Gridded population products were originally developed in the 1990s to overcome issues with conventional vector products. By freeing population data from the underlying census geography, researchers could more easily assess populations according to biophysical boundaries while also accelerating computations using standard raster processing approaches. Beginning in the 2000s, researchers also began to map urban areas using remote sensing inputs. Over the past decade there has been a proliferation of gridded population and settlement products. Now users are confronted with many choices regarding which products to use. The POPGRID Data Collaborative, supported by NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a coalition of data providers that aims to better educate users about the variety of products available while also seeking to understand user needs. POPGRID promotes cooperation in producing and harmonizing high-quality data products and services needed by a range of scientific and applied users.
This webinar will provide a description of the history of population and settlement gridding along with an overview of approaches used, and then describe different products and use cases. Finally, the webinar will present SEDAC's POPGRID viewer, a tool to help users evaluate data products side-by-side and characterize uncertainties in population estimates for different areas.
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