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Call for Papers – Symposium on Human Dynamics in Smart and Connected Communities: Agents – the ‘atomic unit’ of social systems?

Call for Papers – Symposium on Human Dynamics in Smart and Connected Communities: Agents – the ‘atomic unit’ of social systems?

We welcome paper submissions for our session(s) at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting on 5-9 April, 2017, in Boston.

Session Description:

By defining a social system as a collection of agents, individuals and their behaviors/decisions become the driving force of these systems. Complex global phenomena such as collective behaviors, extensive spatial patterns, and hierarchies are manifested through agent interaction in such a way that the actions of the parts do not simply sum to the activity of the whole. This allows unique perspectives into the inner workings of social systems, making agent-based modelling (ABM) a powerful and appealing tool for understanding the drivers of these systems and how they may change in the future.

What is noticeable from recent applications of ABM is the increase in complexity (richness and detail) of the agents, a factor made possible through new data sources and increased computational power. While there has always been ‘resistance’ to the notion that social scientists should search for some ‘atomic element or unit’ of representation that characterizes the geography of a place, the shift from aggregate to individual mark agents as a clear contender to fulfill the role of ‘atom’ in social simulation modelling. However, there are a number of methodological challenges that need to be addressed if ABM is to fully realize its potential and be recognized as a powerful tool for policy modelling in key societal issues. Most pressing are methods to accurately identify, represent, and evaluate key behaviors and their drivers in ABM.

We invite any papers that contribute towards this wide discussion ranging from epistemological perspectives of the place of ABM, extracting behavior from novel and established data sets to new, intriguing applications to establishing robustness in calibrating and validating ABMs.

Please e-mail the abstract and key words with your expression of intent to Andrew Crooks (acrooks2@gmu.edu) by 22nd October, 2016 (one week before the AAG session deadline). Please make sure that your abstract conforms to the AAG guidelines in relation to title, word limit and key words and as specified at:

An abstract should be no more than 250 words that describe the presentation’s purpose, methods, and conclusions.

Timeline summary:

  • 20th October, 2016: Abstract submission deadline. E-mail Andrew Crooks by this date if you are interested in being in this session. Please submit an abstract and key words with your expression of intent.
  • 24th October, 2016: Session finalization and author notification
  • 26th October, 2016: Final abstract submission to AAG, via www.aag.org. All participants must register individually via this site. Upon registration you will be given a participant number (PIN). Send the PIN and a copy of your final abstract to Andrew Crooks. Neither the organizers nor the AAG will edit the abstracts.
  • 27th October, 2016: AAG registration deadline. Sessions submitted to AAG for approval.
  • 5-9th April, 2017: AAG Annual Meeting.

Organizers:

  • Andrew Crooks, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University.
  • Alison Heppenstall, School of Geography, University of Leeds.
  • Nick Malleson, School of Geography, University of Leeds
  • Paul Torrens, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University.
  • Sarah Wise, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London.

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Animated Acton

acton-w3-map

Here’s a nice hand-drawn map created by graphic designer John Hathaway, of his neighborhood, Acton in west London, along with some local landmarks. We like the good, crisp cartography and the detail, particularly the individual trees and the Robin Reliant! Event better, here’s a speeded-up video of the creation of the map itself: Sent by […]

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Tate Modern Switch House: a New Perspective on London

High rise developments are often exclusive private spaces, as attested by the current glut of luxury flats, hotels and offices rising across Inner London. Even recent developments advertising their public space credentials have come up short, with for example the Shard’s fantastic views costing £25 entry fee, or the Walkie-Talkie’s ‘skygarden’ amounting to an expensive restaurant and some pot plants. … Continue reading Tate Modern Switch House: a New Perspective on London

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Putting Cartography Back on the Map – Google Maps Getting Prettier

There was a time when Google Maps was an ugly ducking. It started life as a road map, and its grey background was decryed at a memorable keynote at the British Cartographic Society annual conference 8 years, contrasting with the classic Ordnance Survey Landranger maps where the spaces between roads were normally full of “something” … Continue reading Putting Cartography Back on the Map – Google Maps Getting Prettier

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Science Foo Camp 2016

Science Foo Camp (SciFoo) is an invitation based science unconference that is organised by O’Reilly media, Google, Nature, and Digital Science. Or put it another way, a weekend event (from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon), where 250 scientists, science communicators and journalists, technology people from area that relate to science, artists and ‘none of the … Continue reading Science Foo Camp 2016

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Population Change in Great Britain 2011-14

The ONS publish small-area population estimates annually, for England and Wales, and the NRS similarly do for Scotland. By taking two of these datasets, we can see how the population of Great Britain is changing – births, deaths, internal and international migration and military deployments/homecomings all act to fluctuate the population. I’ve taken the 2011 … Continue reading Population Change in Great Britain 2011-14

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New paper: Usability and interaction dimensions of participatory noise and ecological monitoring

The EveryAware book provided an opportunity to communicate the results of a research that Dr Charlene Jennett led, together with two Masters students: Joanne (Jo) Summerfield and Eleonora (Nora) Cognetti, with me as an additional advisor. The research was linked to the EveryAware, since Nora explored the user experience of WideNoise, the citizen science noise monitoring … Continue reading New paper: Usability and interaction dimensions of participatory noise and ecological monitoring

