New Paper- Online Interactive Mapping: Applications and Techniques for Socio-Economic Research

I have a new paper published in Computers Environment and Urban Systems- Online interactive thematic mapping: applications and techniques for socio-economic research. The paper reviews workflows for creating online thematic maps, and describes how several leading interactive mapping sites were created. The paper is open access so you can download the pdf for free. The paper…

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Mapping the Global Urban Transformation

One of the best datasets for understanding the explosive growth of cities across the world in the last 75 years in the UN World Urbanisation Prospects research, which records individual city populations from 1950 to 2014, and includes predicted populations up to 2030. I have been meaning to create an interactive map of this fascinating data for…

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Environmental information: between scarcity/abundance and emotions/rationality

The Eye on Earth Summit, which was held in Abu Dhabi last week, allowed me to immerse myself in the topics that I’ve been researching for a long time: geographic information, public access to environmental information, participation, citizen science, and the role of all these in policy making. My notes (day 1 morning, day 1 afternoon, … Continue reading Environmental information: between scarcity/abundance and emotions/rationality

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Environmental information: between scarcity/abundance and emotions/rationality

The Eye on Earth Summit, which was held in Abu Dhabi last week, allowed me to immerse myself in the topics that I’ve been researching for a long time: geographic information, public access to environmental information, participation, citizen science, and the role of all these in policy making. My notes (day 1 morning, day 1 afternoon, … Continue reading Environmental information: between scarcity/abundance and emotions/rationality

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Data and the City workshop (day 1)

The workshop, which is part of the Programmable City project (which is funded by the European Research Council), is held in Maynooth on today and tomorrow. The papers and discussions touched multiple current aspects of technology and the city: Big Data, Open Data, crowdsourcing, and critical studies of data and software. The notes below are … Continue reading Data and the City workshop (day 1)

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A sense of new academic term

 

New academic term of UCL officially started on 22nd September 2014. Thousands of new students walk around the campus, and they fill Bloomsbury area with vibrant energy. Dr. Adam Dennett begun his GI Systems and Science class for new post-graduate students of CASA with welcoming slide on 1st October. In this year, CASA opened two new post-graduate courses: MSc SmartCities and Urban Analytics and MRes Smart Cities. Therefore, he has developed a lot of the course materials and structure for the students during last summer days.

 

On the same day, when CASA held SHOW AND TELL, which is a traditional CASA event to introduce each other, I apparently realised that the new term is just started! Most members of the lab came up and introduced themselves at this inaugural meeting.  

 

Emer Coleman’s seminar was followed on 7thOctober under the title of “Open Data and the City: Looking back and Looking Forward”. She explained open data as a way of engagement and empowerment and how citizen can be benefited and can participate in making better urban environment. Several good cases, such as Hello Bristol, were mentioned.


After the presentation, many questions were emerging from the audience. Transparency, security, effectiveness and so on. However, I was uncomfortable when she criticised, with some sentences from Adam Greenfield’s “Against the smart city”, big corporations that IBM and Cisco have been pushing smart city idea for money rather than people or better society. I could not catch the difference between the big brands, which get profit by providing new city systems and solutions, and her company, which get profit as well by providing efficient transport solution and application. There might be a matter of size.

These adventures would be enough to feel a sense of the new term. However, UCL email was unusually hacked on 9thOctober. All UCL students got 3000 emails (including me) with bello. It was a big issues not only in the campus but also in the UK as The Independentannounced. Steven Gray, a specialist of large datasets at CASA, analysed what has happened with his Big Data Toolkit and posted it on his blog.
 
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A sense of new academic term

 

New academic term of UCL officially started on 22nd September 2014. Thousands of new students walk around the campus, and they fill Bloomsbury area with vibrant energy. Dr. Adam Dennett begun his GI Systems and Science class for new post-graduate students of CASA with welcoming slide on 1st October. In this year, CASA opened two new post-graduate courses: MSc SmartCities and Urban Analytics and MRes Smart Cities. Therefore, he has developed a lot of the course materials and structure for the students during last summer days.

 

On the same day, when CASA held SHOW AND TELL, which is a traditional CASA event to introduce each other, I apparently realised that the new term is just started! Most members of the lab came up and introduced themselves at this inaugural meeting.  

 

Emer Coleman’s seminar was followed on 7thOctober under the title of “Open Data and the City: Looking back and Looking Forward”. She explained open data as a way of engagement and empowerment and how citizen can be benefited and can participate in making better urban environment. Several good cases, such as Hello Bristol, were mentioned.


After the presentation, many questions were emerging from the audience. Transparency, security, effectiveness and so on. However, I was uncomfortable when she criticised, with some sentences from Adam Greenfield’s “Against the smart city”, big corporations that IBM and Cisco have been pushing smart city idea for money rather than people or better society. I could not catch the difference between the big brands, which get profit by providing new city systems and solutions, and her company, which get profit as well by providing efficient transport solution and application. There might be a matter of size.

