Latest Posts

Landmarks of London

We featured Bridges of London earlier this week. However, the public realm relating to the Thames is more than the river itself and the bridges crossing it. One of London’s defining features, in recent times, as the Thames has cleaned and the spaces beside it have become less-traffic choked, is its riverside frontage. This lovely […]

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The Benefits of Geospatial Analysis in Marketing

Marketing is much more than creating advertisements that are outrageous and eye-catching, it’s a fine and intricate process that people spend years in school learning about. It’s important to remember that without marketing strategies, small and large businesses would have an incredibly difficult time attracting customers and in turn, receiving profits. By taking advantage of […]

The post The Benefits of Geospatial Analysis in Marketing appeared first on GeoTalisman.

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Agent-Based Modeling Chapter

In the recently published “Comprehensive Geographic Information Systems” edited by Bo Huang, Alison Heppenstall, Nick Malleson and myself have a chapter entitled “Agent-based Modelling1. Within the chapter, we provide a overview of agent-based modeling (ABM) especially for the geographical sciences. This includes a section on how ABM emerged i.e. “The Rise of the (Automated) Machines“, along with a discussion on what constitutes an agent. This is followed with steps to building an agent-based model, including: 1) the preparation and design; 2) model implementation 3) and how one goes about evaluating a model (i.e. verification, calibration and validation and how these are particularity challenging with respect to spatial agent-based models). We then discuss how we can integrate space and GIS into agent-based models and review a number of open-source ABM toolkits (e.g. GAMA, MASON, NetLogo) before concluding with challenges and opportunities that we see ahead of us, such as adding more complex behaviors to agent-based models, and how “big data” offers new avenues for multiscale calibration and validation of agent-based models.  If you are still reading this, below you can read the abstract of the paper and find the full reference to the chapter.

Abstract:

Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a technique that allows us to explore how the interactions of heterogeneous individuals impact on the wider behavior of social/spatial systems. In this article, we introduce ABM and its utility for studying geographical systems. We discuss how agent-based models have evolved over the last 20 years and situate the discipline within the broader arena of geographical modeling. The main properties of ABM are introduced and we discuss how models are capable of capturing and incorporating human behavior. We then discuss the steps taken in building an agent-based model and the issues of verification and validation of such models. As the focus of the article is on ABM of geographical systems, we then discuss the need for integrating geographical information into models and techniques and toolkits that allow for such integration. Once the core concepts and techniques of creating agent-based models have been introduced, we then discuss a wide range of applications of agent-based models for exploring various aspects of geographical systems. We conclude the article by outlining challenges and opportunities of ABM in understanding geographical systems and human behavior.

Keywords: Agent-based modeling; Calibration; Complexity; Geographical information science; Modeling and simulation; Validation; Verification.

Full Reference

Crooks, A.T., Heppenstall, A. and Malleson, N. (2018), Agent-based Modelling, in Huang, B. (ed), Comprehensive Geographic Information Systems, Elsevier, Oxford, England. Volume 1, pp. 218-243 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.09704-9. (pdf)

1. [Readers of this blog might of expected the chapter would be about Agent-based Modeling, but its still worth a read!]

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Bridges of London

The River Thames is London’s defining geographical feature and its inclusion is almost mandatory on any map attempting to cover the whole of the capital. Bridges are most Londoners’ visible contact with the river, with over 30 spanning the river in London, including elevated crossing by the so-called “Underground”. As such, illustrated maps of the […]

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Changing departments – the pros and cons of being away from home discipline(s)

Last weekend, I updated my Linkedin page to indicate that I’ve now completed the move between departments at UCL – from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geomatic Engineering to the Department of Geography. It’s not just me – the Extreme Citizen Science group will be now based at the Department of Geography. With this move, … Continue reading Changing departments – the pros and cons of being away from home discipline(s)

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Highlights from RGS-IBG

PGRG Blog #3, September 2017 Negotiating Brexit: Migrant spatialities and identities in a changing Europe By Kate Botterill and David McCollum Three sessions on ‘Negotiating Brexit’ at the 2017 RGS-IBG Annual Conference showcased emerging research on the impacts of Brexit on EU and non-EU nationals in the UK, British nationals in Europe and on established … More Highlights from RGS-IBG

