The population density map
Facebook works with some research centers and non-profit organizations to solve the problems of social, health, and infrastructure in Asia. The solutions are applied by using big data and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Facebook implements computer processing power, capable data processing skills, and AI expertise to create the most detailed and accurate local population maps.
Facebook also collaborates with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network from Columbia University (CIESIN) to make sure this project uses the latest administrative data from all the countries involved.
Through a combination of all data available in the public with the ability of AI technology, Facebook is able to create population maps three times more detailed than other sources. This high-resolution population density map will show an estimated population of 30 meters, including the number of children under the age of five, the number of women of productive age, and other demographic information.
“Facebook population density maps can improve the performance of non-profit institutions, including the performance of their researchers, and how policies are developed. Building products in the form of data from non-personal data sources such as satellite images and census data, allows Facebook to utilize its computing and data processing capabilities for the entire world, and maintain their privacy, ” John Wagner said.
As is known, high-resolution images of satellites have been used almost all over the world. But before the Facebook mapping project began, it took a long time for volunteers to identify small towns or villages.
The Facebook team uses AI to solve the problem and efficiently perform detailed data collection. For example for Indonesia, a computer scanning system tests 725 million unit images to determine whether there is a building image. The team found about 28 million pictures of the location of buildings or buildings in just a few days.
“Since I started my humanitarian career in the Peace Corps until a few weeks ago, I spoke with experts at the 2019 World Health Assembly in Geneva, the main need now is accurate population density data,” Facebook researcher Alex Pompe said.
Facebook began to develop population density maps as a tool to support connectivity throughout the world. Explained that there is no Facebook account data used in this project.
In addition, Facebook also claims, all satellite data and census used do not contain personally identifiable data. The latest maps for Indonesia can be downloaded on the Facebook Humanitarian Data Exchange page.