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Global Land Cover Datasets

1984 Population Density

This page provides access to and describes the GISS dataset "Global Distribution of 1984 Population Density at 1°×1 ° Resolution". (Although the data array has a resolution of 1°×1 °, the data resolution is that of the smallest political unit.)

A gridded dataset of country codes is also available.

Two types of population data were used: population for each country (and its political subunits), and population for cities. Non-urban population is defined as the country/subdivision minus city populations within the country/subdivision. The non-urban population density was distributed evenly throughout all land cells of the political unit characterized by some human use, as based on Matthews (1983). The human use dataset is similar to the Cultivation Intensity dataset.

The population density is thus the sum of the non-urban and urban contributions.

This version of the data set includes minor modifications of the procedure, and differs slightly from that used in Fung et al. (1991).

Caveats

At 1°×1° resolution, there are ambiguities regarding locations of coastal and political boundaries.

The principal criterion for assigning a country code to a particular gridbox is the areal dominance of the country within that gridbox. Ninety-five ocean gridboxes were converted into country gridboxes to include coastal cities.

In the construction of this data set, a decision was made to yield a geographically correct, rather than politically correct, population distribution. Thus, city populations were placed in the geographically correct gridbox even when that gridbox did not belong to the correct country/subdivision. Worldwide, 43 cities were located in a state or country neighboring the one to which they legally belong: geographically correct but politically incorrect.

Available Information

Items which you may download here are:

Explanation of Arrays

The contents of INFO1, INFO2, and INFO3 are:

HUMAN POPULATION DENSITY :PEOPLE/SQ KM  DIMENSION = 360 X 180   SCALE = 1000
OCEAN =   -999999   UNDEF =   9999999   MIN =      32 MAX = 1754747
NUMREC = 6483 (NUMBER OF RECORDS IN DATA FILE)

The value of an element in IARRAY is the number of humans per square kilometer.

References

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