Geography and Environment

Research project: Population24/7: Space–Time Specific Population Surface Modelling

This project is developing a new methodology for modelling the distribution of population in time-space.

Currently Active: Yes

Project Overview

Preliminary model of Southampton

Preliminary model of Southampton daytime population. ©2010 Tele Atlas ©2010 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky ©Europa Technologies Image ©2010 Getmapping plc.

Preliminary model of Southampton

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and led by Professor David Martin, Samantha Cockings and Samuel Leung. The project commenced on 1 March 2009 and runs until 30 April 2011.

Many areas of social science research and policy are concerned with the exact locations of population, for example to measure exposure or target resources. Currently available representations effectively estimate population at home addresses, or 'workplace' populations which provide a partial view of the population at places of work. Neither of these satisfy the pressing need for representations of the ever-changing spatial distribution of population over time. The temporal dimension incorporates both historical and cyclical timescales in addition to unique events which influence the spatial distribution of population.

David's established population surface modelling method redistributed data from area centroids and population counts and the SurfaceBuilder and Surpop2 software tools have been widely used by other researchers. This present project is building on these concepts to establish a generalisable modelling framework, able to incorporate spatially referenced count data appropriate to any specific time and date. Census output areas, workplaces, educational establishments, hospitals and leisure locations can all be treated as 'centroids' around which counts can be redistributed over both space and time. The project is concentrating on data covering the period 2001-2006 for England and Wales.

The project encompasses methodological development, production of a new software tool, extensive dataset review and preparation and development of appropriate visualisation methods. Specialist programming support is being provided by Jason Sadler and Hugh Darrah in Geography's GeoData Institute.


Publications associated with this project from The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints):

Key Publications

Leung, Samuel, Martin, David and Cockings, Samantha (2010) Linking UK public geospatial data to build 24/7 space-time specific population surface models. In, GIScience 2010: Sixth international conference on Geographic Information Science, Zurich, Switzerland, 14 - 17 Sep 2010. University of Zurich, 7pp.
Cockings, Samantha, Martin, David and Leung, Samuel (2010) Population 24/7: building space-time specific population surface models. In, Hakley, M., Morley, J. and Rahemtulla, H. (eds.) Proceedings of the GIS Research UK 18th Annual Conference GISRUK 2010. London, University College London, 41-48.
Martin, David, Cockings, Samantha and Leung, Samuel (2009) Population 24/7: building time-specific population grid models. European Forum for Geostatistics Conference, The Hague, Netherlands, 05 - 09 Oct 2009. 11pp.
Martin, David, Cockings, Samantha and Leung, Samuel (2010) Progress report: 24-hour gridded population models. European Forum for Geostatistics Conference, Tallinn, Estonia, 05 - 07 Oct 2010.


Members of staff associated with this project: