Urban Scaling Laws

clementine

Clementine Cottineau initiated our work on paradoxical interpretations of urban scaling laws using the example of the French city system. The paper is now on the arXiv  and you get it by clicking here or going direct to the arXiv. Scaling laws for cities are controversial and the furrow that we have ploughed here in CASA argues that the definition of the city system is all important in measuring the effect of scaling. If the definition changes, so does the scaling. Scaling is an intriguing concept and the notion that as cities grow they get more than proportionately richer has many policy implications which fly in the face of the small is beautiful movement that dominated city planning for most of the last century. Here Clementine Cottineau and colleagues have unpicked the city system in France, showing much the same that we derived for the UK city system or rather England and Wales which we reported in our interface paper: namely that evidence of superlinear scaling for income and other creative industries is volatile and ambiguous. There is much more we might and will say about this topic but a key issue that we are thinking hard about is what happens to inequality as cities get bigger.

The abstract from Clementine’s paper is as follows “Scaling laws are powerful summaries of the variations of urban attributes with city size. However, the validity of their universal meaning for cities is hampered by the observation that different scaling regimes can be encountered for the same territory, time and attribute, depending on the criteria used to delineate cities. The aim of this paper is to present new insights concerning this variation, coupled with a sensitivity analysis of urban scaling in France, for several socio-economic and infrastructural attributes from data collected exhaustively at the local level. The sensitivity analysis considers different aggregations of local units for which data are given by the Population Census. We produce a large variety of definitions of cities (approximatively 5000) by aggregating local Census units corresponding to the systematic combination of three definitional criteria: density, commuting flows and population cutoffs. We then measure the magnitude of scaling estimations and their sensitivity to city definitions for several urban indicators, showing for example that simple population cutoffs impact dramatically on the results obtained for a given system and attribute. Variations are interpreted with respect to the meaning of the attributes (socio-economic descriptors as well as infrastructure) and the urban definitions used (understood as the combination of the three criteria). Because of the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) and of the heterogeneous morphologies and social landscapes in the cities’ internal space, scaling estimations are subject to large variations, distorting many of the conclusions on which generative models are based. We conclude that examining scaling variations might be an opportunity to understand better the inner composition of cities with regard to their size, i.e. to link the scales of the city-system with the system of cities.”

Here again is the link to the ArXiv

 

UKDS Census Applications Conference

census1

I was in Manchester a couple of weeks ago for a UKDS conference on applications of the Census 2011 datasets that have been made available, through the ONS, NOMIS, UKDS and other organisations/projects. The conference was to celebrate the outputs and projects that have happened thus far, now that the Census itself is four years old and most of the main data releases have been made.

It was a good opportunity to present a talk on DataShine, which I made a little more technical than previously, focusing on the cartographical and technological decisions behind the design of the suite of websites.

I enjoyed an interesting talk by Dr Chris Gale, outlining graphically the processes behind creating the 2011 OAC geodemographic classification. Chris’s code, which was open sourced, was recently used by the ONS to create a local-authority level classification. There was also some discussion towards the end of the two-day meeting on the 2021 Census, in particular whether it will happen (it almost certainly well) and what it will be like (similar to 2011 but focused on online responses to cut costs).

All-focus

After the conference close I had time to look around MOSI (the Museum of Science and Industry) which is mainly incorporated around an old railyard, terminus of the world’s oldest passenger railway and containing the world’s oldest station (opened in 1830, closed to passengers in 1844). But I was most impressed by the collection of airplanes in the adjoining hangar (once a lovely old market building), which included a Kamakaze. I also had a quick look around the Whitworth Gallery extension which has been nominated for this year’s Stirling Prize.

census3

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Calibrating Cellular Automata (CA)

Liu-Paper

Urban CA models use sets of rules that are applied to each cell in the geographical array to change the state of the cell usually according to attributes that exist in the neighbourhood of the cell in question. As there are usually many thousands of cells and therefore large quantities of data that map one time slice of the system into the next one, then in CA models there is the opportunity to search for pattern in these changes of state, thus deriving transition rules from this data. Ten years or more ago, when Claudia Maria de Almeida from INPE (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil) visited us in CASA, I worked with her on her CA models of development change in Brazilian cities and she developed a number of multivariate methods for extracting the rules from the dynamics of cellular change. The 2003 paper can be downloaded here. Recently I have worked with Yan Liu from Brisbane (U Queensland) and Yongjiu Feng from Shanghai (College of Marine Sciences) on developing a machine learning approach to extracting nonlinear transition rules based on least squares support vector machines which essentially define the patterns needed get appropriate rules. It is all quite tricky stuff in detail but rather generic in terms of what these methods are designed to do. We published a paper recently on this in the journal Stochastic Environmental Research Risk Assessment (Volume 29, 2015, online) and if you click here you can see a copy of the paper and its source. Enjoy.

China: Fuzhou

fuzhou7

I spent a week in Fuzhou earlier in July, in China’s Fujian provice, presenting and attending a summer school and conference, respectively, at Fuzhou University. I’ve already blogged the conference itself (read it here) but during the week I got plenty of time, outside of the conference to get a feel for Fuzhou and this small part of China. Here are some notes:

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Bikesharing
There is a bikeshare system in Fuzhou, but it is small (by Chinese standards). I saw a few bikeshare docking stations during my trip, in particular one outside the university, which was complete with a (closed) booth for an attendant (I think this is where you get a smartcard to operate it). Each station has 10-20 docks, generally nearly full of the bright orange and green bikes, docked under a bus-stop-style shelter that also contains an alarm light, CCTV and loudspeaker, and red scrolling LED information screen. Adjacent there were typically 10-20 further bikes chained together, presumably for manual restocking by the attendant when they are there. The one thing I did not see, at any point during the trip, was anyone actually using the bikeshare bikes. The modal share of cycling is low anyway in Fuzhou (the roads are intimidating, but this doesn’t stop the swarms of electric bike users) but I wasn’t expecting to see a completely unused bikeshare system in a country so famous for the transport mode.

fuzhou4

Transport in General
Fuzhou is a city of nearly five million people – half the size of London. And yet it has no metro, tram or commuter rail (apart from a couple of stations right on the outskirts). So everyone travels by car, taxi (very cheap – £1 for most journeys), bus (10p per journey, air-conditioned and frequent), or electric bike. Probably 50% car, 15% bus, 30% electric bike, 5% taxi. Walking is not so popular as the roads are generally very wide and difficult to cross (you don’t generally get much space given to you at zebra crossing!) and likely because of the hot climate at this time of the year. The one mode that I saw extremely little of, is pedal cycling. I had heard that cycling has quickly become an “uncool” thing to do in China, it is interesting to contrast with the rapidly rising cycling use in London – albeit from a low base. London’s cycling mode share was also once much higher and also had a sharp fall – maybe London is just ahead of hte curve.

fuzhou3

Climate and Pollution
Fuzhou is a southern Chinese city. It’s around an hour’s drive in from the coast, where its airport is. It’s north of the many cities near Hong Kong – about 90 minutes on a plan from the latter – but south of Shanghai, and a long way south from Beijing. The climate is therefore quite hot and muggy at this time of year. As you might expect from a city of five million people where most people drive, a haze of pollution was often visible where I was there. However, the haze is not too bad. Fuzhou is helped in this by being surrounded on most sides by thickly forested mountains, which often rise up steeply, immediately beyond the city limits. One of these ranges indeed forms the Fuzhou National Forest Park which contains a wide variety of trees, including a 1000-year old tree with its elderly branches supported by concrete pillars! The masses of trees on all sides no doubt help with some soaking up of pollutants. Many of the large roads have lines of thickly foliaged trees running along them, and the bridges for pedestrian crossings, and highway flyovers, also have lines of shrubs and bushes all the way along them, which doubtless also help absorb pollutants and keep the haze under control. The street foliage also has the side effect of making many views of the city look quite pretty, with lines of green and purple plants softening the concrete structures and making the city seem to blend into the landscape.