These adventures would be enough to feel a sense of the new term. However, UCL email was unusually hacked on 9thOctober. All UCL students got 3000 emails (including me) with bello. It was a big issues not only in the campus but also in the UK as The Independentannounced. Steven Gray, a specialist of large datasets at CASA, analysed what has happened with his Big Data Toolkit and posted it on his blog.
 
Continue reading »

Crowdsourced Geographic Information in Government

Today marks the publication of the report ‘crowdsourced geographic information in government‘. The report is the result of a collaboration that started in the autumn of last year, when the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery(GFDRR)  requested to carry out a study of the way crowdsourced geographic information is used by governments. The […]

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Second day of INSPIRE 2014 – open and linked data

Opening geodata is an interesting issue for INSPIRE  directive. INSPIRE was set before the hype of Government 2.0 was growing and pressure on opening data became apparent, so it was not designed with these aspects in mind explicitly. Therefore the way in which the organisations that are implementing INSPIRE are dealing with the provision of open […]

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GIS Course Note 02: Research Application, Software and Data Sources

The second lecture of GIS comprised mainly three parts, the examples of practical research by using GIS, GIS software and the way to gain relevant data for the research.  
In the beginning, Dr. Adam Dennett, the lecturer of CASA, informed the aim of the lecture to understand the basic elements of social science research using GIS and the diverse analytical approaches with it. He showed several example maps, which are related to population, crime, deprivation, health care, flooding, and education, and the way how to read economic, social and physical characteristics from the maps and its meaning in the projects. (Image 1)



Image 1



And then, he moved to GIS software industry which has been significantly growing. As interest and the utilisation of GIS are increasing, GIS software market is expanding almost 10% every year and now it is used in all industries and public sectors such as business, public safety, military and education. The popular GIS tools: Arc GIS, MAP Info, Quantum GIS, Pythonand R, and specific points of each tool were introduced. Also, small description of GIS cloud and online GIS tools was following. (Image 2)


Image 2

In the last part, he said of various kinds of the data and the way of gathering the data which is the key element to proceed the research. Easily, we can classify the data according to the way of gathering. On the one hand, we can use the open data, which are provided by public sectors and other organisations. On the other hand, we need to collect the data through participation and measuring by ourselves. Some websites of the UK, which contain the open data or shapefiles, and the characteristics of each website were mentioned. As we can see Image 3, some other methods like WebScarping and Volunteered Geographic Information were shown as alternative ways to collect the data by ourselves, when the given data are unclear, and the goal of the research needs the specific data.

Image 3

 

The lecture was finished with the emphasis on caution when using the open data and the mapping with it. Much of the data are made with inadequate formats like pdf, or do not include any spatial reference, so we need to be careful to collect and use the data. When it came to the mapping with the data, he insisted that it is necessary to make analytical and meaningful maps rather than something fancy or colourful. In addition, it is essential to acknowledge that some errors could be made by way of ‘generalisation’ in the process of research, therefore, setting up the range and the level of the research will enrich the quality of it.
 
After one hour lecture, students had a training session that mapping population data on the map of London Borough with R. (Image 4)
Image 4

 

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GIS Course Note 02: Research Application, Software and Data Sources

The second lecture of GIS comprised mainly three parts, the examples of practical research by using GIS, GIS software and the way to gain relevant data for the research.  
In the beginning, Dr. Adam Dennett, the lecturer of CASA, informed the aim of the lecture to understand the basic elements of social science research using GIS and the diverse analytical approaches with it. He showed several example maps, which are related to population, crime, deprivation, health care, flooding, and education, and the way how to read economic, social and physical characteristics from the maps and its meaning in the projects. (Image 1)



Image 1



And then, he moved to GIS software industry which has been significantly growing. As interest and the utilisation of GIS are increasing, GIS software market is expanding almost 10% every year and now it is used in all industries and public sectors such as business, public safety, military and education. The popular GIS tools: Arc GIS, MAP Info, Quantum GIS, Pythonand R, and specific points of each tool were introduced. Also, small description of GIS cloud and online GIS tools was following. (Image 2)


Image 2

In the last part, he said of various kinds of the data and the way of gathering the data which is the key element to proceed the research. Easily, we can classify the data according to the way of gathering. On the one hand, we can use the open data, which are provided by public sectors and other organisations. On the other hand, we need to collect the data through participation and measuring by ourselves. Some websites of the UK, which contain the open data or shapefiles, and the characteristics of each website were mentioned. As we can see Image 3, some other methods like WebScarping and Volunteered Geographic Information were shown as alternative ways to collect the data by ourselves, when the given data are unclear, and the goal of the research needs the specific data.

Image 3

 

The lecture was finished with the emphasis on caution when using the open data and the mapping with it. Much of the data are made with inadequate formats like pdf, or do not include any spatial reference, so we need to be careful to collect and use the data. When it came to the mapping with the data, he insisted that it is necessary to make analytical and meaningful maps rather than something fancy or colourful. In addition, it is essential to acknowledge that some errors could be made by way of ‘generalisation’ in the process of research, therefore, setting up the range and the level of the research will enrich the quality of it.
 
