Archive for November, 2013

WorldPop – Population distribution data

November 18, 2013 1 comment

Last year we blogged about the AsiaPop and AfriPop projects that had been established to produce detailed and freely available population distribution maps for Asia and Africa. Last month the WorldPop project was launched, combining the AfriPop, AsisPop and AmeriPop population mapping projects into ‘a single open access archive of spatial demographic data for Central & South America, Africa and Asia for development and health application‘.

 The following free datasets can be downloaded (as a zipped GeoTiff file) from the WorldPop site:

– Population distribution datasets for African and Asian countries
– Age/sex structured population distribution datasets for Africa 2000-2015
– New 2000-2010 Asia population distribution datasets incorporating satellite-derived urban growth maps
– Births/pregnancies distribution datasets for eleven countries
– Multidimensional and consumption-based poverty rate datasets for five countries

WorldPop poverty data

WorldPop poverty data

Metadata is provided with each data download and for those interested in finding out about how the data were  produced, the methodological details are available on the WorldPop website. In the coming months additional datasets will be made available including:

– Population distribution datasets for Central & South America
– Age/sex structured datasets for Central & South America and Asia
– Births/pregnancies datasets for 75 countries
– Multiple updates on existing population rate datasets through new input data and methods


Google’s public data program

November 4, 2013 1 comment

A recent, rather low-key, announcement from Google reported the launch of their new public data program. As part of the Google Maps Engine project, which allows users to create custom maps online, the public data program aims to make public data more discoverable by allowing users to (optionally) publish their data through Google. The published data will be added to the content that may be searched via other Google tools such as  Google Maps, Google Maps Gallery and Google Earth.


Google Maps Engine

The public data publishing service is free, users retain ownership of their data, which may be removed at any time, and user restrictions or end user licensing conditions may be attached to the content. The goal is to help ‘authoritative publishers to overlay their content on top of Google’s base map and make it accessible and useful’. By authoritative publishers Google means public data providers and governments who capture and maintain data that is of public interest and who wish to make that data available as a public good. Some examples of the type of mapping content Google are interested in publishing include:

  • Crisis and emergency management data
  • Statistics ( elections, demographics, health)
  • Government (administrative boundaries, local services, transport)

Given the prevalence of Google’s existing mapping interfaces, the public data program seems set to take advantage of Google’s already strong presence in the online mapping market. It will be interesting to see how much more public data are published.