Population Explorer™ for Education

Posted by India Young on July 19, 2018

How do the copious data resources available today impact education? How are population and demographic data best used by students and teachers? From curriculum design and development to research, academics and educational professionals rely on the data from Population ExplorerTM to develop their resources and make informed decisions.

At Population Explorer, we offer an intuitive, user-friendly software tool that sources the most current global demographic data available (see our post “The Data Behind Population Explorer” to learn more about our data). These data and our interactive mapping tool are key resources to help academics produce complex, informative data analyses and conclusions through an accessible platform.

Below we detail how our data are used throughout education.

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Students are expected to rise to rigorus benchmarks in order to compete in the workforce. Likewise, educators are expected to provide the guidance and resources necessary for students to succeed. These challenges mean that teachers must offer expanded and diverse curricula while ensuring students can utilize the resources necessary to develop a unique variety of workplace skill sets. With these challenges in mind, Population Explorer has developed an authoritative tool and an essential resource suited for a diverse academic user base.

Population Explorer’s proprietary software offers students and faculty the advantage of accessing complex, validated global population data sets. The data are processed by authoritative sources, and presented in an easy-to-use interactive, mapping tool. Simply log into the Population Explorer application, then define your area of interest by drawing, uploading your own shapefiles or by choosing from thousands of preloaded boundaries. Once you have defined your spatial extent, you are immediately provided with the demographics of the defined area. The application offers users productivity boosts, while retaining the rigor of synthesizing authoritative data. The interactive mapping ability of Population Explorer offers users the ability to instantly compare population statistics from multiple areas of interest. Here you can watch a quick tutorial about placing shapefiles and boundary lines.               


Curriculum Development

Our population and demographic statistics are used across educational levels from primary to post-secondary learners. Population Explorer’s data are appropriate for countless content areas. Some of these include: geography, economics, statistics, public health, history, natural resource management, math, science, business, and many more. Subjects like human geography aim to compare population statistics with other trends such as food production, water and energy use, human settlements and migration, which can all be studied through our application. There are endless opportunities for educators to include the reliable data we offer so they can enhance their content materials. Below, we see a map that could be used for an Environmental Science or Public Health lesson. The map shows a 1km buffer around the Elk River and downstream portions of the Kanawha River where a significant chemical spill of crude MCHM occurred from the Freedom Industries facility in 2014. The buffer layer shows that over 50 thousand people live in this selected area.

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This image illustrates the demographics of those living near the Elk River where the Freedom Industries facility spilled 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) into the Elk River, a tributary of the larger Kanawha River which feeds the Mississippi watershed. 

Teachers, schools and other stakeholders involved in decision making need to transform available data into knowledge, which is to say, they need to assimilate this information and understand how to use it - Fuster-Rabella 2016

Online Learning

In the U.S., the Department of Education reports that almost 30% of students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions are participating in some form of distance education. Online education is available for students of all ages and is an increasingly valuable asset for learners to be able to access. Distance learning opportunities are sought after by many, including rural residents, mobile students, working adults, and more. Population Explorer's user-friendly platform is a flexible resource that meets the needs of multi-level learners. Below, we see a map of the historic lava flows on the Big Island of Hawai`i. The lava-flow hazard zones are designated by USGS based on historical flows from the five Big Island  volcanoes. Online Geology students studying the dynamics of land and lava in Hawai`i use Population Explorer to examine the populations affected.

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This image shows the demographics of those living within historic lava flow zones in Puna, Hawai`i. 


The Population Explorer application is appropriate for a wide range of research projects. Interested in placing locations of urban development zones in Africa and examining the populations around these areas? or Maybe you want to look at locations of certain types of businesses and study the demographics for certain neighborhoods? We've got you covered. University students and professors turn to Population Explorer to complete their research projects. In fact, over 30% of our users are affiliated with universities worldwide. The application also allows the user to export the maps and data in either an image or spreadsheet. These advantages make it convenient for researchers to compile comparative maps for ongoing study and analysis.

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This image shows a 1km buffer built around the delineation of one of Cape Town's Urban Development Zones. Our data show that roughly 570 thousand people live within 1km of this Urban Zone. 

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This image shows how we used the Population Explorer "marker files" tool to place school locations in the Dublin area.

Data infiltrate the fabric of our lives in endless ways and the amount of data available is stunning. For educators, this fact means that they must access more complex and varied resources from which to develop curricula. These materials, and the sheer abundance of available data offer educators expanded opportunities in their academic offerings, while vastly complicating the systems used to read the data. For students and faculty, the ability to effectively access, synthesize, and quickly compare endless data sets is a critical component of developing their research and theses. Ultimately, the quality of the data and how they analyze them affect their ability to effectively contribute to their academic communities. At Population Explorer we recognize these trends and that's why we've built an intuitive tool that sources and combines authoritative data, anywhere in the world, easily and effectively.


We are currently offering a free TWO-WEEK trial so you can try the Population Explorer tool for your next project. For memberships, we offer a variety of license types depending on your organization.

                           Learn More About Educational Offerings


Tags: Population Mapping, Science, GIS, education, research, academia, university

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