Category Archives: Secondary data

Socio-spatial secondary data source for all over the world

In this post I want to echo this fantastic source of socio-spatial data, perfect for your GIS analysis in most of the countries all over the world

The files have been created from OpenStreetMap data
and are licensed under the Open Database 1.0 License. See for details about the project.

This file contains data as of 2020-10-12T20:42:02Z and every day
a new version of this file is being made available at:

A documentation of the layers is available here:

Geofabrik also makes extended shapefiles to order; please see for details and example


Socio-economic analysis with nighttime light series: downloading nighttime images

Context: we analyze economic changes in Colombian municipalities between 1993 and 2020.

In this post, we focus on how to download our “raw data”, i.e. the nighttime light data for Colombia.

Step 1: Download nighttime light series from NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Particularly Version 4 DMSP-OLS Nighttime Lights Time Series (DMSP) – The DMSP annual composite data contain average radiance values of cloud-free coverages, reflecting the persistent lights from cities, villages, and roads, with a spatial resolution of about 900m, and a temporal coverage of 1992 to 2013 – and VIIRS data which is available from 2013 on and with is a finer spatial resolution of 450m approximately. We will later do a post on the particularities of VIIRS, here we focus on DMSP.

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Worlwide Energy Statistics from International Energy Agency

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Secondary data source for well-being related indexes

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I find great this OECD statistic source on well-being across countries and regions. Here is a brief description of the whole project:

“There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics – This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.”

World Bank App for development-related data on mobile platforms

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The “Spatial Agent” Mobile App has been developed to take advantage of new capabilities to visualize this growing range of spatial and temporal development-related data on mobile platforms. The App demonstrates a simple but extremely powerful approach to visualize a range of public-domain spatial datasets through interactive maps and charts to allow for data visualization at different scales and ranges. The approach literally puts the globe in the users hands and allows one to access a burgeoning group of public-domain multi-sectoral datasets (including at global, regional, and national levels) being developed for use by various development-related institutions and governments across the world. So whether you are interested in water resources or climate change, disaster management or general development, this is a must-have App for you! The simplicity of use and wealth of information is sure to appeal to you – whether you are a student, development professional, or a Minister!    Read more


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Working rights in Poland

The Niezalezny Samorzadny Zwiazek Zawodowy “Solidarnosc” (NSZZ SOLIDARNOSC) reported the dismissal of a shop steward at ADO factory located in the special economic zone of Legnica in March 2013 for having hung a union flag at the factory’s gate. The Polish National Forest company also sent a letter to a Solidarnosc to prohibit displaying flags during protests.

There have been numerous reports on discriminatory dismissal of trade unionists. In December 2013, Adam Guzy was dismissed from Fakos Ltd due to his trade union activities. A complaint asking for reinstatement and compensation has been filed with the courts. Trade unionist Robert Kluga who works for CCP “PREMA” SA in Kielce was dismissed during the negotiations of a collective agreement in March 2014 with a view to undermine the collective bargaining process. LG Electronics  Wroclaw targeted union members in the company in order to crush the existence of the union by not renewing employment contracts of union activists and leaders. In November 2013, Leszek Rudzinski, a shop steward at Lubelskich Liniach Autobusowych and a union chairman, was dismissed during a collective dispute. Both the National Labour Inspection and the Court have deemed the dismissal unlawful, and M. Rudzinski has been reinstated and compensated.

Source: International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global rights index: the world’s worst countries for workers.

The world’s worst countries for workers

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Interesting and high quality report on global rights index. An example of high quality and global secondary data source. It offers a list of countries rating from 1 to 5+ (pp. 15), where 5+ means “No guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the rule of law” and 1 “Irregular Violations of Rights”.

I also like the mixed methods approach applied, as well as the sophisticate development of indicators to measure the violation of working rights (pp. 29-35). You can also see in the first pages examples of the worst countries, and a a but consistent evaluation of working rights violation in many other countries of Asia, America, Africa and Europe.

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World Values Survey International Open Seminar




The “World Values ​​Survey International Open Seminar” will be held at the University of Almería on the 24th and 25th of November 2014. This conference is organized by the Department of Sociology and marks the release of the sixth wave of the World Values Survey ( The conference will feature published papers and current research using this survey.

Interest in the World Values ​​Survey is not new in the ​​Sociology Department at the University of Almería. Encouraged by the Department chair, Professor Gonzalo Herranz Rafael, many in the department (including Pilar Rodríguez Martínez, Juan Sebastián Fernández Prados and Juan Carlos Checa Olmos) have been visiting scholars the University of Michigan, specifically the Institute for Social Research, hosted by Ronald Inglehart. Over the years, professors in the department have started using the World Values ​​Survey (WVS) both in their teaching and in their research as it is one of the best global surveys on changes in values ​​and its impact on social and political life. The WVS is based on nationally representative surveys in more than 100 countries containing almost 90percent of the world’s population, thus allowing cross-country comparisons. There have been six waves of surveys (from 1981 to 2014) which make longitudinal analyses possible.  Furthermore, by making the data freely downloadable, the organization behind the WVS allows researchers to work at no extra cost.

Like the World Values ​​Survey, this seminar is open and dynamic. It starts with a basic program which is available on this website but also we open the seminar to other proposals focused on the WVS.

Almería (Spain), 24-25 Nov 2014

(Deadline: Abstracts on 20th October 2014. Full manuscripts on 14th November 2014)

Organized by:
Área de Sociologia
Universidad de Almería

Public Data Google, another useful secondary data source for cross-national comparisons

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I have recently posted several interesting sources of secondary data for cross-national research. Each one with one or another strength. For instance, I found Trading Economics very useful to compare nations all over the world and by mean innumerable economic indicators. Another source, the Eurostat´s Regional Statistics Illustrate, although the data are limited to Europe, it stands for the possibility to represent data into more diverse formats, such as maps, distribution plot or scatter plot, among others. It also counts with information disaggregated by European regions.

In this post I want to present another source that, having some of the above utilities,  I find more appropriate to compare specific countries. It is Google Public Data. The available indicators are also broad and from different sources, such as World Bank, World Economic Forum or Eurostat. But the advantage I see here is that Google facilitates the labor to compare not all countries together but just the ones interesting for one´s research. For instance, when one just wants to compare the evolution of abortions in such countries as Spain, Portugal and Poland, like in the above chart. It also owns a variety of forms to represent data at the top-right corner. The information can´t be represented by regions, though.

European regional Statistics Illustrated

Today I stumbled across this sophisticate Eurostat tool that allow map social and economic data by European regions. It is similar to the one I commented in an earlier post, also from Eurostat. But what I like most here is the possibility to visualize data in a variety of charts such as distribution plot, scatter plot, bar chart or data table. Well, I also love the animated maps that show the data evolution. They are superb, aren´t they? Visit here the site