We have been using the GPW data extensively, but one question I cannot understand is why the data appear not to be available in database format rather than GIS format.

Do you mean x,y,z format in a database? If so, we don’t create this as the data have more than 8.6 million grid cells, which is overly large for a database file. If you wish to work in a database I’d suggest that the centroids file would be more appropriate. It is still large (399,000 points) but should be easy to use in a database. The centroids file, available as a shapefile or comma-separated values file, gives the latitude, longitude, name, and population count for the administrative units from which the gridded data were derived. The centroids are available on the web site from:

http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/global.jsp

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