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New paper – Exploring Engagement Characteristics and Behaviours of Environmental Volunteers

A new paper that is based on the PhD work of Valentine Seymour is out. Valentine has been researching the patterns of volunteering in environmental projects at the organisation The Conservation Volunteers. In the paper, we draw parallels between the activities of environmental volunteers and citizen science participants. The analysis demonstrates that the patterns of … Continue reading New paper – Exploring Engagement Characteristics and Behaviours of Environmental Volunteers

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TfL seeking permanent customer wi-fi data collection on the Tube – Rail Technology Magazine


Rail Technology Magazine

TfL seeking permanent customer wi-fi data collection on the Tube
Rail Technology Magazine
Dr Hannah Fry, from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, added that wi-fi data offers a “completely new way” of viewing what’s happening underground, exposing the network’s pinch points and helping understand how and …
Wi-Fi use + big data analytics = better passenger journeys in London?SmartRail World (press release)

all 8 news articles »

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GDP may partly be “based on randomly generated numbers”

GDP is easy to describe. It’s one of the reasons it is so popular as a measure of what a country “does” economically. You just add up everything that’s produced in a given year, and subtract all the stuff that went into making it. What’s left is the genuinely “new” stuff the economy produced that … Continue reading “GDP may partly be “based on randomly generated numbers””

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TfL seeking permanent customer wi-fi data collection on the Tube – Rail Technology Magazine


Rail Technology Magazine

TfL seeking permanent customer wi-fi data collection on the Tube
Rail Technology Magazine
Dr Hannah Fry, from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, added that wi-fi data offers a “completely new way” of viewing what’s happening underground, exposing the network’s pinch points and helping understand how and …
Wi-Fi use + big data analytics = better passenger journeys in London?SmartRail World (press release)

all 8 news articles »

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TfL seeking permanent customer wi-fi data collection on the Tube – Rail Technology Magazine


Rail Technology Magazine

TfL seeking permanent customer wi-fi data collection on the Tube
Rail Technology Magazine
Dr Hannah Fry, from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, added that wi-fi data offers a “completely new way” of viewing what’s happening underground, exposing the network’s pinch points and helping understand how and …

and more »

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Crowdsourced: navigation & location-based services

Once you switch the smartphone off from email and social media network, you can notice better when and how you’re crowdsourced. By this, I mean that use of applications to contribute data is sometimes clearer as the phone becomes less of communication technology and more of information technology (while most of the time it is … Continue reading Crowdsourced: navigation & location-based services

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Pilot shows how WiFi data can improve Tube journeys – WebWire (press release)

Pilot shows how WiFi data can improve Tube journeys
WebWire (press release)
Dr Hannah Fry from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, said: “By doing this study, TfL have demonstrated the very real way that big data can benefit us all. Using WiFi to understand how people are moving through …

and more »

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Pilot shows how WiFi data can improve Tube journeys – WebWire (press release)


WebWire (press release)

Pilot shows how WiFi data can improve Tube journeys
WebWire (press release)
Dr Hannah Fry from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London, said: “By doing this study, TfL have demonstrated the very real way that big data can benefit us all. Using WiFi to understand how people are moving through …

and more »

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ONS report: New approach for producing population estimates by ethnic group

PGRG Blog #2, September 2017 The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes detailed population estimates by ethnic group for areas in England and Wales following each census. However, there are currently no reliable population estimates by ethnic group available at the local authority level for the years since the 2011 census. Given the user interest … More ONS report: New approach for producing population estimates by ethnic group

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RGS-IBG 2017 – The role of expert knowledge in socio-environmental policy and decision making

Notes from two talks from the session on the role of expert knowledge. Details of the session in full are here. The potential of citizen science to inform expert understanding: a case study of an urban river in London Iain Cross (St Mary’s University, UK), Rob Gray (Friends of the River Crane Environment),  Joe Pecorelli (Zoological … Continue reading RGS-IBG 2017 – The role of expert knowledge in socio-environmental policy and decision making

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RGS-IBG 2017 – Just air? Spatial injustices, contestation and politicisation of air pollution (session notes)

