Developing a Geospatially Explicit U.S. Synthetic Population Using Open Source Tools


Synthetic populations are a means of representing each individual household and person in an entire country. They are created from census data and several other government sources of information in such a way that a computer representation of every household and person can be created with characteristics such as household size, householder age, householder race, household income, age, gender, and location.

RTI used a variety of open source technologies to create it's national synthetic population based on 2010 census and 2007-2011 ACS data. Technlogies include the TranSims population generator, Postgresql/PostGIS, GeoServer, and QGIS.

In this session, we will describe the methods to create synthetic populations using open source technologies and how synthetic populations can be applied in geospatial modeling, risk assessment, exposure assessment, and agent-based modeling and microsimulations.

We will use open websites such as and to visualize the final data products and an example of an enriched dataset that maps obesity at a neighborhood level.

Session details
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Schedule info
Session Time Slot(s):
301B - Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 17:20 to 17:35