GIS representation of population-based data.

Presenter: David Martin

This workshop will address the challenge of modelling and presenting population-based data from censuses and population registers in GIS.  The true distribution of population is essentially a dynamic point pattern with individuals and households usually recorded at the locations where they live or work.  However, there are many occasions where the GIS user is forced to deal with aggregated population data in which locational referencing is to areal units designed for some other purpose such as local government.  The characteristics of these areas can vary widely according to the purpose for which they have been created.  The opening session will examine methods for the collection and geographical referencing of population data and explore the strengths and weaknesses of conventional area-based representation and analysis.  The remainder of the workshop will focus on two alternative, complementary approaches to handling population data in GIS. 

The remodelling and representation of population data as grid-based surface models can be undertaken using centroids or other population reference points and allows the reconstruction of settlement and neighbourhood patterns.  Grid-based models can offer significant advantages in accessibility measurement, population overlays and integration with environmental and other grid-based model outputs.  If a gridded representation is unacceptable and it is essential to work with area-based population data, it is possible to use the smallest available building blocks to create analysis areas which are better controlled, for example, in terms of their population sizes, geographical shape or social characteristics.  This form of automated zone design has applications in census management, electoral districting and any study based on geographically referenced denominator populations.  The workshop will involve practical sessions using David Martin’s AZTool and SurfaceBuilder software in conjunction with standard GIS tools.

Copyright ©2007 by Nordic Network in GISci. All rights reserved.
Last Modified: 30 October 2007
Workshop I
Workshop II
Workshop III
Workshop IV
Workshop V
The Second Nordic Summer School in Geographic Information Science
11 - 15 June 2007 • Gävle • Sweden