After one hour lecture, students had a training session that mapping population data on the map of London Borough with R. (Image 4)
Image 4

 

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The World Protests by GDELT

 


Image 1. All GDELT protest data for 2013. The image was captured from GDELT’s work. (See below)

Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) is a remarkable organisation to provide, freely, the data of all human behaviours, particularly protest, over the world since 1979. They are trying to make “real-time social sciences earth observatory” by updating the data every day. It is running by three researchers, Kalev Leetaru, Philip Schrodt and Patrick Brandt. 
 
If you visit their website and their blog, you would be surprised by their enormous data set as well as effective and nice visualisation. For example, recent GDELT’s work is showing protest movement in 2013. (Image 1) This interactive map illustrates how many protests have been raising in the world a year including Egypt, Brazil and Turkey, and we can recognise that the flame of protests are covering the world even though the data would not report all hidden protests.
 
Image 2. Syria’s civil war. The image was captured from GDELT’s work. (See below) 
 
Another map describes the terrific condition of Syria’s civil war in detail. (Image 2) Visualising the location, the number of violence per day and the period of the civil war together warns us how the situation is significant much more than just some sentences and images of broadcasting news. It was issued on The Guardian.  
 
However, the most important thing is their continuous effort to collect the data, sort it out and provide the valuable data for further research. Opening the data might not be an easy decision and it would be a extremely time-consuming work.
 
After visiting the website of GDELT, Networking City understood the importance of open data, its impacts and the power of visualisation, and promised to work hard and being more opened.
 
Continue reading »

The World Protests by GDELT

 


Image 1. All GDELT protest data for 2013. The image was captured from GDELT’s work. (See below)

Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) is a remarkable organisation to provide, freely, the data of all human behaviours, particularly protest, over the world since 1979. They are trying to make “real-time social sciences earth observatory” by updating the data every day. It is running by three researchers, Kalev Leetaru, Philip Schrodt and Patrick Brandt. 
 
If you visit their website and their blog, you would be surprised by their enormous data set as well as effective and nice visualisation. For example, recent GDELT’s work is showing protest movement in 2013. (Image 1) This interactive map illustrates how many protests have been raising in the world a year including Egypt, Brazil and Turkey, and we can recognise that the flame of protests are covering the world even though the data would not report all hidden protests.
 
Image 2. Syria’s civil war. The image was captured from GDELT’s work. (See below) 
 
Another map describes the terrific condition of Syria’s civil war in detail. (Image 2) Visualising the location, the number of violence per day and the period of the civil war together warns us how the situation is significant much more than just some sentences and images of broadcasting news. It was issued on The Guardian.  
 
However, the most important thing is their continuous effort to collect the data, sort it out and provide the valuable data for further research. Opening the data might not be an easy decision and it would be a extremely time-consuming work.
 
After visiting the website of GDELT, Networking City understood the importance of open data, its impacts and the power of visualisation, and promised to work hard and being more opened.
 
Continue reading »

ESRI Urban Observatory- the right model for city crowdsourcing?

This month ESRI made an interesting move into the field of global city data with the launch of Urban Observatory (TM). The site has some great interactive visualisation ideas with simultaneous mapping of three interchangeable cities, linked navigation and indicator selection. It provides an intuitive interface to explore the diverse forms of world cities- Furthermore this … Continue reading

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ESRI Urban Observatory- the right model for city crowdsourcing?

This month ESRI made an interesting move into the field of global city data with the launch of Urban Observatory (TM). The site has some great interactive visualisation ideas with simultaneous mapping of three interchangeable cities, linked navigation and indicator selection. It provides an intuitive interface to explore the diverse forms of world cities- Furthermore this … Continue reading

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The Open Data Revolution

A workshop on “Open Government: Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards” organized jointly by Dr Hanif Rahemtulla, Horizon Digital Economy Research and Puneet Kishor, Creative Commons in conjunction with the annual Open Source GIS Conference (OSGIS), June 21, 2011, Nottingham, United Kingdom. The workshop will be held at the School of Geography/Centre for Geospatial […]

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Call for Papers – Journal of Spatial Information Science Special Edition

Click here for FULL DETAILS. The term “Open Data” refers to the philosophical and methodological approach to the democratization of data enabling citizens to access and create value through the reuse of public sector information. Today, Open Data is gathering momentum and forms part of a global movement linked to Open Access and comparable to […]

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Call for papers – JoSIS journal special issue Open Geographic Information

Journal of Spatial Information Science (JoSIS) CALL FOR PAPERS – Special Feature on Open Geographic Information Guest editors:  Dr. Hanif Rahemtulla, Horizon Digital Economy Research, Nottingham University and Professor Paul Longley, Department of Geography, University College London. Call for papers This special feature aims to bring together some of the key developers, academics and writers on […]

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