How to use the IIDAB

1. Manual

1.1 IIDAB Search

The search and sorting application is the central tool of the IIDAB. Inputting one or more search parameters produces via complex filtering processes results tailored specifically to the user’s interests.

Under each category heading an input field can be filled in with a value of choice (Important for numerical values: Please use a point as decimal separator only and do not enter thousands separators). To the right of each category heading you will find a drop-down menu which includes all applicable search and sorting operators:

Operator Description
< Less than the value in the input field
> Greater than the value in the input field
= Equal
!= Unequal
LIKE Match a character pattern (e.g. search for all island names beginning with „c“ or with „cu“)

The categories Dominant Economic Sector, Type of Islands, Location, and Administration cannot be filtered using operators. Here a drop-down menu attached to the relevant category heading provides a number of filtering options. The categories Island Details, Highest Elevation (name), Mean Sea Level Trends (meta), and Miscellaneous are not searchable.

When the desired search parameters are selected, the query should be started using the “Search” button at the bottom of the search mask. If no parameters are chosen, all island datasets will be displayed in the results in their full extent.

By combining different selections and filters it is possible to operate complex queries (e.g. to show all islands of the North Sea [location] which are smaller than 10 km² [surface area] and a total population smaller than 100 people [population (total)].

Each category of the IIDAB has a “Display in results” field which can be activated or deactivated according to the user’s preference. In this way the table of results can be limited to the data that is most relevant to the user and provides a high level of clarity.

1.2 Results

The results of the query are displayed below the search mask as a table. To get to the table of results click on the “Search” button or scroll down from the search mask. Next to the headline “Results” the number of islands is displayed which fulfil the criteria of the selected modifications.

The island datasets which are displayed in the table of results can be sorted in ascending or descending order of the values of a category of interest by clicking once or twice on the particular column heading (Note that it is not possible to sort all category columns in the table of results).

If there is a data source for a specific record available, a small asterisk (*) is displayed behind the particular record. To show the data source, simply click on the asterisk. To close the data source window, click again on the asterisk.

If you click on an island name [Name], another table [Island Details] will show all information about the chosen island in a compact and concise form in a new tab.

To process the filtered data it is possible to export the displayed table of results as CSV file. For this purpose, please click on the field “Export as CSV” located directly below the headline “Results”.

1.3 Interactive Map

The results can be also displayed as georeferenced data on an interactive map provided by the CLISAP-Integrated Climate Data Center (ICDC). To access the respective map click on “Show interactive map of resulting islands” or directly on the small world map directly above the table of results.

In the map mode, click on the red circles (islands) to get further information about the specific island or island group. In addition to the full dataset from the IIDAB, the coordinates (latitude/longitude) of the selection are given in a table below the map window. For an adjustment of the map section use the navigation controls on the left-hand side of the map to zoom in or out and to move around the viewpoint (it is also possible to use the usual mouse functions to control navigation). To download the map section, simply right click on the map window and save the selection as image.

Further information about the ICDC Data Center can be found at

2. Island database field list
(complete description of each field in the database)

Name: Full name of the island, island group, or island state

Location: States the ocean or marginal sea where the island, island group, or island state is located

Number of Islands (approx.): States the approximate number of islands of an island group or island state. It is not possible to give an exact number because there is no global valid definition what an island exactly is.

Island Details: Additional information about the composition of island groups and island states, for example how many islands of an archipelago are inhabited or the existence of a main island.

Type of Islands: Simple characterisation according to the basic morphogenetic features of the island, island group, or island state

Surface Area (km²): Surface area of the island, island group, or island state in square kilometres

Terrain: Specific information about the terrain and landscape of the island, island group, or island state to get a first impression

Highest Elevation (m): Altitude of the highest point on the island, island group, or island state in metres

Highest Elevation (name): Full name of the highest point on the island, island group, or island state

Isolation Index: This island database is using the index values of an isolation index developed by Arthur Lyon Dahl, first published on the website Island Directory: „To measure the isolation of the island from potential sources of colonization, the square roots of the distances to the nearest equivalent or larger island, the nearest island group or archipelago and the nearest continent are added to give an index of isolation. Where one of these does not exist, the next higher distance is repeated, except in the case of small satellite islands close to much larger land masses.“  (Dahl, A. L. 1991: Island Directory: Accessed: 31.01.2014)

In the case of an island group the isolation index field states the isolation index value of its main island.

Climate Risk Index: The Climate Risk Index (CRI) developed by Germanwatch is an analysis based on one of the most reliable datasets available on the impacts of extreme weather events and associated socio-economic data (provided by Munich Re NatCatSERVICE). It includes four indicators: 1. Number of deaths, 2. Number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, 3. Sum of losses in US$ in purchasing power parity (PPP), 4. Losses per unit of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
„For the indicators 2-4, economic and population data primarily provided by the International Monetary Fund were taken into account. It must be added, however, that especially for small (e.g. Pacific Small Island Developing States) or politically extremely unstable countries (e.g. Somalia), the required data is not always available in sufficient quality for the whole observed time period. Those countries have to be left out of the analyses. The Climate Risk Index 2014 is based on the loss-figures from 2012 and 1993–2012. This ranking represents the most affected countries. Each country's index score has been derived from a country's average ranking in all four analyzes, according to the following weighting: death toll 1/6, deaths per 100,000 inhabitants 1/3, absolute losses in PPP 1/6, losses per GDP unit 1/3.“  (Kreft, S. & Eckstein, D. 2013: Germanwatch Climate Risk Index 2014. Bonn: Germanwatch e.V. )

This island database is using the CRI ranks based on the 20-year-period (1993-2012). For political dependent islands the CRI field states the CRI rank of its mother country.

Mean Sea Level Trends (mm/year): States the linear relative mean sea level (MSL) trends for the island, island group, or island state in millimetres per year based on the analyses of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the USA.

Mean Sea Level (meta): If there is a MSL trend for the specific island, island group, or island state available, this field consists of three elements of metadata: The time span of the measurements in years, the completeness of the measurements in percent, and the unique ID of the measuring station.

Population (total): Human population of the island, island group, or island state (followed by a field which states the census year)

Population Density (p/km²): Population density in persons per square kilometre (followed by a field which states the census year)

Population Growth (annual %): Annual percentage population growth rate (followed by a field which states the census year)

GDP (per capita in current US$): Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in current US-Dollar (followed by a field which states the census)

Dominant Economic Sectors: States the dominant economic sectors of the island, island group, or island state

HDI: States the Human Development Index (HDI) of an island state or in the case of a politically dependent island or island group, that of its mother country

Administration: States the political status and the type of government of the island, island group, or island state

Miscellaneous: Additional information about the island, island group or island state which are not directly connected with another database field

Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.