WorldPop SDI Architecture

The WorldPop SDI architecture has been designed to best support the IT infrastructure of WorldPop through a number of access points, allowing different methods of data retrieval. The schematic on the right describes the design of the WorldPop architecture at a high level. Please see individual descriptions of access points for more details.

The WorldPop Spatial Data Infrastructure team develops tools to access outputs generated by the WorldPop research group at the University of Southampton

WorldPop website

The original WorldPop website was re-developed by the SDI in 2018, from an informative portal with basic data download functionality, to a more comprehensive portal. The information stored on the website is held on a database, and is regularly updated with news related to WorldPop. All publications generated by WorldPop research are detailed on this website, along with articles on advancements in research and methods. Case studies using WorldPop outputs are also described.


The WorldPop REST API is developed and maintained by the SDI, and allows access to WorldPop data, in addition to some analytical functionality, through a programming language agnostic REST API interface. Rather than manually accessing data through the data hub, this interface allows users to automate requests to the WorldPop repository in the programming language of their choosing. Read more

WorldPop Storage

The majority of the data accessed by the services developed by the SDI are held on the WorldPop Storage drive. These datasets (approximately 150TB and growing) are maintained, updated and backed up by the SDI.

The website is linked – through search functionality - to the WorldPop Data Hub repository, giving visitors access to over 150TB of data (40,000+ data sets). Links to the various tools developed by the SDI can be found on the website, including tutorials and examples on how to use the tools and REST API.

WorldPop Demographic and Data Portal

Due to a large demand for demographic data as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to demand related to the Sustainable Development Goals, the Spatial Data Infrastructure team designed and developed a portal to visualise age and sex populations at the subnational level on the global scale to allow the access of this information for users unfamiliar with the use of the raw data sets that WorldPop provides. This application has been developed on the ESRI platform, and the SDI is working with ESRI to increase the use of their platform with WorldPop data in future. Learn more

The SDI developed the WorldPop Data Portal to allow stakeholders unfamiliar with geospatial data products to define areas within countries in which to calculate populations/demographics, and to download these datasets for further analysis if required Learn more

The WorldPop Spatial Data Infrastructure is constantly expanding, with additional datasets, endpoints and functionality being added on a regular basis.



PostgreSQL database


OGC service

OGC service

OGC service

GIS Plugins