fuzhou1

Urban Structure
Fuzhou is a city largely of apartment blocks. Strikingly, the centre of the city has virtually no construction going on – it is as dense it as needs to be, Fuzhou’s population does not need to increase, and the congestion need not get any worse. A few from the central hotel reveals almost no cranes, anywhere on the horizon, apart from some small ones for the aforementioned metro construction project. This is starkly different to the edges of the city, at the few gaps between the mountains, particularly along the road leading to the airport and the coast. There is a brand-new high-speed railway station at this edge of the city, and it also is the direction towards the shipbuilding and electronics industry factories that are a few miles distant. The area around the station is relatively free of apartment buildings, but huge numbers are currently being built, many 30-40 stories high and often built very close to each other, in clusters with distinct designs. The new station and the good road leading outwards it presumably the spur. This is infrastructure building, and developers responding to this, on a grand scale.

fuzhou6

Consumer Culture
One thing I noticed was that most of the Chinese attendees of the conference I was at had iPhone 6 phones. I’m not sure if this is representative of the Fuzhou population at large, but I was surprised to see no Huawei or Xiomai phones (both Chinese brands, i.e. home-grown). I have a Huawei myself – it is excellently built and I am very happy with it. Apple has done hugely well out of convincing people to pay thousands of extra yuan for the a phone with the Apple branding. Talking about luxury brands in general, Fuzhou has a cluster of these (Christian Dior etc) in a small mall in the centre, and also I spotted a Starbucks and McDonalds lurking nearby. But, Apple aside, in general western brands have little impact. And as for the popularity of the iPhone, the (official) Apple Stores have not made it to Fuzhou yet.

More generally, the food in China takes some getting used to, both the variety of produce and also the local varients. Lychee trees are everywhere (the region is where they were originally from) and there were plenty of other unusual fruits. The look of lychees takes some getting used to, but the taste is very pleasant. Fish features in a lot of dishes, as do various meets – the buffet and “lazy Susan” format though thankfully means the more mysterious items can be ignored! Our host also took us to an upscale restaurant where we had a lot of very spicy food (rare for the region) and also some weak but pleasant Chinese beers.

fuzhou2

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Urban Transfer Entropy across Scales

Murcio

Roberto Murcio led our work on applying ideas of information theory across scales so that mutual information can be transmitted one way, rather than symmetrically. The paper has just appeared in PLOS One. And you can Download the PDF from here. The abstract follows:

“The morphology of urban agglomeration is studied here in the context of information exchange between different spatio-temporal scales. Urban migration to and from cities is characterised as non-random and following non-random pathways. Cities are multidimensional non-linear phenomena, so understanding the relationships and connectivity between scales is important in determining how the interplay of local/regional urban policies may affect the distribution of urban settlements. In order to quantify these relationships, we follow an information theoretic approach using the concept of Transfer Entropy. Our analysis is based on a stochastic urban fractal model, which mimics urban growing settlements and migration waves. The results indicate how different policies could affect urban morphology in terms of the information generated across geographical scales.”

OpenStreetMap: London Building Coverage

osm_londondetail

OpenStreetMap is still surprisingly incomplete when it comes to showing buildings for the London area, this is a real contrast to other places (e.g. Birmingham, New York City, Paris) when it comes to completeness of buildings, this is despite some good datasets (e.g Ordnance Survey OpenMap Local) including building outlines. It’s one reason why I used Ordnance Survey rather than OpenStreetMap data for my North/South print.

The map below (click to view a larger version with readable labels and crisper detail, you may need to click it twice if your browser resizes it), and the extract above, show OpenStreetMap buildings in white, overlaid on OS OpenMap Local buildings, from the recent (March 2015) release, in red. The Greater London boundary is in blue. I’ve included the Multipolygon buildings (stored as relations in the OSM database), extracting them direct from OpenStreetMap using Overpass Turbo. The rest of the OSM buildings come via the QGIS OpenStreetMap plugin. The labels also come from OS OpenMap Local, which slightly concerningly for our National Mapping Agency, misspells Hampstead.

The spotty nature of the OSM coverage reveals individual contributions. For example, Swanley in the far south east of the map is comprehensively mapped, thanks presumably due to an enthusiastic local. West Clapham is also well mapped (it looks like a small-area bulk import here from OpenMap) but east Clapham is looking sparse. Sometimes, OpenStreetMap is better – often, the detail of the buildings that are mapped exceeds OpenMap’s. There are also a few cases where OSM correctly doesn’t map buildings which have been recently knocked down but the destruction hasn’t made it through to OpenMap yet, which typically can have a lag of a year. For example, the Heygate Estate in Elephant & Castle is now gone.

The relative lack of completeness of building data in OpenStreetMap, for London, where the project began in 2004, is – in fact – likely due to it being where the project began. London has always an active community, and it drew many of the capital’s roads and quite a few key buildings, long before most other cities were nearly as complete. As a result, when the Bing aerial imagery and official open datasets of building outlines became more recently available, mainly around 2010, there was a reluctance to use these newer tools to go over areas that had already been mapped. Bulk importing such data is a no-no if it means disturbing someone’s prior manual work, and updating and correcting an already mapped area (where the roads, at least, are drawn) is a lot less glamorous than adding in features to a blank canvas. As a result, London is only slowly gaining its buildings on OSM while other cities jumped ahead. Its size doesn’t help either – the city is a low density city and it has huge expanses of low, not particularly glamorous buildings.

An couple of OpenStreetMap indoor tracing parties might be all that’s needed to fix this and get London into shape.

osm_london_2mb

Click for a larger version. Data Copyright OpenStreetMap contributors (ODbL) and Crown Copyright and Database Right Ordnance Survey (OGL).

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Twitter’s swearing mapped: Which UK country is the most foul-mouthed on social … – The Independent


The Independent

Twitter's swearing mapped: Which UK country is the most foul-mouthed on social ...
The Independent
Researchers from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the University College London last year revealed a particular peak around transfer-deadline day following Arsenal's signing of Danny Welbeck, a Manchester United forward, in September.

London Landmarks Jigsaw Puzzle

londonlandmarks_image

London Landmarks is a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a stylised map/view of central London, drawn by Maria Rabinky and produced by Gibsons, and is possibly the most fun map to have arrived the desk of Mapping London Towers for a very long time. Not content with reviewing the box and the individual pieces, we of course had to actually complete the jigsaw puzzle itself, which was achieved by 2-3 people, working fast over 3 two hour sessions earlier this week (so that’s around 12 hours of effort!). We were hoping that our geographical knowledge of central London streets and landmarks would be enough to allow an swift completion of the puzzle – many of the streets and features are named on the map, and there are very few similar coloured pieces – even the Thames helpfully shifts from dark blue to light blue as it heads eastwards – so we hoped this would be an easy puzzle. How wrong we were, as the “birds eye” view of London, looking roughly northeastwards from somewhere above Battersea park.

The topology of the puzzle is pretty good – obviously many streets have been omitted for clarity, but buildings appear in the right location when you look at the finished puzzle, even if they don’t appear too when you are putting it together. The toughest building was the Houses of Parliament, as the project used makes it appear huge, and our final piece was the labyrinthine Royal Courts of Justice. Favourite building representations include Waterloo Station (which is represented by its famous four-sided meeting place clock) and London Zoo (which includes a veritable menagerie of animals in a single spot (note there is sadly no panda there in real life).

When building the puzzle, we did the traditional filling out of the edges, then worked up the River Thames, building the bridges across it by remembering their sequence. Different street lighting designs (a lovely bit of detail) on the bridges helped these. We then worked on the road network and filled in buildings as we spotted them. Some tube stations are included, identifiable by special blue/red text. Watch out when putting together the Millennium Wheel though – there’s two, the second one forming the compass points indicator:

londonlandmarks_puzzle

This is a really lovely jigsaw puzzle and we would love to see both more maps like this (it’s a lovely looking map, and doesn’t just focus on Zone 1, but includes the Royal Observatory Greenwich, Hampstead Heath and even Windsor Castle (in a cloud). You can buy it from Amazon for a bargain £13, the artwork itself is also available as an art print.

