The spatial distribution of population is closely related to land use and land cover (LULC) patterns on both regional and global scales. Population can be redistributed onto geo-referenced square grids according to this relation. In the past decades, various approaches to monitoring LULC using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been developed, which makes it possible for efficient updating of geo-referenced population data. A Spatial Population Updating System (SPUS) is developed for updating the gridded population database of China based on remote sensing, GIS and spatial database technologies, with a spatial resolution of 1 km by 1 km. The SPUS can process standard Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS L1B) data integrated with a Pattern Decomposition Method (PDM) and an LULC-Conversion Model to obtain patterns of land use and land cover, and provide input parameters for a Population Spatialization Model (PSM). The PSM embedded in SPUS is used for generating 1 km by 1 km gridded population data in each population distribution region based on natural and socio-economic variables. Validation results from finer township-level census data of Yishui County suggest that the gridded population database produced by the SPUS is reliable.
Keywords: GIS; Gridded population; Land use; Population database; Remote sensing.