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I recently found Joel E. Cohen and Christopher Small's work on hypsographic demography, i.e. the distribution of human population with altitude.

Does anyone know of any other research in this area? I am looking for ideas on how to visualize the relationship between elevation and population in a map and would like to see what has been done already. I could not find any maps beyond those created by Cohen and Small.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not specifically demographic mapping, but the UN Food and Agricultural Organization folks have produced a number of publications with mappings at a world scale. The 2003 Environment and Natural Resources Working Paper No. 10 - "Towards a GIS-based analysis of mountain environments and populations" (B. Huddleston, E. Ataman, L Fe d'Ostiani)) may have some useful cartography for you.

Chapters are available as low resolution PDF from this FAO ftp site.

Also, seems like any human demographic mapping would mimic any general ecological range and habitat mappings that include elevation as a variable--seems you should be able to find a rich sampling of analogous cartography there.

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You can find a series of papers with Google Scholar

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I searched for hypsographic demography on Google Scholar before asking the question but mainly found derivative works of Cohen and Small with similar maps. Human Population with Altitude yielded a different set of papers but not many maps. I found other interesting papers with your suggestion, e.g. Bouville and Lowder, Human Population Exposure to Cosmic Radiation (1988). – Jaime Soto Jan 3 '11 at 0:51

Interesting article. It would be interesting (and not much work) to split up a graph like based on the latitude. I'm quite sure that near the equator the density will be higher in upland areas (eg Ethiopia, Rwanda), wheareas further from the equator density is highest in lowland areas (Holland, Bangladesh,...)

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