LandScan Global Population Database

The LandScan Global Population Database, developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, represents the finest resolution global population distribution database available. Offering the most accurate and reliable, geographically based, population distribution model, LandScan is a useful application in research, educational, humanitarian and corporate settings.

LandScan is a global population database that shows geographical distribution of population at one-kilometer resolution over an average 24 hour period. In a humanitarian setting, relief workers use population distribution maps easily and quickly to determine the locations of potential victims who would otherwise be cut off from communication.

The LandScan algorithm uses spatial data and imagery analysis technologies and the most up-to-date census data within an administrative boundary. Accurate administrative boundaries are an integral part of the LandScan population distribution modeling process. These population distribution models are tailored to match the data conditions and geographical nature of each individual country and region.

Most national censuses count populations by measuring where people sleep (or reside) rather than where they work or travel. LandScan integrates daytime movements and collective travel habits into a single measure to produce a better representation of where people are located during an average day.

With improvements added this year, high-resolution imagery sources were used extensively for validation to refine urban areas, land cover data, and thousands of smaller villages and populated places.

Utility of LandScan

  • Allows quick and easy assessment, estimation, and visualization of population at risk.
  • Demographic (age, sex) and socioeconomic characteristics are integrated with population data to allow integration with risk and impact assessment models.
  • Critical component of Emergency planning and management, Rapid risk assessment, Evacuation planning, Consequence assessment, Mitigation Planning and implementation.

How to Access LandScan

  • Electronically via FTP or mailed DVD
  • For GIS users to connect to the data hosted via Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) with any GIS software
  • By Web Application for non-GIS users
LandScan is available by country, region or global datasets to suit your needs. Request a trial to see the online application of the data or purchase LandScan datasets online through our East View Shop.

More information on LandScan

Find out more about LandScan from East View Geospatial (our sister company)
Release of the 2015 dataset
Frequently Asked Questions
LandScan Global Archive - Historical Population Data
LandScan Documentation from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Contact East View

East View Information Services and East View Geospatial are now offering trials to this resource. Contact landscan@eastview.com for a trial or more information.

View an informational video about LandScan.

How To Video
Download this sample file of Haiti to see data available in LandScan.


Download article from the December 2012 issue of base line, a newsletter from the Map and Geospatial Round Table.


Download article from the Federal Consortium's Technology for Today.