PUMA – a new platform for urban spatial data for the World Bank

PUMA, or Platform for Urban Management and Analysis, is a geospatial tool that allows users with no prior GIS experience to access, analyze and share urban spatial data in an interactive and customizable way. Developed by the East Asia and Pacific Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management unit of the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice (GPSURR), it adapts open-source software to the data needs of the urban development sector. Read a one-page beginner’s guide to using PUMA.

Explore PUMA

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PUMA was developed as part of the larger Australian Aid-funded analytical activity that studies urban expansion in the region (East Asia’s Changing Urban Landscape: Measuring a Decade of Spatial Growth, 2000–2010). A major output of this activity is the mapping of built-up land, urban expansion, and urban population change across the East Asia Pacific (EAP) region between 2000 and 2010. This data set, produced in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and the WorldPop project, is unprecedented in its scope. For the first time, it allows us to compare urbanization across countries that otherwise define “urban” in very different ways. This data can be explored in PUMA. The development of a map of urban expansion at a global scale is underway and will be available via PUMA when completed.

Data Exploration 1

In addition to broad measurements of urban change at the regional and global scales, PUMA will be used for more detailed city-level analysis. As a pilot, more detailed mapping of land cover in five cities in the region (Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong in Vietnam; Surabaya in Indonesia; Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia; and Cebu in the Philippines) has been carried out, using satellite imagery. The vision for PUMA is that it will be the platform on which Bank staff and clients will display and share urban spatial data from a variety of sources.

Data Exploration 2