Latest Posts

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 […]

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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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Joy Division, Population Surfaces and Pioneering Electronic Cartography

There has been a resurgence of interest in data visualizations inspired by Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album cover. These so-called “Joy Plots” are easier to create thanks to the development of the “ggjoy” R package and also some nice code posted using D3. I produced a global population map (details here) using a similar technique in 2013 and since […]

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Harry Potter Map

Time Out London, in conjunction with official Harry Potter portal Pottermore, created this lovely map showing 18 places in central London that have featured in the Harry Potter books and films. From Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station, to the Knight Bus crossing Lambeth Bridge, the map allows you to construct your own Harry […]

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Dockless Bikeshare in London – oBike is Here

London has a new bikeshare system – and it’s appeared by surprise, overnight. oBike is a dockless bikeshare. The company is based in Singapore, where it runs a number of large dockless systems there and in China, Australia and the Netherlands, it is also likely coming to Washington DC in the USA and to Berlin … Continue reading Dockless Bikeshare in London – oBike is Here

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5 книжок про великі ідеї, які можна прочитати за один вечір – espreso.tv


espreso.tv

5 книжок про великі ідеї, які можна прочитати за один вечір
espreso.tv
Ханна Фрай “Математика любові: патерни, докази і пошук остаточного рішення”. Доктор Ханна Фрай є математиком у UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. У своїй роботі вона використовує математичні моделі для вивчення закономірностей …

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Roger Tomlinson’s PhD: The first in GIS

The late Roger Tomlinson is considered the “Father of Geographic Information Systems” and he completed his PhD in the UCL Department of Geography in 1974. Tomlinson pioneered digital mapping – every map created using a computer today still uses the principles he laid down in his thesis and its associated work creating the “The Canada Geographic […]

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The Powerhouse that Powers Our Smart Devices: Geospatial Analysis

Chances are, and most of the time, without you even knowing, you’ve used location services on one of your smart devices – be it your computer, your smart oven, your browser, or your favorite flavor of social media. It is, according to the Smart Future, a very clever idea for these services to do so […]

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New bridge opens over London’s Regent’s Canal, while proposed Camden Highline seeks crowdfunding – road.cc


road.cc

New bridge opens over London’s Regent’s Canal, while proposed Camden Highline seeks crowdfunding
road.cc
As we reported in May, the Camden Highline was originally conceived by Oliver O’Brien, a research assistant at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. His concept was picked up by North London website Kentishtowner.co.uk …

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Practical Applications of Geospatial Analysis in Science and Technology

Geospatial analysis seems to be one of those highly technical fields of science that seems to be only discussed in the realm of the academe, but don’t brush it off as such – it is a very important aspect in environmental sciences that plays a part in not just how we respond to calamities and …

Continue reading “Practical Applications of Geospatial Analysis in Science and Technology”

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PhD studentship in collaboration with the Ordnance Survey – identifying systematic biases in crowdsourced geographic information

Deadline 28th July 2017 UCL Department of Geography and the Ordnance Survey are inviting applications for a PhD studentship to explore the internal systematic biases in crowd-sourced geographic information datasets (also known as Volunteered Geographic Information – VGI). The studentship provides an exciting opportunity for a student to work with Ordnance Survey on understanding the … Continue reading PhD studentship in collaboration with the Ordnance Survey – identifying systematic biases in crowdsourced geographic information

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PhD studentship in Extreme Citizen Science – development of data collection tools with non-literate participants

Applications are invited for one PhD studentship as part of the European Research Council (ERC) funded project named ECSAnVis (Extreme Citizen Science: Analysis & Visualisation) aimed at a developer. Citizen Science is the participation of members of the public in a scientific project, from shaping the question, to collecting the data, analysing it and using … Continue reading PhD studentship in Extreme Citizen Science – development of data collection tools with non-literate participants

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Cambridge Conference 2017 – The Willing Volunteer

The Cambridge Conference is an event that is held every 4 years, organised  by the Ordnance Survey, and it is a meeting of many heads of National Mapping Agencies who come together to discuss shared interests and learn from each other. The history of the conference is available here. This year, I was asked to … Continue reading Cambridge Conference 2017 – The Willing Volunteer

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Broadband Speed in the UK

I’ve recently a published on CDRC Maps a map of Broadband Speed in the UK. This is the average download speed for residential properties, right across the UK. It’s based on data annually released by OFCOM (I’m using the most recent dataset from 2016). I’m using a Purple-White-Green colour ramp, where Purple indicates areas with … Continue reading Broadband Speed in the UK

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PPGIS 2017 – Poznan, Poland (Day 2) – Geodesign, applications and discussion

The second day of the PPGIS 2017 symposium (see Day 1 here) started with a session on METHODS AND TOOLS. The session opened with a keynote from Peter Nijkamp (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland) . The talk is titled “A big data dashboard architecture for computable intelligent city policy“. Peter noted that the … Continue reading PPGIS 2017 – Poznan, Poland (Day 2) – Geodesign, applications and discussion

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PPGIS 2017 – Poznan, Poland (Day 1) – different notions and tools of public participation GIS

These notes are from the workshop Modern Methods and Tools for Public Participation in Urban Planning 2017, held in Palac Obrzycko near Poznan, Poland on 22nd and 23rd June 2017 – the outline of the workshop stated “Researchers and practitioners of urban planning have had a variable interest in developing and applying methods of public participation … Continue reading PPGIS 2017 – Poznan, Poland (Day 1) – different notions and tools of public participation GIS

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SpareRoom is over. What’s next for Britain’s flatsharers?

There’s an air of arms race about flatsharing adverts of the kind hosted by sites like SpareRoom. All individuals want the same thing: to find other individuals, either to move into the spare room in their shared house, or who have a spare room to move into. And all agents and landlords want the same … Continue reading “SpareRoom is over. What’s next for Britain’s flatsharers?”

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London’s Hidden Rivers

As London swelters a heatwave, people in search of a cooling waterside stroll might notice that London doesn’t apparently have many rivers. There is of course the mighty River Thames, and a few others here and there visible. But there are many more that you don’t just come across – they are just hidden underground. […]

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Who is Hannah Fry? Mathematician, UCL lecturer and presenter of Horizon and Trainspotting Live – The Sun


The Sun

Who is Hannah Fry? Mathematician, UCL lecturer and presenter of Horizon and Trainspotting Live
The Sun
The 33-year-old is now a lecturer in the mathematics of cities at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. The research team include a unique mix of physicists, mathematicians, architects, geographers and computer scientists to study patterns of

and more »

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Who is Hannah Fry? Mathematician, UCL lecturer and presenter of Horizon and Trainspotting Live – The Sun


The Sun

Who is Hannah Fry? Mathematician, UCL lecturer and presenter of Horizon and Trainspotting Live
The Sun
The 33-year-old is now a lecturer in the mathematics of cities at UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. The research team include a unique mix of physicists, mathematicians, architects, geographers and computer scientists to study patterns of

and more »

Continue reading »

What is Britain’s Greatest Invention? Dr Hannah Fry and Ant Anstead present special BBC 2 technology show to find out – Metro


Metro

What is Britain’s Greatest Invention? Dr Hannah Fry and Ant Anstead present special BBC 2 technology show to find out
Metro
A University College London lecturer in mathematics of cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Dr Hannah Fry studies patterns of human behaviour, particularly in an urban setting. In her spare time she is a public speaker and gives talks

and more »

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