Handbook on Geospatial Infrastructure in Support of Census Activities

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The newly revised and renamed Handbook reflects the recommendations of the expert group meetings and regional workshops on geographic information systems (GIS) and census-mapping. It covers both managerial and operational needs in considerable detail. The Handbook addresses organizational and institutional issues that concern statistical agency heads and other managers; and it explicitly addresses technical and practical issues that concern census cartographers and takers. It also contains some examples of country practices in the application of GIS, global positioning systems (GPS) and digital mapping used in censuses contributed by some of these experts.

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Coordinate systems and map projections

The review of GIS concepts in annex I has highlighted the benefits of spatial data integration. By organizing different types of geographic information as data layers, measurements, queries, modelling and other types of analysis can be performed that makes use of data from many different subject areas. Thus, census data can be analysed in combination with land-use or agro-ecological data, or socioeconomic survey information can be linked to geographically referenced data on disease risk. This ability of linking data from numerous sources is made possible by the vertical integration of different data layers. That simply means that all geographic data sets are referenced using the same coordinate system, so that different data layers align correctly when overlaid on top of each other.

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