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Demobase - Gridded Mapping

Demobase is an interagency project, led by the U.S. Census Bureau, to develop methods for creating high-resolution gridded population maps based on a combination of census data and satellite image analysis. Census data are tied to subnational administrative areas, but disasters do not follow political boundaries. Using our data sets, one can obtain population estimates for any geographic area such as a city neighborhood.

In 2010, the Demobase team won the Census Bureau Director’s Award for Innovation.

Demobase Haiti

Interactive web map for Haiti  Link to a non-federal Web site

Demobase Haiti Map, click to view high resolution map Haiti was chosen as the pilot country for developing our population mapping methods, based on its high frequency of hurricanes and other natural disasters in the recent past. We found a clear correlation between built-up area density derived from interpretation of high- and medium-resolution satellite imagery and data from the 2003 national census. The resulting 100-meter gridded population map is the finest-scale demographic map of the country ever produced. It was made available to the public the day after the devastating earthquake of January 2010, and has been used extensively for disaster relief. The Haiti data are accessible via a viewer and a data download page. The methods used in the Haiti project are described in a paper  Link to a non-federal Web site published in the International Journal of Remote Sensing and in a U.S. Census Bureau press release.

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Demobase Pakistan

Interactive web map for Pakistan  Link to a non-federal Web site

Demobase Pakistan Map Following the success of the Haiti project, the Census Bureau tackled Pakistan, a much larger country that also is affected by frequent natural disasters. The methods developed for Haiti were refined for Pakistan, where a similar correlation was found between built-up areas and 1998 census data. The 100-meter gridded population map was made available to the public during summer 2010’s severe flooding via a viewer and a data download page. The methods used in the Pakistan project are described in a paper  Link to a non-federal Web site published in the journal Remote Sensing of Environment.

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Demobase Rwanda

Demobase Rwanda Map Using the same methods applied to Pakistan, the Census Bureau mapped Rwanda, a country with a substantial, dense rural population. Satellite imagery was combined with data from the 2002 Census of Rwanda to produce a geospatial distributed population layer.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | International Programs |  Last Revised: 2013-11-20T10:55:44.3-05:00