Disaster response taps Oak Ridge population studies

Disaster response taps Oak Ridge population studies

December 28, 2004

KNOXVILLE (AP) -- Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory believe their sophisticated mapping of global populations is helping disaster relief to Asian countries struck by a massive earthquake. [ deadly quake ]

The lab's LandScan Population Database was first created for the Department of Defense in 1998 and is updated annually. It pulls together census numbers, satellite imagery and geographic data to produce a unique map of the world.

The system predicts, to a degree, where people can be found, working, sleeping, driving, shopping, within one square kilometer.

At least 44,000 people are estimated killed and millions displaced by the earthquake and tsunamis unday across South and East Asia.

Oak Ridge lab officials say their data is useful now because information from other sources is pretty rudimentary in places like Asia.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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