WorldPop is also participating in the POPGRID initiative, which seeks to expand and coordinate the international community of data providers, users, and sponsors of georeferenced data on population, human settlements, and infrastructure.
NASA has recently released the 2017 edition of Sensing Our Planet, free in print or for download at the Earthdata Web site. The publication highlights the use of earth science data in a range of scientific research areas, from hazard prediction to public health to water resource management. One of this year′s articles, “Zika Zone,” focuses on mapping the spread of the Zika virus. Researchers Moritz Kramer from the Harvard Medical School and Janey Messina from the University of Oxford combined environmental data about the Zika virus—for example, preferred habitat, temperature and rainfall requirements, and need for stagnant water to lay eggs in and heavily populated urban environments—with population data to create maps showing environmental suitability for the transmission of the virus. Data sources included the Gridded Population of the World (GPW) data collection from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN and a vegetation index based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data from the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). Mapping the transmission in this way let the scientists estimate the number of people globally at risk—more than two billion—and anticipate areas of potential Zika outbreaks, helping to inform public health decisions. GPW data were also used together with gravity and radar data and land surface models from several other DAACs to assess groundwater resources in Mexico, as described in the article, “Closed Season.″
Sensing Our Planet highlights data from the twelve DAACs of the NASA Earth Observing Data and Information System (EOSDIS). The publication has been produced since 1994 by the Snow and Ice DAAC at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.
CIESIN staff and colleagues have capped the end of 2017 and launched 2018 with several new publications on a range of topics. Senior research associate Pinki Mondal is a lead author of a study on long-term changes in mangrove extent in Sierra Leone. The West African country lost 25% of its mangroves between 1990 and 2016, the span of the analysis. Using remote sensing data, the study focuses on four estuaries—Scarcies, Sierra Leone, Yawri Bay, and Sherbro—to provide insight into mangrove management strategies that can support local livelihoods. Sylwia Trzaska, associate research scientist, and Alex de Sherbinin, associate director for Science Applications, are co-authors. The work was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and conducted in collaboration with Tetra Tech. The paper appears in the journal Sensors, as part of a special issue, “Remote Sensing of Mangrove Ecosystems,” edited by Chandra Giri, an alumnus of CIESIN now with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Alex de Sherbinin is also co-author of a new global study of heat waves appearing in Environmental Research Letters, among the first research to include humidity as a critical factor in assessing heat stress impacts. The lead authors are Ethan Coffel and Radley Horton of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). The study utilizes data available from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN—Global Population Projection Grids Based on SSPs, v1 (2010 – 2100)—to quantify the number of people who may be exposed to extreme heat stress in the latter half of this century under different scenarios of development (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, or SSPs).
Senior digital archivist Robert Downs has three new publications on various data management topics. He authored the chapter, “Enabling the Reuse of Geospatial Information,” in the book, GeoValue: The Socioeconomic Value of Geospatial Information, edited by Jamie B. Kruse, Joep Crompvoets, and Francoise Pearlman and published in November 2017 by CRC Press. He is also a co-author, with Devan Ray Donaldson, Ingrid Dillo, and Sarah Ramdeen, of a peer-reviewed article in the International Journal of Digital Curation on the perceived value of acquiring “data seals of approval,” an international standard for trusted digital repositories. Finally, he has authored the conference paper, “Implementing the Group on Earth Observations Data Management Principles: Lessons from a Scientific Data Center,” in The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences. This was based on his presentation at the 37th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment in Tshwane, South Africa in May 2017 about how the emerging set of data management principles developed by GEO applies to interdisciplinary data management at SEDAC.
