New user interface for TerraPop

From January 13 to 17, 2014 Geneva’s CICG center will be the site of a major international conference and exhibit aimed at improving access to critical information on the global environment. The GEO-X Plenary and Geneva Ministerial Summit brings together experts from 90 governments and nearly 70 organizations and will include an exhibit of cutting edge technology and more than 30 forums and panel discussions, many open to the general public. Topics will include Agriculture and Food Security, Measuring Biodiversity, Disaster Risk Reduction, Cholera Early Warning, Ocean Acidification, UNEP Live!, and Water Security. The summit will be presided over by GEO’s four co-chairs: China, the European Commission, South Africa and the United States. The United States will be represented at GEO-X by a high level multiagency delegation. For nearly a decade, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has been driving the interoperability of thou­sands of individual space-based, airborne and in situ Earth observations around the world. Often these separate systems yield just snapshot assessments, leading to critical gaps in scientific understanding. GEO is addressing such gaps by providing easy, open access to organized observations that enable an increasingly integrated view of our changing Earth. Summit participants will look at how the international community can increase the sustainability and quality of observation networks and make the maximum possible volume of data freely accessible. For sound science to shape sound policy, leaders and other decision-makers require this fuller picture as an indispensable foundation of environmental decision-making. U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers

The TerraPop team is excited to announce the launch of a new, completely redesigned user interface. TerraPop enables research, learning, and policy analysis by providing integrated spatio-temporal data describing people and their environment. The new interface is more intuitive and easier to use. Choosing data and creating an extract are structured as a step-by-step process. You are guided through the workflow, seeing the information you need to make selections at each step. Throughout the process, you have access to complete metadata describing available variables, datasets, and geographic levels. Give the new extract builder a try at https://data.terrapop.org.

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New Frontiers in Big Data

Figure1 Big Data Chart1

By 2020, MPC will make freely available to researchers worldwide 100% count U.S. Census microdata through 1940. This dataset will include over 650 million individual-level (1850-1940) and 7.5 million household-level records (1790-1840). The microdata represents the fruition of longstanding collaborations between MPC and the nation’s two largest genealogical organizations—Ancestry.com and FamilySearch—to leverage genealogical data for scientific purposes.

“The importance of this massive donation of census data would be difficult to overstate,” says MPC Director Steve Ruggles. “This is one of the largest-scale data-entry efforts ever undertaken.”

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