Thanks to Gibsons Games for sending a review copy.

londonlandmarks_box

Lectureship In Quantitative Health Geography, Uni of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

 
There is a three year fixed term Lectureship in Quantitative Health Geography available to the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.
 
Ideal for a newly completed PhD student or postdoc.
 
More details can be found here.
 
Thanks
 
Simon
 
Professor Simon Kingham
Professor of Geography and Director of the GeoHealth Laboratory
University of Canterbury – Te Whare Wananga O Waitaha

Kings Cross dashboard – can we bring to life the Knowledge Quarter’s … – Kings Cross Environment


Kings Cross Environment

Kings Cross dashboard – can we bring to life the Knowledge Quarter's ...
Kings Cross Environment
A couple of years ago the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at the UCL Bartlett School, based on Tottenham Court Road produced this great City Dashboard that puts flesh on the bones of all the 'smart city' and 'big data' guff. Can we do one ...

#15MinuteMap: Tropical Cyclone Tracks 1842-2014

More and more I stumble across really cool datasets online that are crying out to be mapped, but I never seem to have the time to do anything fun with them. I had a spare 15 minutes yesterday and challenged myself to map something.

I wanted to map tropical cyclones – you can see the result below. I think my map is a good start, but it was never going to be perfect in 15 minutes. For example, it would benefit from a few more tweaks and a little more time spent adding labels, picking out interesting storm tracks and so on.

That said, I surprised myself that I was able to do anything in 15 minutes – it felt a bit like the cartographic equivalent of arriving home hungry and throwing a quick meal together from what’s left in the fridge.

It would be great to see what others can do – use the hashtag #15MinuteMap to share on Twitter!

hurricanes

How I did my map:

Data formatting is time consuming so the trick is to find some nice clean data – in my case it was a shapefile of historic hurricane tracks from here. These could be loaded easily into a GIS (ArcGIS in this case). I then downloaded “black marble” from NASA (as a GeoTiff) and loaded that into the GIS too. I then reprojected both to the Winkel Tripel projection and made the storm track lines pink and a little transparent. Hey presto!

The City of London Commute

Here’s a graphic I’ve made by taking a number of screenshots of DataShine Commute graphics, showing the different methods of travelling to work in the City of London, that is, the Square Mile area at the heart of London where hundreds of thousands and financial and other employees work.

All the maps are to the same scale and the thickness of the commuting blue lines, which represent the volume of commuters travelling between each home area and the City, are directly comparable across the maps (allowing for the fact that the translucent lines are superimposed on each other in many areas). I have superimposed the outline of the Greater London Authority area, of which the City London is just a small part at the centre.

ttwf_cityoflondon

There’s lots of interesting patterns. Commuter rail dominates, followed by driving. Car passenger commutes are negligible. The biggest single flow in by train is not from another area of London, but from part of Brentwood in Essex. Taxi flows into the City mainly come from the west of Zone 1 (Mayfair, etc). Cyclists come from all directions, but particularly from the north/north-east. Motorbikes and mopeds, however, mainly come from the south-west (Fulham). The tube flow is from North London mainly, but that’s because that’s where the tubes are. Finally, the bus/coach graphic shows both good use throughout inner-city London (Zones 1-3) but also special commuter coaches that serve the Medway towns in Kent, as well as in Harlow and Oxford. “Other” shows a strong flow from the east – likely commuters getting into work by using the Thames Clipper services from Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs.

Try it out for your own area – click on a dot to see the flows. There is also a Scotland version although only for between local authorities, for now.

Click on the graphic above for a larger version. DataShine is part of the ESRC-funded BODMAS project at UCL. I’ll be talking about this map at the UKDS Census Applications conference tomorrow in Manchester.

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The Townsend Report

Townsend-Report1

An interesting report by Anthony Townsend of Smart Cities fame about the rapid emergence of urban science and the flurry of centres that have grown up in the wake of these new ideas as well as the development of smart cities and their technologies. We in CASA are earmarked as beginning the trend initially as a GIS-spatial analysis centre with a focus on cities – but way ahead of the curve – with some morphing of our mission towards new goals within the last decade. The report also refers to my ESRC report Urban Informatics and Big Data which you can also download here alongside Anthony’s report.

 

Esri survey123 tool – rapid prototyping geographical citizen science tool

There are several applications that allow creating forms rapidly – such as Open Data Kit (ODK) or EpiCollect. Now, there is another offering from Esri, in the form of Survey123 app – which is explained in the video below.

Survey123 is integrated into ArcGIS Online, so you need an ArcGIS account to use it (you can have a short experiment if you register for a trial account, but for a longer project you’ll have to pay). The forms are configured in XForms, like ODK . The forms can be designed in Excel fairly quickly, and the desktop connection package make it easy to link to the Survey123 site, as well as testing forms.  I tried creating a form for local data collection, including recording a location and taking an image with the phone. It was fairly easy to create forms with textual, numerical, image and location information, and the software also supports the use of images to items in the form, so they can be illustrated visually. The desktop connector application also allow use to render the form, so they can be tested before they are uploaded to ArcGIS Online. Then it is possible to distribute the form to mobile devices and use them to collect the information.

The app works well offline, and it is possible to collect multiple forms and then upload them all together. While the application still showing rough edges in terms of interaction design, meaningful messages and bug clearing, it can be useful for developing prototypes and forms when the geographic aspect of the data collection is central. For example, during data collection the application supports both capturing the location from GPS and pointing on a map to the location where the data was collected. You can only use GPS when you are offline, as for now it doesn’t let you cache a map of a study area.

As might be expected, the advantage of Survey123 is coming once you’ve got the information and want to analyse it, since ArcGIS Online provide the tools for detailed GIS analysis, or you can link to it from a desktop GIS and analyse and visualise the information.

Luckily for us, Esri is a partner of the Extreme Citizen Science group and UCL also holds an institutional licence for ArcGIS Online, so we have access to these tools. However, through Esri conservation programme can also apply to have access to ArcGIS Online and use this tool.


China: ICSDM Conference

IMG_20150706_163812ec

Last week I was in China for the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Spatial Data Mining (ICSDM), travelling with the my centre director who was keynoting and giving a day’s teaching at the conference’s accompanying summer school. The conference was based in Fuzhou University, on the western edge of Fuzhou in Fujian Province, a city of five million people about 90 minutes north east of Hong Kong by plane, and an hour’s drive inland from the ocean. The city’s setting is rather dramatic – it is surrounded by forested mountains, and the greenery extends into the city too, where it helps absorb pollution.

IMG_20150709_165709ecThe conference consisted of a number of keynote presentations given by domain experts on topics such as Big Models for Big Data, to Social Media geographic data mining and classification, to multi-source pollution monitoring and modelling. Interspersed with the keynotes were parallel tracks of project presentations, many (but not all) of which were given by Ph.D. candidates and other students at various universities elsewhere in China, as well as at Fuzhou itself. Remote sensing was a major theme of the conference, but other topics included modelling house prices based on demographic information and looking at movements of people using the Chinese equivalents of Facebook and Twitter.

As well as the conference itself there was time for a number of walks in the local forest parks and up some mountains – tough in the heat and humidity of southern China in the summer, but well worth it for the views. We also visited a number of temple buildings and other areas popular with tourists.

It was a well organised conference and was interesting to attend – not least to see that the sorts of research topics that we are familiar with here in quantitative geography at UCL, are carried out in China too – but with a local perspective, based on the different datasets available and cultural habits. The keynote talks also added a good, rounded perspective on the spatial data mining field as it currently stands. All in all, an eye-opening week.

All-focus

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This Mathematician Says She Can Determine Whether Your Relationship Will Last – Yahoo Health


Yahoo Health

This Mathematician Says She Can Determine Whether Your Relationship Will Last
Yahoo Health
In an article published this week in Business Insider, Hannah Fry, a math whiz who works for at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London, breaks down happily ever after in this formula, developed by another mathematician based on research ...

