The LandScan Program was initiated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1997 to address the need for improved estimates of population for consequence assessment. For example, natural and manmade disasters across the globe place vast populations at risk, often with little or no advance warning. This motivated the need for a more realistic population distribution that could capture where people are likely to be throughout the course of a day, not just residential locations as are reported in official censuses. Further, it was critical to develop highly resolved estimates so that they were useful to evaluate to events across multiple geographic scales. This initial effort is what is known as LandScan Global and has been updated annually since the first version in 1998.
This data should not be used for year to year comparison of population.
East View Geospatial has done some repackaging of the data to create a GIS Web Service Connection that you can plug directly into your GIS software without having to download.
To connect to the server, in your GIS software, add the WMS link , where <year> is the year you want to link
The Penn State University Libraries no longer maintains Digital Chart of the World (DCW); however, an archived version and alternate alternative products are available below.
The Digital Chart of the World is a comprehensive 1:1,000,000 scale vector basemap of the world, which was originally created from U.S. Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) data of aeronautical charts. Thematic layers include roads, populated places, land cover, and vegetation.
Alternative sources of vector geospatial data