High resolution population distribution maps for Southeast Asia in 2010 and 2015

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55882. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055882. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Abstract

Spatially accurate, contemporary data on human population distributions are vitally important to many applied and theoretical researchers. The Southeast Asia region has undergone rapid urbanization and population growth over the past decade, yet existing spatial population distribution datasets covering the region are based principally on population count data from censuses circa 2000, with often insufficient spatial resolution or input data to map settlements precisely. Here we outline approaches to construct a database of GIS-linked circa 2010 census data and methods used to construct fine-scale (∼100 meters spatial resolution) population distribution datasets for each country in the Southeast Asia region. Landsat-derived settlement maps and land cover information were combined with ancillary datasets on infrastructure to model population distributions for 2010 and 2015. These products were compared with those from two other methods used to construct commonly used global population datasets. Results indicate mapping accuracies are consistently higher when incorporating land cover and settlement information into the AsiaPop modelling process. Using existing data, it is possible to produce detailed, contemporary and easily updatable population distribution datasets for Southeast Asia. The 2010 and 2015 datasets produced are freely available as a product of the AsiaPop Project and can be downloaded from: www.asiapop.org.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Censuses
  • Databases, Factual
  • Demography
  • Humans
  • Maps as Topic*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Population Density*
  • Population*

Grant support

AJT acknowledges funding support from the RAPIDD program of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, and the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, and is also supported by grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (#49446 and #1032350). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.