2021 Tobler Lecture: Geospatial data integration for mapping population distributions, demographics and dynamics ft. Dr. Andrew Tatem
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Dr. Andrew Tatem, Professor, Geography and Environmental Science Departments, University of Southampton
Accurate, timely and detailed data on human populations and their characteristics are needed to support equitable and evidence-based decision making, monitor progress towards development goals, and assess impacts of natural disasters, conflict and climate change. Unfortunately, recent, reliable and complete data on population distributions, demographics and dynamics can be lacking in many settings around the World. Population and housing censuses are typically conducted only once a decade, registries can be incomplete and inaccurate and household surveys provide a broad snapshot. The advent of detailed and timely data from satellites and cellphones however, as well as improvements in computing power and algorithms to extract information from them, is providing opportunities to complement traditional demographic data sources. Prof Tatem will discuss how geospatial data integration and statistical modelling approaches can produce high resolution and timely data on populations in resource poor settings, and how these are being used by governments and international agencies to plan vaccination campaigns, respond to disasters and update national statistics.
Andy is Professor of spatial demography and epidemiology at the University of Southampton and is the Director of WorldPop (www.worldpop.org), leading a group of more than 30 researchers and data scientists. He is interested in how populations, their characteristics and their dynamics can be mapped at high resolution across low and middle-income countries, and through WorldPop focuses on the development of methods for geospatial data integration to strengthen the demographic evidence base, producing peer-reviewed and open publications, datasets and applications. His research has led to pioneering approaches in the use and integration of satellite, survey, cell phone and census data to map the distributions of vulnerable populations for disease, disaster and development applications. He runs international collaborations with national governments, UN agencies and data providers, and leads multiple applied research projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, UNFPA, Wellcome Trust, and the World Bank.