The Integration of Remote Sensing and Socioeconomic Data: Lessons from the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 4:00 PM
Alexander M de Sherbinin, Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Palisades, NY, United States and Robert S Chen, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, United States
Many of the core research questions of the "anthropocene" are spatial in nature, and require spatial data integration to provide the answers: Where are the people most vulnerable to environmental changes located? How do global environmental changes affect people, ecosystems or production systems in a given location? What are the impacts of human activities in the coastal zone, or mountainous areas, or drylands? This paper provides examples of the integration of remotely sensed biophysical and socioeconomic data that illustrate the benefits of spatial data integration. It also addresses some of the challenges in integrating data developed at different scales and for different purposes, sharing lessons learned from twenty years of operating the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC). Examples will be drawn from the literature on land use/land cover change, urbanization, disaster risk management, climate impact and vulnerability assessment, and natural resource management.