The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has partnered with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to offer public free access to human geography population data, NGA announced.

The agency says the public availability of LandScan Global and LandScan High-Definition data will help institutions plan for and respond to emergencies, assess human health and security risks, conduct site suitability studies, and a range of other applications that depend on accurate population data.

“Understanding the geographic distribution of populations is critically important, both in times of crisis and in the development of informed strategies for the future,” Roger Marin, director of the Office of Geography at NGA, said in a press release.

LandScan Global provides a global population distribution dataset with about a 1-kilometer resolution, representing a 24-hour average population.

While LandScan High-Definition provides about a 90-meter resolution population distribution dataset for select areas around the world. LandScan High-Definition, specifically, is tailored to the unique geography and data conditions of individual cities, countries, or regions.

These foundational human geography population datasets, Marin explained, will allow U.S. government entities to share and work off of the same data as nongovernmental organizations and local authorities, which will strengthen NGA’s partnerships with existing customers, “while also exposing NGA to new customers with whom we can continue to advance the GEOINT mission,” Marin added.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.