NightScience 2015 – CRI Paris

NighStcience 2015 in CRI-Paris, 10-11 July –  Night Science is a mode of exploratory, innovative science, and as in previous years, it is an event that mixes talks with active hands-on experience. The event this year was marked by linking open innovation, social responsibility and entrepreneurship to science. The event was opened by as Francois Taddei highlighting the important of open ecology for sharing knowledge and solutions for problems that we face today. He also set the theme of the day by pointing to the need to link open science and social entrepreneurial ideas together.

The first session explored frugal research and responsible innovations

Melanie Marcel – SoScience – linking responsible research and innovation for social entrepreneurs. She provided an example of two social entrepreneurs from Burkina Faso who want to deal with malaria by developing a soap that include mosquito repellent to allow use without changing behaviour, but they had problems in making the ingredient in the soap stable, so through SoScience, they are linked to a laboratory who research how to make it happen. SoScience seeing themselves as part of responsible research and innovation, and have links with universities, and with companies (such as GE Healthcare). There is a chance to change the system in terms of relationship between society and science – who is it done for, and what problems are addressed. She also emphasised the examples of frugal innovations and science as part of the way to solve the challenges that she is dealing with it.

Marc Chooljian – Tekla Labs – volunteer organisation, run by PhD students in UCB UCSF. They are creating a network of building or using scientific equipment to allow more people to be involved in science. The access to the devices themselves is a major obstacles, and some scientific instruments can be made much cheaper than they are now. He noted that everybody should be a maker – building something help to understand the process, and how things work. But there are obstacles that they need to know – technical, safety, so there is a need for detailed information from other people who are familiar with the equipment. Tekla Labs trying to provide information that can be used within scientific processes. Unlike general DIY, there is a need to set standards of posting information to make scientific tools valid and suitable for producing results that will be accepted in publications. The process is to assess needs for some tools, then gather ideas (e.g. “build my lab” contest on Instructable), then test and edit, and provide designs to users. Design includes a lot of engineering experience, but once someone tried to build an equipment, they can share information back to those who are designing so they can change and update the design. A survey that was carried out in Argentina/Peru – there are many scientists who are willing to create their own equipment if the information is given. An example of contest included different pieces of equipment in instructable. Testing the devices and seeing how they are being used as to close the loop is currently a challenge. Need to happen by users who are not the developers.

David Ott – Red Labs: humanitarian Fab Labs by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). One of the oldest humanitarian organisations, focusing on victims of armed conflicts. The ICRC was inspired by the Fab Labs from MIT, taking the ability of maker/DIY culture in humanitarian action, seeing it as support operations and empower beneficiaries, allowing the ICRC work with the crowd to solve problems that they encounter. There are challenges in how to transport such a lab or use existing equipment in the place, securing the lab (ICRC suffered from looting of their stores in the past). Potential use is for prosthetics although making it work can be challenging in terms of specifications. There are stringent requirements on medical devices in terms of quality and certifications. Another issue is scaling up in terms of speed and quantity – what happen if you need thousands of objects?  He suggested an ‘ideal humanitarian thing’ with the following qualities: Do no harm, functional, parametric (you can change it easily in size and other properties easily to change design), editable, scalable, tool independent, material independent. They are looking for more use cases, and start with a ‘mini Red Lab Kit’ and then consider collaborations with national RCs.

The second session focused on the pursuit of Open Science

Michaël Bon covered the ‘Self Journal of Science‘. Scientists are forced to publish in ‘impact factor’ journals – there is a need to free ourselves from this tyranny. Science is defined as unambiguous, transparent, falsifiable, need to be based of well-defined statements that are then tested in experiment, but all this need to lead to a publication that is therefore central to the process. The idea of the Self-Journal of Science is to try and create a repository of scientific information that allow people to collaborate. People put their papers, and each user can vote on the paper and its significant. There is also potential to make comments on specific parts of the articles and have a debate and discussion about the different parts of the paper. The interface will change the nature of the article, the people who comment have the same authority/importance as the article itself. The aim is to create a new logic of scientific process of sharing information and knowledge.

Samir Brahmachari (CSIR-OSDD) described his experience in Open Source Drug Discovery – for 50 years TB drug discovery was neglected, and there is a very small effort through bodies like the Gates foundation to create new drugs. When you don’t have resources you are focusing on frugal innovations and that was what he focused on. OSDD is crowdsourcing with a difference – started in 2007, collaboratively aggregate the available information (biological and genetic) on TB with the aim to create a computer model that will allow drug discovery. An attempt to follow the model of aircraft design in which the model allows a lot of experimentations in the computer and then to go to production only with the most promising drugs. To make a community, they created training, open web 2.0 platform, and communication. The platform doesn’t allow people to know the position in society (teacher/students) so all ideas are taken seriously. They put effort into making functional self-organising groups (manual created by students). Thousands of papers were read by students and used to annotate genes. When the most active students received computers as a prize, the advertisement on the back of the laptop brought more volunteers when they went to college. Infosys supported a full open source stack. People that contributed more than 1% became authors (45). OSDD education value was that some continue to a PhD. Within the participants on 5% had PhD, and many people came from less endowed institutions.

Denisa Kera talks about “Subalterns” laboratories – she looks at DIYbio in Singapore – her interest is from philosophy and designer, from an STS perspective. Science can be done differently in places like Indonesia, potentially creating new forms of laboratories that are looking somewhere between kitchen, lab, party, gallery and workshops and were all sort of stuff happening. People hacking coconuts,  with participants that from Indonesia, Taiwan, ex-Yugoslavia, Nepal, Singapore, Switzerland, Japan and other places. Such labs are happening at the edge of the system – Georgia, Indonesia, Thailand etc. There is ‘epistemic violence’ in R&D – it is transferred & applied in the South, adopted by the public by forcing it to society. It heavily dependent of material donation or through Corporate Social Responsibility to make it happen. There are also issues with researchers from the North interpreting ‘Local Needs’ and finding solutions. Instead we can think of open science, open access and open hardware. Open can also mean ‘post-colonial’ science. She also look at how open hardware travel between North and South, how it is used after the first build, as objects have longer life.

Jason Bland covered the Citizen Cyberlab activity SynBio4All. It aims to open the world of synthetic biology to the public and allow people to learn, support and study. They aim to create a SynBio community, started by design a community platform that will support learning and engagement. SynBio takes an engineering approach to DNA manipulations. SynBio has many applications – drug production, food, material and fuel, and potential synthetic organisms. He used an example of the project ‘The Smell of Us‘ which was part of iGEM competition. This year there is also development of a MOOC, for high school students, about SynBio.

Joel Chevier – a lab in your pocket. He thinks of the smartphone as a lab tool, to play with children. Smartphone is a great pocket lab. If you look at the smartphone and what is does in daily life make it very accessible – you want real-time, interactive, fit everybody perception, networked and sharing information. Will play science with it, and the game is to see the world around you, and see what is happening around you and also other people. Game such as draw a large circle on the floor, and see the blue point on the screen – the person outside look at what people do and see how the point is moving in space. He created a website for these activities.  Possible to also consider more sensors – e.g. thermodynamics through pressure & temperature.

The third session looked at the combination – frugal and digital education 

Guy Etienne discuss the activities in Haiti, how it is used for community development and learners empowerment. He noted that the world is fast-moving, and is very complicated. We need to adapt our strategy to different places. Society too often penalize young brains in terms of disadvantaged groups in society by depriving them of opportunities. Everything that student learn need to think how they use it to change their community for the better. The goals: critical thinking, rational judgement, strength of character, empathy (very important between religious groups and other divisions in society), operational leadership and change-maker skills. There are big political and economic risks – so need to have support of parents, community, government and students. The government resist change, but because the school is funded through tuition fees from the students, it allow the school to become a social enterprise, and to aim to generate funds to modernised the space, and use non-traditional sources (soap / acid from batteries for chemistry) to deliver education. The school is using sensing as part of direct engagement with science – using weather stations, seismographic stations to educate the students about the measurements that are direct to them. Instead of final exam in science, they are running a science fair that is aimed at teaching science for change-makers citizens, which mean demonstrating how science is relevant for their community. The school now have a robotics laboratory – so every student in the school will have to learn what they are and how to create them. In science fairs, they have 4000-5000 visitors. They aim to change the teachers of the future – change the mentality of students, attitude and abilities.