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New Paper: The Three Eras of Environ-mental Information: the Roles of Experts and the Public

Since the first Eye on Earth conference in 2011, I started thinking that we’re moving to a new era in terms of relationships between experts and the public in terms of access to environmental information and it’s production. I also gave a talk about this issue in the Wilson Center in 2014. The three eras … Continue reading New Paper: The Three Eras of Environ-mental Information: the Roles of Experts and the Public

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Eat Well for Less?, Long Lost Family, Versailles, Boy Meets Girl…tonight’s TV highlights – Herts and Essex Observer


Herts and Essex Observer
Eat Well for Less?, Long Lost Family, Versailles, Boy Meets Girl…tonight’s TV highlights
Herts and Essex Observer
Cooking is a relatively simple affair. You buy some ingredients, go home and rustle up some delicious dishes. Except some people prefer ready meals to making meals from scratch, not caring about the amount of salt or other potentially harmful contents.

and more »

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FOSS4GUK Conference

I was at FOSS4G UK 2016 which took place at the new Ordnance Survey buildings in Southampton, a few weeks ago. FOSS4G is short for “Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial”, and the conference focuses on some of the key free GIS software such as QGIS and PostGIS. This was a UK-focused event, following … Continue reading FOSS4GUK Conference

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New paper: Using crowdsourced imagery to detect cultural ecosystem services: a case study in South Wales, UK

Gianfranco Gliozzo, who is completing his Engineering Doctorate at the Extreme Citizen Science group, written up his first case study and published it in ‘Ecology and Society’.  Cited as Gliozzo, G., N. Pettorelli, and M. Haklay. 2016. Using crowdsourced imagery to detect cultural ecosystem services: a case study in South Wales, UK. Ecology and Society … Continue reading New paper: Using crowdsourced imagery to detect cultural ecosystem services: a case study in South Wales, UK

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Creating the right environment for digital advertising to thrive – IAB UK

Creating the right environment for digital advertising to thrive
IAB UK
This year the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK’s annual flagship Engage conference has extended across two full days, for the first time ever. The event, which takes place at The Barbican, London on 12th & 13th October – promises to excite and wow …

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Food Maps

Here’s some arty maps of localities in London which have a distinctly culinary theme. “Edible Clapham” drawn by Lis Watkins and commissioned by Incredible Edible Lambeth – more a series of colourful, detailed drawings linked together by a walking route, it nonetheless is the map needed for a foodie tour of this trendy neighborhood: “Tootopia”, […]

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Esri User Conference – Science Symposium

  As part of the Esri User Conference, Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist, organised a Science Symposium that gave an opportunity for those with interest in scientific use of Esri GIS to come together, discuss and meet. Dawn Wright opened and mentioned that the science symposium is aimed to bring people people from different areas: … Continue reading Esri User Conference – Science Symposium

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Esri User Conference 2016 – plenary day

The main Esri User conference starts with a plenary day, where all the participants (16,000 of them) join together for a set of presentation from 8:30 to 3:30 (with some breaks, of course). Below you’ll find some notes that I took during the day: The theme of the keynote was GIS – Enabling a Smarter … Continue reading Esri User Conference 2016 – plenary day

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Fracturing Britain: the end of the United Kingdom?

Last year’s 2015 general election revealed a Britain that was increasingly fractured between nations, between the north and south of England, and between more prosperous metropolitan and deprived areas. But GE2015 has now proved to be only a staging post in the UK’s splintering. The momentous vote for Brexit in last week’s EU referendum threatens economic and political … Continue reading Fracturing Britain: the end of the United Kingdom?

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Esri Education Conference 2016 – day 1

I’ve been working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) since 1988. During the first 2 years, I wasn’t even aware that what we were doing was GIS – it was a mapping/inventory system that run on second generation PC (80286 processors) and was used to map facilities. Once I’ve discovered that this was a GIS, the … Continue reading Esri Education Conference 2016 – day 1

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Esri Education User Conference talk: Citizen Science & Geographical Technologies: creativity, learning, and engagement

The slides below are from my keynote talk at the Esri Education User Conference 2016. The conference focused on creativity and its relevant to education and the utilisation of GIS (especially Esri software) at different levels of education. My talk explored the area of citizen science and extreme citizen science and the way geographical technologies … Continue reading Esri Education User Conference talk: Citizen Science & Geographical Technologies: creativity, learning, and engagement

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Testing Map-Based UIs for Self-Driving Cars: HERE’s Knight Rider

I was kindly invited, earlier this week, to take part in “insideHERE” in Berlin, a small event run at the HERE HQ in Berlin. HERE, being born out of the ashes of Navteq and Nokia Maps, is now owned by a consortium of German car companies. For the special event, HERE’s developers and engineers opened … Continue reading Testing Map-Based UIs for Self-Driving Cars: HERE’s Knight Rider

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Hannah Fry: ‘There’s a mathematical angle to almost anything’ – The Guardian


The Guardian
Hannah Fry: ‘There’s a mathematical angle to almost anything’
The Guardian
Far from being a mere pop scientist, however, Fry is a much-published researcher and a lecturer at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), where she specialises in the mathematics of urban and social systems. After gaining her PhD in fluid …

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