Population Matters

World population mapping

World population mapping

A team of researchers led by the University of Southampton has launched an online project to map detailed population information from countries around the world.

The WorldPop website aims to provide open access to global demographic data which can be used to help tackle challenges such as poverty, public health, sustainable urban development and food security.
Geographer at Southampton Dr Andy Tatem, who is leading the project, says: “Our maps and data are helping charities, policy-makers, governments and researchers to make decisions which affect the quality of people’s lives. These could be as diverse as predicting the spread of infectious diseases, planning the development of transport systems or distributing vital aid to disaster zones.”

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With principal funding coming from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (USA), WorldPop combines country specific data from national statistics services, household surveys and other sources to construct detailed population distribution maps. Satellite imagery is also exploited to provide information on the density of urban areas, land cover and transport networks, all of which are used to improve the accuracy of the population maps.

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Read more on this issue: population health environment

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