Ange Ansour – see teachers as constant tinkerers. The programme of the CRI that emphasise learning through research.

Celine Nartineau and Vanessa Mignan explored e-Fabrik, focusing on digital problem-solving initiative for youngsters and disabled people (I’ve seen that in ECSITE 2015). Linking young people from disadvantaged communities with disabled people in a fab lab, to consider solutions together. The lessons: working outside the comfort zone is rewarding.

Barbara Schack – access to education and culture with mobile media centre. Setting a media centre in Haiti after the earthquake helps in strengthening communities. Refugees spend on average 17 years in refugee camps and there are 50 million people in such status, so we need a new staple for these people – as part of humanitarian support we need to think of reading. Learning and access to information, playing. They work with UNHCR – they create with Philippe Stark an idea box that unfold to everything that you need to learn, play and create (video below, and the website is ideas-box.org)  They would like to work more places, and a priority is to support refugees from Syria and Iraq in Jordan and Lebanon.

Yogesh Kulkarni, (Vigyan Ashram – a center of Indian Institute Of Education (IIE) Pune). – talks about energetic schoolchildren in India. Need to teach students to identify development need of the community. Example is lack of social space in a village, and through participatory design and building the garden was built. It was design with Google Sketchup plan and use a lot of recycled materials. The students learn through ‘Socrates method of questioning’ after every task and linking that to the curriculum area. Questions on food, energy, engineering. Fab Lab provide the space to mix traditional tools and skills (e.g. carpentry) with recent tools (3D printer, Google Sketchup)

The fourth session was Innovation, Agoras and Citizen Empowerment

Cindy Regalado (ExCiteS, Citizens Without Borders) – describing the development of Barney, a kite that was developed in the Public Lab Barn Raising. DIY for her is about ‘for whom, by whom and for what?’ DIY is about critical making – the possibility to intervene substantively in systems of authority and power, and reflecting on infrastructure, institutions, and communities. She emphasised the importance of communicative spaces – they are allowing people to create a social process and the meaning of something can be only understood when it is used. creating communicative spaces is challenging. We need to consider to what lead people to frugality and need – not to assume that it’s all positive. Also need to consider privilege, acknowledge the technology hype and consider the true potential. She used examples from Public Lab to demonstrate her concepts. The DIY itself will not solve problems, but only expose the systemic and structural issues with society?

James Carlson talks about the ‘Bucket-works’ in Milwaukee (the School Factory) – they now have 100s of members, 90 start-ups, and 2 weddings from their original organisation! He see 8 varieties of collaborative spaces – hackerspace, makerspace, co-working incubator, arts collab, project collab, open democracy areas, citizen science and open health space, and community kitchen and open food. These types have things in common – models of resources and business. They become active through community interaction. All these are having bias towards lots white men, they are not linked to communities nearby them, individual transformation focus, trends to wards engineering science skill-sets not social, emphatic skills. The door is the most important technology, and need to convince people to join in and to go through the door. Need to help people to go through transition, learning how to participate in the context of collaboration, practice experimentation and failure and learning how to self-direct learning – and even the social interaction. How do we map the learning process for participants? How to we help to bring it to small places. There is too much economic focus in terms of driving, and need to have a more emphatic approach that highlights society.

Amber Griffiths (Foam) – Connecting Society with Science. Everyone funds science through their taxes, and science is better when more people contribute, there is an overwhelming lack of scientific literacy (from minorities -> to the educated pale/male/stale politicians), and science matters to people’ life. Within this context, scientists have love-hate relationships with citizen science. Examples from exploring frog disease, or mapping magpies which follows just the patterns of population. Can we move beyond the unidirectional model of citizen science and encourage people to develop their own ideas? There are ways to help – physical space to do the work, nudge to start and support, and access to existing knowledge. The London Biohackspace is an example for a community space and there are also Foam lab in Cornwell where people can create open spaces. One problem with physical spaces is that they are intimidating – male, already established social relationship, but they can be more collaborative. Access to existing knowledge is increasing with open access, that you still need to know that it exists, where to find it, and how to judge it.

Eleanor Rusack describes UNITAR GeoTag-X. GeoTag-X allow to harvest media (photos/video/audio) about disaster and then analyse media collaboratively and then share it. The process is all with volunteers, and identifying experts volunteers. Photos that are collected are set into categories and are then classified. They also provide outputs that can be used by the Humanitarian Data Exchange.

Nicoals Huchet talked about ‘bionicoHand – a prosthetic arm created in a Fab Lab.  Started in 2002 when he lost his hand and started using prosthetic hand. The personal interest and exposure to fab labs he started developing a new type of prosthetic hand based on Arduino. He feel much more confidence with disability, and not about creating a business or making it cheep. In 2014 started sharing the information on websites and it started to be replicated. MHK – My Human Kit is based on technology and open source, social and educational involvement, social entrepreneurship,  linking disability and art and also contribute to humanitarian goals. He is working with INSA, fab labs and companies – working with geeks, disabled people and medical professionals.

Jaykumar Menon (McGill) closed with discussion on open innovation, humanitarian issues and human rights. He started with the Pasteur Quadrant set the basic research and applied research – according to human needs and interest. He had experience in the area of human rights and moved to the innovation world – and working to develop a network called Zakti, which is an innovation think-tank. He is interested to look at planetary scale issues and think of how to address them. The methods are suitable for open innovations: prizes, crowdsourcing, open innovation and complex collaboration. Used example of iron which is the biggest deficiency and impact 3 billion people – thinking about mixing it in salt as a way to double fortified salt (in addition to iodine). There are also issues with pharma, with a broken system in terms of R&D, development and production that OSDD demonstrate new ways of solving, so there are new ways of solving problems.

Final thoughts: As in the previous events, NightScience is a great event to hear about fascinating achievements and ideas from across the world that bring together science, society, innovations, education and technologies in a very helpful way. You leave such event with the spirit lifted.

Yet, a thought that was running in my head is that many of the issues are partially coming from desperation with the current systems in the world – inequalities, market fundamentalism, cutting public spending and expectations that individuals and groups in society will fend for themselves or else they are left without help. The solutions are mostly tinkering with the existing system and are very gentle in exposing its failures or trying to cause proper disruption that can change the state of things. My work included in this same critique.


First female President of the Republic of Kosovo among University of Leicester … – Leicester Mercury


Leicester Mercury

First female President of the Republic of Kosovo among University of Leicester ...
Leicester Mercury
... urban planner and geographer who founded the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA); Anita Linsell (Doctor of Laws), international businesswoman who served as Chair of the University of Leicester Alumni Association; Jane Esuantsiwa Goldsmith ...

Urban Physics

urban-physics

Papers on the notion that physics can help us articulate our understanding of cities are not new but there are several recent commentaries worth looking at. There is a short sharp one pager that articulates the new science of cities as being a new urban physics from the folks at CUSP. Download it here. And at MIT, Franz-Josef Ulm considers cities to be structured like various forms of materials. See the summary of his thinking in MIT Spectrum and the article in The Boston Globe. There are many different views of how physics can help us understand cities from their materials to their sociology and economy. This has only just started and I will post more about it as it emerges.

 

 

 

http://spectrum.mit.edu/articles/urban-physics/

Geospatial Data Abstraction Library: Building GDAL from source, and using it within MS Visual Studio

The GeoData Abstraction Library is a very popular library for converting and processing raster and vector data. It is used by popular GIS software such as the open source QGis, and can be used in proprietary software such as Esri's ArcGis. It can also be used within your own application to import and work with vector and raster data in different formats.

GDAL supports over 200 raster and vector formats, as well as provides tools and utilities for processing the data being imported, by reading / writing, transforming, converting, and so on. This makes it a very powerful and flexible tool for manipulating such data in one's application. One such example, specific to a crowd simulation software, is the ability to import geo-referenced real-world maps as raster (eg, geotiff files) and vectors (eg, shape files) in order to map the crowd based on real-world urban maps in the application. In the case of a grid based crowd model, the cell values in the raster data can be used to define the walkable areas for the agents. On the other hand, vector data can be used to provide the location of walls for an Agent Based Model.