In addition to sudden natural disasters such as hurricanes or flash floods, slow-moving climate change events such as drought can cause displacement and migration, explains CIESIN research scientist and demographer Susana Adamo in an interview for the radio show, “The Briefing Powered by Dartmouth,“ broadcast on SiriusXM Insight Channel 121. Speaking with the host, Mike Mastanduno, Dartmouth College dean of faculty and an expert in international relations, Adamo discusses current research and concerns about climate change and human migration. The program is airing Saturday, February 18, at 8 am EST with re-broadcasts February 19 at 6 am and 7 pm. “The Briefing” is a new weekly satellite radio show that aims to provide historical and factual perspectives on the week’s news. To hear an excerpt from Adamo’s interview, go here.
Staff at the CIESIN-Earth Institute exhibit booth of the 2012 Association of American Geographers explain research activities and programs to conference attendees. Pictured left to right: Allison Ladue, assistant director, Columbia University's Master of Science in Sustainability Management, and Allison Lacko, research staff assistant, CIESIN.
The Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) had a strong presence at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, which drew more than 8,500 participants to New York City February 24–28. CIESIN co-sponsored two booths, one staffed in collaboration with the Earth Institute, and the other showcasing CIESIN’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) together with the Land Processes Data Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), two of NASA’s Earth science data centers. On February 26, senior research associate Alex de Sherbinin was chair and organizer of a panel session, Geospatial and Statistical Data from International Institutions, which included presentations by several different United Nations and World Bank representatives with whom CIESIN collaborates. Senior staff associate Sandra Baptista also organized a session, Frontiers in Spatial Demography and Population Geography, held on February 28 and chaired by Michael Goodchild of the University of California at Santa Barbara. CIESIN staff members participated in several panel and paper sessions: geographic information specialist Malanding Jaiteh was a panelist for Science in Support of Sustainable Development and Human Rights in East Africa, chaired by State Department geographer Lee Schwartz; associate director Mark Becker was a panelist in two sessions, Geospatial Technologies for International Development and Internships and Work-Based Learning as Career Preparation; Earth Institute Fellow Alexandra Morel presented an interactive short paper, “Spatial Analysis of Socio-Economic and Natural Hazard Vulnerability for Haiti, Using GIS and Remote Sensing,” co-authored with senior staff associate Liana Razafindrazay; geographic information specialist Sneha Rao presented the paper, “Exploring Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in Classrooms Using CHANGE Viewer,” co-authored with senior systems analyst programmer James Carcone, Mark Becker, and Cayuga Community College colleague Amy Work; Alex de Sherbinin presented a paper, “Estimating Global Net Migration by Ecosystem and By Decade: 1970-2010,” co-authored with deputy director Marc Levy, associate research scientist Susana Adamo, geographic information specialist Kytt MacManus, senior research associate Valentina Mara, and Liana Razafindrazay; and he also presented the paper “Environmental Indicators: An Application of Satellite Data Products to Support High Level Decisions for National and International Environmental Protection” co-authored with Marc Levy and Battelle Memorial Institute colleagues Erica Zell and Stephanie Weber. CIESIN welcomed AAG participants at a reception held February 27 and hosted twelve AAG participants on a field trip to the Lamont campus on February 28. CIESIN director Robert Chen’s role as one of three co-chairs of the Local Arrangements Committee was recognized at the AAG opening session on February 24.
Announced at the World Economic Forum held January 25–29 in Davos, Switzerland, the 2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) produced by CIESIN and Yale University’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP), in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, identifies Switzerland as first in addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenges. Iraq is ranked last. The EPI has been produced every two years since 2006. The 2012 EPI ranks 132 countries, using 22 indicators in ten major policy categories including air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity, and forest management.
For the first time a complementary index showing country improvement from 2000 to 2010, the Pilot Trend Environmental Performance Index (Trend EPI), was released. Latvia was ranked number one in the Trend EPI, with Russia in last place. The U.S., which is 49th in the EPI, was just 77th in the Trend EPI, implying few recent gains in addressing environmental issues.
Data sets making up the EPI were contributed from the International Energy Agency, remote sensing research groups at Battelle and University of Maryland, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and other entities. Lack of data in certain areas—in particular, waste management, toxic exposures, agricultural sustainability and water resources—continue to limit the ability of the EPI to contribute towards the understanding necessary to develop policies for safeguarding the environment.