These are notes from some of the talks from the two sessions on Just air? during the RGS-IBG conference in 2017. Details of the sessions are available here and here. Passive, reactive and participatory governance of the air: three approaches under scrutiny Nicola Da Schio, Bas Van Heur (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium) Looking at infrastructures, … Continue reading RGS-IBG 2017 – Just air? Spatial injustices, contestation and politicisation of air pollution (session notes)

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Eight Ways to Better Flow Maps

As part of a presentation I gave yesterday at the RSAI-BIS (Regional Science Association International – British & Irish Section) annual conference on DataShine Travel to Work maps, I outlined the following eight techniques to avoid swamping origin/destination (aka flow) maps with masses of data, typically shown as straight lines between each pair of locations. … Continue reading Eight Ways to Better Flow Maps

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Smiley’s London

This map created by illustrator Mike Hall (who we’ve featured before) for Penguin Books, shows the locations in London that featured in John le Carré’s George Smiley spy novels. This is a lovely map, drawn from scratch and using a distinctive yellow/green and pastel blue pastel colour palette that evokes classic literary works and hand-printed […]

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Big Data, Agents and the City

In the recently published book “Big Data for Regional Science” edited by Laurie Schintler and  Zhenhua Chen, Nick Malleson, Sarah Wise, and Alison Heppenstall and myself have a chapter entitled: Big Data, Agents and the City. In the chapter we discuss how big data can be used with respect to building more powerful agent-based models. Specifically how data from say social media could be used to inform agents behaviors and their dynamics; along with helping with the calibration and validation of such models with a emphasis on urban systems. 
Below you can read the abstract of the chapter, see some of the figures we used to support our discussion, along with the full reference and a pdf proof of the chapter. As always any thoughts or comments are welcome.

Abstract:

Big Data (BD) offers researchers the scope to simulate population behavior through vastly more powerful Agent Based Models (ABMs), presenting exciting opportunities in the design and appraisal of policies and plans. Agent-based simulations capture system richness by representing micro-level agent choices and their dynamic interactions. They aid analysis of the processes which drive emergent population level phenomena, their change in the future, and their response to interventions. The potential of ABMs has led to a major increase in applications, yet models are limited in that the individual-level data required for robust, reliable calibration are often only available in aggregate form. New (‘big’) sources of data offer a wealth of information about the behavior (e.g. movements, actions, decisions) of individuals. By building ABMs with BD, it is possible to simulate society across many application areas, providing insight into the behavior, interactions, and wider social processes that drive urban systems. This chapter will discuss, in context of urban simulation, how BD can unlock the potential of ABMs, and how ABMs can leverage real value from BD.  In particular, we will focus on how BD can improve an agent’s abstract behavioral representation and suggest how combining these approaches can both reveal new insights into urban simulation, and also address some of the most pressing issues in agent-based modeling; particularly those of calibration and validation.

Keywords: Agent-based models, Big Data, Emergence, Cities.

The growth in Agent-based modeling -from search results of Web of Science and Google Scholar.
Hotspots of activity of Tweeter Users: Tweet locations and associated densities for a selection of prolific users.

Full Reference:

Crooks, A.T., Malleson, N., Wise, S. and Heppenstall, A. (2018), Big Data, Agents and the City, in Schintler, L.A. and Chen, Z. (eds.), Big Data for Urban and Regional Science, Routledge, New York, NY, pp. 204-213. (pdf)

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Big Data, Agents and the City

In the recently published book “Big Data for Regional Science” edited by Laurie Schintler and  Zhenhua Chen, Nick Malleson, Sarah Wise, and Alison Heppenstall and myself have a chapter entitled: Big Data, Agents and the City. In the chapter we discuss how big data can be used with respect to building more powerful agent-based models. Specifically how data from say social media could be used to inform agents behaviors and their dynamics; along with helping with the calibration and validation of such models with a emphasis on urban systems. 
Below you can read the abstract of the chapter, see some of the figures we used to support our discussion, along with the full reference and a pdf proof of the chapter. As always any thoughts or comments are welcome.