That is an aside, coming back to GDAL, it is a library that can be used from a stand-alone command-line terminal, or it can be incorporated into one's own software for handling and manipulating georeferenced data by the software itself. In order to use GDAL into one's own software application, it's web page provides many tutorials on importing GDAL, however, the tutorials and files are split into several different parts, and it can be difficult to get to grips with obtaining the correct compiled libraries for use within your application. Alternatively, we can also build the library directly from the source files. For those who want to obtain the correct files and use it in your application, I thought it may come in handy to use obtain and use it using an example, so here are the steps for building GDAL as well as obtaining the compiled source files directly, and including the correct header and library files in an application.

Option 1: Building the files from source - latest version 2.0.0

This option requires you to build the files yourself, but thankfully it's a fairly easy process. You can download the latest source files as a zip file from the GDAL website by going to the 'Building GDAL from Source' link, and clicking on 'Download from source', alternatively, by clicking here. I downloaded version 2.0.0's zip file. Now in order to build from source, we follow the steps below:

  1. Extract the downloaded source zip files to a convenient location, as a working example, I'll use 'C:gdal200'.
  2. Open your Visual Studio Developer command prompt. For Visual 2013, it's called 'Developer Command Prompt for VS2013', and will be of a similar name for previous versions of VS Studio.
  3. Type 'vcvars32.bat' and press Enter, in order to set up the appropriate environment variables. Note: for 64-bit builds, the instructions are slightly different. Refer the 'Building from Source' section here.
  4.  Change the directory to the GDAL folder, eg by typing 'cd C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0' and enter. You can copy the folder location by opening it in Windows Explorer and copying the text in the location bar if you don't want to type it all.
  5. To set the location of the resulting library and header files, you can optionally edit 'nmake.opt' in the gdal folder, and set 'GDAL_HOME' to an appropriate location, eg 'C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0bld', or leave it as default at "C:warmerdabld"
  6. Type 'nmake /f makefile.vc' and press Enter. Wait around 5 to 10 mins for it to finish building. 
  7. Type 'nmake /f makefile.vc devinstall' and press Enter. Wait for it to finish.
We are all done, we've built from source and have obtained the lib and dll files for GDAL i.e . 'gdal_i.lib' and 'gdal200.dll' in the 'C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0' folder. Note: The dll version name willl defer depending on the version you are compiling.

The include and lib folders will be in the GDAL_HOME location, eg in 'C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0bld'.

Now, we have our library and header files, we can skip to the section on using GDAL in Visual Studio.

Option 2: Obtaining the compiled header and library files - version 1.11.1

Alternatively, GISInternals maintain compiled header and library files for use in your application. We can download compiled header and library files from the GISInternals website. We need to be aware of two things:

  1. Deciding what type of build we want, i.e. development, stable or release. These are basically different branches in the repository. In my opinion, it would be best to choose the release version, as it is the most stable of the three branches and can be used in production code. Heading to the 'Stable Releases' link, we find several more options, as I'm building a 32 bit version, I head to the 'release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1' in order to download the appropriate files. Here, we download the 'Compiled binaries in a single .zip package' (release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1.zip) and 'Compiled libraries and headers' (release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1-libs.zip) in order to include GDAL in Visual Studio.
  2. In terms of selecting the appropriate Visual Studio Version that you are using, it also depends on  the type of application you are building i.e a 32-bit or 64-bit one (this doesn't depend on the bit version of your Visual Studio IDE). 
Now that we have downloaded the binaries, libraries and headers:
  1. Extract the compiled binary files to an appropriate location, as a working example, I'll use 'C:release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1'
  2. Extract the compiled library files to the root folder of the binary files, i.e. the folder above.

Now, we have the 'gdal_i.lib' in ''C:release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1lib' folder, and 'gdal111.dll' in ''C:release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1bin' folder

First of all, lets look at the final folder structure for the above two options, they're quite different

               Option 1: The library built from source - version 2.0.0.

Folder structure for gdal built from source


Option 2: The library downloaded from GISInternals - version 1.11.1

Folder structure for gdal obtained from GISInternals


Using the GDAL library within Visual Studio

For completeness, to use the GDAL library within Visual Studio, we need to follow these steps:

1. Include GDAL's 'include' and 'lib' directories that we extracted above in the Project - Properties - VC++ Directories, i.e. Add GDAL's 'include' folder, in the 'Include Directories' path, and the 'libs' folder in the 'Library Directories' path.

Option 1: The library built from source - version 2.0.0.
 

Include and Library paths for gdal built from source

Option 2: The library downloaded from GISInternals - version 1.11.1

 
Include and Library paths for gdal obtained form GISInternals


2. Go to Project - Properties - Linker - Input - Additional Dependencies. Add the full path of the 'gdal_i.lib' file here, eg: 'C:release-1800-devgdalgdal_i.lib'

Option 1: The library built from source - version 2.0.0.

Adding gdal_i.lib file in the linker

Option 2: The library downloaded from GISInternals - version 1.11.1

Adding gdal_i.lib file in the linker


3. Copy the 'gdal200.dll' or 'gdal111.dll' file (depending on the version obtained) to the root of your Visual Studio solution folder, where the 'dll's' of other libraries are normally copied to.

You should now be up and running with GDAL in your application, and be free to start with the GDAL API tutorials within your application, as found here.

Geospatial Data Abstraction Library: Building GDAL from source, and using it within MS Visual Studio

The GeoData Abstraction Library is a very popular library for converting and processing raster and vector data. It is used by popular GIS software such as the open source QGis, and can be used in proprietary software such as Esri's ArcGis. It can also be used within your own application to import and work with vector and raster data in different formats.

GDAL supports over 200 raster and vector formats, as well as provides tools and utilities for processing the data being imported, by reading / writing, transforming, converting, and so on. This makes it a very powerful and flexible tool for manipulating such data in one's application. One such example, specific to a crowd simulation software, is the ability to import geo-referenced real-world maps as raster (eg, geotiff files) and vectors (eg, shape files) in order to map the crowd based on real-world urban maps in the application. In the case of a grid based crowd model, the cell values in the raster data can be used to define the walkable areas for the agents. On the other hand, vector data can be used to provide the location of walls for an Agent Based Model.

That is an aside, coming back to GDAL, it is a library that can be used from a stand-alone command-line terminal, or it can be incorporated into one's own software for handling and manipulating georeferenced data by the software itself. In order to use GDAL into one's own software application, it's web page provides many tutorials on importing GDAL, however, the tutorials and files are split into several different parts, and it can be difficult to get to grips with obtaining the correct compiled libraries for use within your application. Alternatively, we can also build the library directly from the source files. For those who want to obtain the correct files and use it in your application, I thought it may come in handy to use obtain and use it using an example, so here are the steps for building GDAL as well as obtaining the compiled source files directly, and including the correct header and library files in an application.

Option 1: Building the files from source - latest version 2.0.0

This option requires you to build the files yourself, but thankfully it's a fairly easy process. You can download the latest source files as a zip file from the GDAL website by going to the 'Building GDAL from Source' link, and clicking on 'Download from source', alternatively, by clicking here. I downloaded version 2.0.0's zip file. Now in order to build from source, we follow the steps below:

  1. Extract the downloaded source zip files to a convenient location, as a working example, I'll use 'C:gdal200'.
  2. Open your Visual Studio Developer command prompt. For Visual 2013, it's called 'Developer Command Prompt for VS2013', and will be of a similar name for previous versions of VS Studio.
  3. Type 'vcvars32.bat' and press Enter, in order to set up the appropriate environment variables. Note: for 64-bit builds, the instructions are slightly different. Refer the 'Building from Source' section here.
  4.  Change the directory to the GDAL folder, eg by typing 'cd C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0' and enter. You can copy the folder location by opening it in Windows Explorer and copying the text in the location bar if you don't want to type it all.
  5. To set the location of the resulting library and header files, you can optionally edit 'nmake.opt' in the gdal folder, and set 'GDAL_HOME' to an appropriate location, eg 'C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0bld', or leave it as default at "C:warmerdabld"
  6. Type 'nmake /f makefile.vc' and press Enter. Wait around 5 to 10 mins for it to finish building. 
  7. Type 'nmake /f makefile.vc devinstall' and press Enter. Wait for it to finish.
We are all done, we've built from source and have obtained the lib and dll files for GDAL i.e . 'gdal_i.lib' and 'gdal200.dll' in the 'C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0' folder. Note: The dll version name willl defer depending on the version you are compiling.

