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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

Data Science Seminar Spatial Data Integration

Published: 15 March 2017
Data Science Seminar 8th March 2017

On Wednesday the 8th of March, I attended the Data Science Seminar titled “Spatial data integration for mapping progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals” by Andy Tatem.

Andy is a professor of spatial demography and epidemiology within the department of geography and environment and also director of WorldPop and Flowminder Foundation.

Prof Tatem started off giving us an overview of the project his team has been working on. He talked about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and noted that these goals were being achieved however there were still inequalities in some low and medium income countries hence the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an intergovernmental set of 17 aspirational goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030, were launched in 2015. To be able to achieve the SDGS everywhere, geography becomes important.

He reiterated the fact that National census data will continue to be an important data source however low and middle income countries still had problems with census data being out of date or unavailable. Some countries had never had a census and it was quite distressing to find out that some countries still had hand drawn maps for vaccination planning.

This is where new forms of data from geolocated household surveys, satellite data, geographic information system data and mobile phone usage data come into play. An integration of these different types of data helps to produce maps of population distribution which have real life applications such as disaster response, measuring movement to improve vaccination coverage, disease mapping and response, operational support and strategy design for locals in these low and middle income countries.

Altogether an interesting and fascinating lecture highlighting how public and private data sources can be used to gain insight and play a big role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.


Published by Dola Majekodunmi on March 13, 2017



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