Abstract:

Big Data (BD) offers researchers the scope to simulate population behavior through vastly more powerful Agent Based Models (ABMs), presenting exciting opportunities in the design and appraisal of policies and plans. Agent-based simulations capture system richness by representing micro-level agent choices and their dynamic interactions. They aid analysis of the processes which drive emergent population level phenomena, their change in the future, and their response to interventions. The potential of ABMs has led to a major increase in applications, yet models are limited in that the individual-level data required for robust, reliable calibration are often only available in aggregate form. New (‘big’) sources of data offer a wealth of information about the behavior (e.g. movements, actions, decisions) of individuals. By building ABMs with BD, it is possible to simulate society across many application areas, providing insight into the behavior, interactions, and wider social processes that drive urban systems. This chapter will discuss, in context of urban simulation, how BD can unlock the potential of ABMs, and how ABMs can leverage real value from BD.  In particular, we will focus on how BD can improve an agent’s abstract behavioral representation and suggest how combining these approaches can both reveal new insights into urban simulation, and also address some of the most pressing issues in agent-based modeling; particularly those of calibration and validation.

Keywords: Agent-based models, Big Data, Emergence, Cities.

The growth in Agent-based modeling -from search results of Web of Science and Google Scholar.
Hotspots of activity of Tweeter Users: Tweet locations and associated densities for a selection of prolific users.

Full Reference:

Crooks, A.T., Malleson, N., Wise, S. and Heppenstall, A. (2018), Big Data, Agents and the City, in Schintler, L.A. and Chen, Z. (eds.), Big Data for Urban and Regional Science, Routledge, New York, NY, pp. 204-213. (pdf)

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TfL’s Corporate Archives

The Corporate Archives division of Transport for London recently held a short internal exhibition at their headquarters at Palestra, called “Mapping London” and showcasing new and old maps of London’s transport from the archive. Amongst the highlights included this Lego historic tube map. The Lego is modern but the map was one of the last […]

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Summer: It’s a Really Big Deal

This artistic map of central London attractions was drawn by illustrator Andy Smith for Chiltern Railway, as part of a promotion to attract families into London during the summer holidays. We like the bold and unusual colour scheme for the map, of maroons, pinks and oranges. It’s fairly unusual to see the Thames in pink […]

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Debunking Fact from Fiction – What Goes On in the World of Geospatial Intelligence

Many ideas involving geospatial intelligence seems to be one of those things reserved in the world of academia and nerdy twerps sitting in board rooms fiddling with their test tubes and scintillating telescopes – however, this stereotype can’t be further from the truth. In fact, the concept is quite simple and readily understandable for mere […]

The post Debunking Fact from Fiction – What Goes On in the World of Geospatial Intelligence appeared first on GeoTalisman.

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London Bay

It’s a typical August day in London today, with the rain falling pretty heavily and at least one tube station closed due to flooding. London’s greatest long-term flooding threat, though, is from isothermal expansion of the world’s water (i.e. it needs slightly more space as it heats) due to climate change. The above map was […]

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Mapped: 5,000 Years of City Growth

I recently stumbled upon a great dataset. It’s the first to provide comprehensive data for world city sizes as far back as 3700BC. The authors (Meredith Reba, Femke Reitsma & Karen Seto) write: How were cities distributed globally in the past? How many people lived in these cities? How did cities influence their local and regional […]

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Hoe realiseert u digitale transformatie met analytics? – Executive People


Executive People

Hoe realiseert u digitale transformatie met analytics?
Executive People
Dr Hannah Fry, lecturer in ‘the Mathematics of Cities’ bij het Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis van UCL (University College London). Fry bestudeert patronen in menselijk gedrag in stedelijke gebieden. Haar onderzoeksgebieden lopen uiteen van

and more »

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SAS organiseert Analytics Experience – Dutch IT-channel


Dutch IT-channel

SAS organiseert Analytics Experience
Dutch IT-channel
Dr Hannah Fry, lecturer in ‘the Mathematics of Cities’ bij het Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis van UCL (University College London). Fry bestudeert patronen in menselijk gedrag in stedelijke gebieden. Haar onderzoeksgebieden lopen uiteen van

and more »

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