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Terra Populus-Integrated Data for Population and Environmental Research

Presenter 1
Peter Clark
University of Minnesota
Presenter 2
Alex Jokela
University of Minnesota

Terra Populus (TerraPop) is one of several projects funded by the National Science Foundation under the DataNet initiative. This initiative seeks to build a network of partners that will create infrastructure and tools for long-term digital data preservation, access, and re-use. The specific goal of Terra Populus is to lower barriers to conducting interdisciplinary human-environment research by making data from different domains easily interoperable. Building on the Minnesota Population Center's past experience with IPUMS and NHGIS, TerraPop will incorporate census, geospatial, land use, land cover, and climate data, along with other environmental, agricultural, and economic datasets. These data currently exist with disparate formats and structures, have generally inadequate metadata, and have incompatible geographic identifiers. This session will focus on the technology infrastructure developed for the initial beta release of the TerraPop system. We'll provide an overview of the software architecture and data models underlying the system, encompassing micro-data, area-level data, raster data, and associated metadata. We'll discuss the structure of the initial data available in the prototype, why these datasets were chosen, and how they're linked. Lastly, we'll discuss the kinds of research that we hope to support via the beta release.

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