POPGRID Data Collaborative - new tools for data comparison

POPGRID Data Collaborative

Enhanced Population, Settlement and Infrastructure Data

Spatially accurate and up-to-date population and settlement data are widely used in planning and decision making in both the public and private sectors to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of decisions, monitor impacts, and identify those who might otherwise be left behind. Understanding where people live and work, and the type and condition of their housing and other infrastructure, is critical in times of disaster, enabling emergency responders to reach those most in need more quickly with appropriate assistance. Such data can help improve access to public and private services, increase the sustainability of natural resources, and facilitate progress towards meeting the internationally accepted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The POPGRID Data Collaborative aims to bring together and expand the international community of data providers, users, and sponsors concerned with georeferenced data on population, human settlements and infrastructure.

We promote cooperation in producing and harmonizing high quality data products and services needed by a range of scientific and applied users. We seek to improve data access, timeliness, consistency, and utility; support data use and interpretation; identify and address pressing user needs; reduce duplication and user confusion; and encourage innovation and cross-disciplinary use. We bring expertise and perspectives from diverse natural, social, health, and engineering science disciplines and sectors, and from government, academia, private industry, and nongovernmental organizations.



The POPGRID Data Collaborative is a consortium of data producers, data users, donors, and other stakeholders that seeks to:

  1. facilitate collaboration among data producers;
  2. inform users so that they can choose the data most suited to their needs;
  3. work with users and donors to identify and prioritize data needs; and
  4. promote collaboration on data validation, documentation, and access initiatives.

Currently participating data producers or those wishing to join this consortium can request more information and site access to edit and maintain their content at ciesin.info@ciesin.columbia.edu

POPGRID has been supported by seed funding from the Columbia University Earth Institute's Cross-Cutting Initiatives and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is an element of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Human Planet Initiative (HPI) and is exploring linkages with key sustainable development data organizations and networks.

The following data producers are currently active in POPGRID:

  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Earth Institute at Columbia University (POPGRID coordinator) - Producers of the Gridded Population of the World (GPW) and Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP) data collections
  • City University of New York (CUNY) Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR) - Producers of global gridded population projections and settlements data
  • Esri - Produces the World Population Estimate datasets for 2013, 2015, and 2016. These data are designed to support economic analysis. The layers include human footprint settlement scores, population counts and density, a confidence surface, and a country level source and a metadata dataset.
  • European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) - Producers of the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL)
  • Facebook Connectivity Lab and Internet.org - Producers of the High Resolution Settlement Layer (HRSL)
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR) - Producers of the Global Urban Footprint (GUF)
  • ImageCat, Inc. - Producers of the Inhance data platform for built infrastructure data
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) - Producers of Landscan
  • U.S. Census Bureau - Producers of country-level high resolution population data sets
  • The WorldPop Project, University of Southampton (UK) and University of Louisville (USA) - Producers of WorldPop data sets

POPGRID also includes representatives from academia, industry, international organizations, and donors, including, among others:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Google Earth Engine
  • United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM)
  • United Nations Population Division
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • The World Bank Development Data Group