The include and lib folders will be in the GDAL_HOME location, eg in 'C:gdal200gdal-2.0.0bld'.

Now, we have our library and header files, we can skip to the section on using GDAL in Visual Studio.

Option 2: Obtaining the compiled header and library files - version 1.11.1

Alternatively, GISInternals maintain compiled header and library files for use in your application. We can download compiled header and library files from the GISInternals website. We need to be aware of two things:

  1. Deciding what type of build we want, i.e. development, stable or release. These are basically different branches in the repository. In my opinion, it would be best to choose the release version, as it is the most stable of the three branches and can be used in production code. Heading to the 'Stable Releases' link, we find several more options, as I'm building a 32 bit version, I head to the 'release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1' in order to download the appropriate files. Here, we download the 'Compiled binaries in a single .zip package' (release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1.zip) and 'Compiled libraries and headers' (release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1-libs.zip) in order to include GDAL in Visual Studio.
  2. In terms of selecting the appropriate Visual Studio Version that you are using, it also depends on  the type of application you are building i.e a 32-bit or 64-bit one (this doesn't depend on the bit version of your Visual Studio IDE). 
Now that we have downloaded the binaries, libraries and headers:
  1. Extract the compiled binary files to an appropriate location, as a working example, I'll use 'C:release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1'
  2. Extract the compiled library files to the root folder of the binary files, i.e. the folder above.

Now, we have the 'gdal_i.lib' in ''C:release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1lib' folder, and 'gdal111.dll' in ''C:release-1800-gdal-1-11-1-mapserver-6-4-1bin' folder

First of all, lets look at the final folder structure for the above two options, they're quite different

               Option 1: The library built from source - version 2.0.0.

Folder structure for gdal built from source


Option 2: The library downloaded from GISInternals - version 1.11.1

Folder structure for gdal obtained from GISInternals


Using the GDAL library within Visual Studio

For completeness, to use the GDAL library within Visual Studio, we need to follow these steps:

1. Include GDAL's 'include' and 'lib' directories that we extracted above in the Project - Properties - VC++ Directories, i.e. Add GDAL's 'include' folder, in the 'Include Directories' path, and the 'libs' folder in the 'Library Directories' path.

Option 1: The library built from source - version 2.0.0.
 

Include and Library paths for gdal built from source

Option 2: The library downloaded from GISInternals - version 1.11.1

 
Include and Library paths for gdal obtained form GISInternals


2. Go to Project - Properties - Linker - Input - Additional Dependencies. Add the full path of the 'gdal_i.lib' file here, eg: 'C:release-1800-devgdalgdal_i.lib'

Option 1: The library built from source - version 2.0.0.

Adding gdal_i.lib file in the linker

Option 2: The library downloaded from GISInternals - version 1.11.1

Adding gdal_i.lib file in the linker


3. Copy the 'gdal200.dll' or 'gdal111.dll' file (depending on the version obtained) to the root of your Visual Studio solution folder, where the 'dll's' of other libraries are normally copied to.

You should now be up and running with GDAL in your application, and be free to start with the GDAL API tutorials within your application, as found here.

19: Territories and flows

Territories are defined by boundaries at scales ranging from countries and indeed alliances of countries) to neighbourhoods via regions and cities. These may be government or administrative boundaries, some formal, some less so; or they may be socially defined as … Continue reading

L’algoritmo di Gale-Shapley, l’amore è in una formula matematica? – Yahoo Notizie


Yahoo Notizie

L'algoritmo di Gale-Shapley, l'amore è in una formula matematica?
Yahoo Notizie
Forse dovreste; secondo Hanna Fry, matematico del Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis UCL di Londra, questa formula può aiutarci in quasi ogni situazione, dal trovare il lavoro dei tuoi sogni, a far cadere tra le vostre braccia la persona che amate.

L’algoritmo di Gale-Shapley, l’amore è in una formula matematica? – Yahoo Notizie – Yahoo Notizie


Yahoo Notizie

L'algoritmo di Gale-Shapley, l'amore è in una formula matematica? - Yahoo Notizie
Yahoo Notizie
Forse dovreste; secondo Hanna Fry, matematico del Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis UCL di Londra, questa formula può aiutarci in quasi ogni situazione, dal trovare il lavoro dei tuoi sogni, a far cadere tra le vostre braccia la persona che amate.

Otkrivena formula večne ljubavi: Ovi parovi ne prekidaju veze i brakove – Story.rs


Story.rs

Otkrivena formula večne ljubavi: Ovi parovi ne prekidaju veze i brakove
Story.rs
Matematičarka Hana Fraj iz UCL Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis iz Londona tvrdi da može da predvidi rok trajanja veze. U njenoj knjizi Matematika ljubavi, naučnica otkriva da se trajnost veze očitava u tome koliko su partneri međusobno pozitivni ...

Otkrivena formula večne ljubavi: Ovi parovi ne prekidaju veze i brakove – Story.rs


Story.rs

Otkrivena formula večne ljubavi: Ovi parovi ne prekidaju veze i brakove
Story.rs
Matematičarka Hana Fraj iz UCL Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis iz Londona tvrdi da može da predvidi rok trajanja veze. U njenoj knjizi Matematika ljubavi, naučnica otkriva da se trajnost veze očitava u tome koliko su partneri međusobno pozitivni ...

How to use math to find the best job candidate – or spouse – Businessinsider India


Businessinsider India

How to use math to find the best job candidate - or spouse
Businessinsider India
Hannah Fry, a mathematician at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London, explains the theory in her 2014 TED Talk and recently released book, "The Mathematics of Love." Essentially, it helps you pinpoint when to stop searching and make a ...

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Otkrivena ‘formula’ vječne ljubavi: Ovi parovi ne prekidaju veze i brakove – Dnevnik.hr


Dnevnik.hr

Otkrivena 'formula' vječne ljubavi: Ovi parovi ne prekidaju veze i brakove
Dnevnik.hr
Matematičarka Hannah Fry iz UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis iz Londona tvrdi da može predvidjeti rok trajanja veze. U njenoj knjizi 'Matematika ljubavi' znanstvenica otkriva da se trajnost veze očituje u tome koliko su partneri međusobno ...

How to use maths to find the best job candidate — or spouse – Business Insider Australia


Business Insider Australia

How to use maths to find the best job candidate -- or spouse
Business Insider Australia
Hannah Fry, a mathematician at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London, explains the theory in her 2014 TED Talk and recently released book, “The Mathematics of Love.” Essentially, it helps you pinpoint when to stop searching and make a ...

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How to use math to find the best job candidate – or spouse – Business Insider


Business Insider

How to use math to find the best job candidate - or spouse
Business Insider
Hannah Fry, a mathematician at the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in London, explains the theory in her 2014 TED Talk and recently released book, "The Mathematics of Love." Essentially, it helps you pinpoint when to stop searching and make a ...

London Tourist Map

londonmap_oxfordcarto_excerpt

This lovely map, drawn isometrically with individual building detail, was created by Oxford Cartographers for Southeastern Railway back in 2006 as a weekend/tourist map, which is why the full map (below) prominently features London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross stations, and highlights tourist attractions in the vicinity of these stations only. Ignoring these specific modifications, the underlying map is really very attractive. Although the map is 9 years old and London is an evolving city, it is probably still perfectly valid as a tourist map today. The map has a nice perspective trick – although the buildings appear to be in 3D, and the map appears to be a birds-eye view angled, from the south, it is drawn with slightly larger roads and smaller buildings than in real life, such that the building detail doesn’t obscure the road network, making it still very navigable. A high density of street names also helps with the navigation. Although this style of map is quite a traditional approach, and “Walkable Streets”-type maps, aka Legible London, are becoming quite fashionable now (Oxford Cartographers are also involved with these styles), there is still a certain charm in this kind of map which makes noisy, grimy central London look, well, rather pleasant.