The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) has named CIESIN associate research scientist Susana Adamo to a new panel exploring the role of population dynamics in climate change. Adamo, a demographer originally from Argentina, will serve with population researchers Leiwen Jiang (China), Wolfgang Lutz (Austria), and panel chair Adrian Hayes (Australia). Through cross-disciplinary research, meetings, and other activities, the panel will aim to expand a network of population researchers working in the area of climate change, contribute to greater understanding of how population processes interact with climate change, and share findings with the research and policy making communities. In addition, panel members will examine conditions for such cross-disciplinary research and what this might mean for demographic training. The panel has been established through 2014.
Screenshot of interactive 3-D World Population Globe showing year 2000 population distribution. CIESIN/Google.
Differences in population density around the world are dramatically illustrated in a new interactive 3-D globe developed by the Google Data Arts Team and available on Google's Chrome Experiment site. Based on the Gridded Population of the World version 3 (GPWv3) data set available from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center at CIESIN, the World Population Globe illustrates population distribution and changes between 1990, 1995, and 2000 on a 1-degree latitude-longitude grid. The globe was developed using WebGL, the Web-based Graphics Library, which enables 3-D graphics without the use of a plug-in. Browsers that currently support WebGL include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox 4, and development releases of Safari and Opera. A compatible graphics card may also be needed.
Combining socioeconomic and environmental data to help prepare for and respond to natural disasters such as landslides is the subject of an article in the 2010 NASA publication, Sensing Our Planet. “On Shaky Ground” examines recent efforts following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti to improve understanding of human-environment interactions that can affect vulnerability to disasters. Dalia Kirschbaum, a researcher from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, talks about how she combined satellite rainfall data with land cover maps and CIESIN’s Gridded Population of the World (GPW) data to help identify the areas of highest susceptibility to landslide in Haiti. Alex Fischer, program coordinator for the Haiti Regeneration Project (HRI), discusses how improved understanding of population-environment-disaster linkages has informed planning for a major integrated development initiative in southwest Haiti. Fischer was one of two CIESIN staff members who witnessed the devastation of the Haiti earthquake first hand at the beginning of 2010.
Sensing Our Planet is an annual collection of articles on applications of Earth science data. GPW, now in its third version, is distributed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
The Web site for CIESIN’s flagship data product—Gridded Population of the World (GPW), now in its third version—has been enhanced with three new services and tools: the Population Estimation Service, a Web-based service for estimating population totals and related statistics within a user-defined region; and two mapping tools.
Because the Population Estimate Service is accessible through three standard protocols (the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web processing service (WPS) standard, a representational state transfer (REST) interface, and a simple object access protocol (SOAP) interface), it can accommodate a wide variety of map clients and tools and users can quickly obtain population estimates for specific areas without having to download and analyze large amounts of spatial data. Users submit polygons that define an area, then the service returns measures of population, land area, quality measures, and basic parametric statistics. These estimates are based on the gridded population data for 2005 from the GPW v3 data set developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
One of the new mapping tools also released, based on the technology used by Google Maps, demonstrates the Population Estimation Service. It lets users select an area of interest by drawing a polygon on the map and submit the request to the service, and it displays the results. The other tool is a basic mapper that provides previews of the GPW v3 data sets with an overlay of national boundaries, and lets users pan and zoom to an area of interest before downloading the data sets. For more complex visualization and overlay of other data sets, the stand-alone SEDAC Map Client is recommended.
TerraViva! SEDAC Viewer is a map viewer and standalone software application that uses a powerful data-viewing engine and tools to enable the visualization and integration of hundreds of socioeconomic and environmental variables and layers, including a range of satellite-based data. A three-part tutorial that explains how to use TerraViva! is now available through the YouTube Web site. The tutorial was produced by senior research associate Alex de Sherbinin and senior media designer Al Pinto, under the auspices of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN.
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