European Commission’s Joint Research Centre launched its global database for tracking human presence on the Earth in October 2016 at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador. The Global Human Settlement (GHS) is a free tool for assessing the human presence on the planet. This tool is depicted in the form of different maps. The information is generated with evidence-based analytics and knowledge using new spatial data mining technologies.


The number of people on the Earth is well-monitored by statistical offices. However, there is little consistent information on the spatial distribution of population and the global coverage. The Global Human Settlement Layer  (GHSL) baseline enabled this kind of analysis for the first time. The Atlas of the Human Planet 2016 combines all of the findings.