Frustratingly I couldn’t find anything on the web about this map so I’ve scanned it in and reproduced it in full below (low quality) with a higher resolution detail above.

Copyright Oxford Cartographers 2006.

londonmap_oxfordcarto_50pc

Call for papers – special issue of the Cartographic Journal on Participatory GIS

Call for papers on a special issue on past, present and future of
Participatory GIS and Public Participation in GIS.

DSC01463In the 1990s, participatory GIS (PGIS) and Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) emerged as an approach and tool to make geospatial technologies more relevant and accessible to marginalized groups. The goal has been to integrate the qualitative and experiential knowledge of local communities and individuals, thereby empowering local peoples and non-profit organizations to participate in political decision-making. By enabling the participation of local people from different walks of life, P/PGIS has provided a platform where these people can share their viewpoints and create maps depicting alternative views of the same problem, but from a local perspective.

Over the years, numerous applications integrating GIS and social and spatial knowledge of local groups have been developed. P/PGIS appears well articulated as a technique. With the growth of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), from an epistemological view point the relationship of P/PGIS constructs (society, technology and institutions) and the use of components (access, power relations, diverse knowledge) in P/PGIS necessitates an exploration of what P/PGIS means in 21st century.

A related field, Citizen Science a.k.a. public participation in scientific research is a research technique that allows participation of public in the discovery of new scientific knowledge through data collection, analysis, or reporting. This approach can be viewed to be somewhat similar in its implementation to P/PGIS, which broadens the scope of data collection and enables information sharing among stakeholders in specific policies to solve a problem. The success of all three concepts, citizen science, PGIS and PPGIS, is influenced by the Geoweb – an integration of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) (e.g., social networking sites) and geospatial technologies (e.g., virtual globes like Google Earth, free and open source GIS like QGIS and location enabled devices like the iPhone) – that allows a platform for non-experts to participate in the creation and sharing of geospatial information without the aid of geospatial professionals.

Following a successful session in the AAG 2015 Annual Meeting, this call is for papers that will appear in a special issue of ‘The Cartographic Journal’ (http://www.maneyonline.com/loi/caj). We are calling for reflections on PPGIS/PGIS and citizen science that address some of the questions that are listed below.

  1. What social theories form the basis for the current implementation of P/PGIS? Have these theories changed? What remains persistent and intractable?
  2. What role do spatial theories, such as Tobler’s law of spatial relations or issues of spatial data accuracy, have in P/PGIS, Citizen Science or crowdsourcing?
  3. Since Schlossberg and Shuford, have we gotten better at understanding who the public is in PPGIS and what their role is in a successful deployment of PGIS?
  4. Which new knowledge should be included in data collection, mapping and decision-making and knowledge production? To what extent are rural, developing country, or marginalized communities really involved in the counter-mapping process? Are they represented when this action is undertaken by volunteers?
  5. What role do new ICTs and the emergence of crowdsourcing plays in the inclusion of indigenous and local knowledge? Do new tech and concepts hinder the participatory process or enable empowerment of local communities? Do we have new insights on what could be considered technological determinism?
  6. Do we need to revisit P/PGIS in light of any of these shifts? How often do P/PGIS projects need to be revisited to address the dynamic nature of society and political factors and to allow future growth?
  7. How effective have P/PGIS and Citizen Science been in addressing issues of environmental and social justice and resource allocation, especially, from a policy-making perspective?
  8. Are we any better at measuring the success of P/PGIS and/or Citizen Science? Should there be policies to monitor citizen scientists’ participation in Geoweb? If so, for what purpose?
  9. What should be the role of privacy in P/PGIS, for example, when it influences the accuracy of the data and subsequent usability of final products? How have our notions of needed literacy (e.g., GIS) and skills shifted with the emergence of new technologies?
  10. How has the concept of the digital divide been impacted by the emergence of the Geoweb, crowdsourcing and/or neogeography?
  11. What is the range of participatory practices in Citizen Science and what are the values and theories that they encapsulate?
  12. What are the different applications of Citizen Science from policy and scientific research perspective?
  13. To what extent do the spatial distribution of citizens influence their participation in decision making process and resolving scientific problems?
  14. How have our notions of needed literacy (e.g., GIS) and skills shifted with the emergence of new technologies?

Editors: Muki Haklay (m.haklay@ucl.ac.uk), University College London, UK; Renee Sieber (renee.sieber@mcgill.ca), McGill University; Rina Ghose (rghose@uwm.edu), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; Bandana Kar (bandana.kar@usm.edu), University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg. Please use this link to send queries about the special issues, or contact one of the editors.

Submission Deadlines
Abstract – a 250 word abstract along with the title of the paper, name(s) of authors and their affiliations must be submitted by 15th August 2015 to Muki Haklay (use the links above). The editorial team will make a decision if the paper is suitable for the special issue by 1st September
Paper – The final paper created following the guidelines of The Cartographic Journal must be submitted by 30th October 2015.
Our aim is that the final issue will be published in early 2016


MRes Spatial Data Science and Visualisation

Screenshot 2015-07-03 16.56.43

The MRes course I direct, the ASAV (Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation) has undergone some changes and emerged, butterfly-like, as the MRes in Spatial Data Science and Visualisation. Ta-da!

The first thing to say is that the visualisation component is not any smaller. It was important to me that the course maintained the balance it has between science, social science and creativity. There is a lot of technical material on the course, but we’ve changed the structure in the first term so that students take modules on GIS (digital mapping and spatial analysis), quantitative methods (mathematical approaches to the world), and introductory coding (programming for visualisation and drawing) – and in doing so learn bits of Processing, R and Python. This isn’t to put off the designers, architects and geographers that study the course every year – rather, it’s to make sure they have the same skills as the people coming in from GIS, computer science or software development, and go into the second term with everything they need to do great technical work.

The other big change is that our students will no longer study spatial simulation – mathematical modelling of spatial systems – but instead will take a more data-driven approach. Data science for spatial systems will teach students how to work with larger datasets in databases and how to structure, query and analyse them. This will tie into the visualisation work as they understand and communicate large and complex data.

Finally, the dissertation is now assessed by a report and a paper – which means that research-minded students can work with supervisors to submit their work to journals and conferences all the more easily.

I’m excited about this new setup, and if it appeals to you, you can find more information on our course website, ask me about it, or apply here before July 31st if you want to start in September 2015. See you there!


18: Against oblivion

I was at school in the 1950s – Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Darlington – with Ian Hamilton. He went on to Oxford and became a significant and distinguished poet, critic, writer and editor – notable, perhaps, for shunning academia and … Continue reading

Het succes van een langdurige relatie wiskundig verklaard – Het Nieuwsblad


Het Nieuwsblad

Het succes van een langdurige relatie wiskundig verklaard
Het Nieuwsblad
Wiskundige Hannah Fry, verbonden aan het UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in Londen, heeft in haar meest recente boek 'The Mathematics of Love' een eenvoudige formule opgesteld die kan aantonen hoe als koppel een succesvolle relatie te ...
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Deze wiskundige formule berekent of jouw relatie blijft duren – Goed Gevoel


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Goed Gevoel
Wiskundige Hannah Fry, verbonden aan het UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in Londen, doet haar theorie uit de doeken in het recent gepubliceerde boek The Mathematics of Love. Ze gebruikt als basis het werk van psycholoog John Gottman, die ...

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Deze wiskundige formule berekent of jouw relatie blijft duren – Het Laatste Nieuws


Het Laatste Nieuws

Deze wiskundige formule berekent of jouw relatie blijft duren
Het Laatste Nieuws
Wiskundige Hannah Fry, verbonden aan het UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis in Londen, doet haar theorie uit de doeken in het recent gepubliceerde boek The Mathematics of Love. Ze gebruikt als basis het werk van psycholoog John Gottman, die ...

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