Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s
high-resolution population distribution database, LandScan
USA, became permanently available to researchers in time to aid the
response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
LandScan, widely considered the gold standard of population and
mapping data in the United States, captures daytime and nighttime activity
of the U.S. population at a resolution of roughly 90 meters or about 300
Emergency agencies routinely rely on LandScan to
coordinate disaster response and recovery. The model’s level of detail has
proved a valuable tool for researchers tracking the spread of the virus
that causes COVID-19.
“This release was already in the works before the COVID-19 outbreak,” said
Amy Rose, a senior ORNL scientist who manages LandScan.
“It just happened that the timing was exceptionally good.”