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Disaggregating population density of the European Union with CORINE land cover

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This article describes and compares six disaggregation methods used to produce a dasymetric population density grid of the European Union at a 100┬ám resolution. Population data were initially available at commune level. The main ancillary information source was CORINE land cover, a land cover map distributed by the European Environment Agency. Information from the Eurostat point survey, land use/cover area frame survey, was also integrated in the parameter estimation of some of the approaches tested. Accurate population data for 1 km cell grids were provided by the Statistical Offices of Austria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Sweden. These data provided the basic reference to quantify the accuracy of each method. The best results were obtained with a modified version of the limiting variable method (Eicher, C. and Brewer, C., 2001. Dasymetric mapping and areal interpolation: implementation and evaluation. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 28, 125–138) that could be implemented, thanks to the national reference grids. For other methods the parameters could be estimated without using the reference grids; among them a method based on logit regression gave the best results. Compared with the traditional choropleth maps that represent a homogeneous density in each commune, the accuracy improvement of the disaggregated maps ranged between 20% and 67% (between 46% and 67% for the best method).
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Keywords: CORINE land cover; areal interpolation; dasymetric maps; population census; population density

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: MARS Unit, Joint Research Centre of the EC, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (VA), Italy 2: Land Management and Natural Hazards, Joint Research Centre of the EC, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (VA), Italy

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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