Co-designing the Citizen Science Global Partnership

The workshop on the Citizen Science Global Partnership (CSGP) – the workshop included people from US, Brazil, Equador, Australia, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, as well as UNESCO. A range of interests in terms of citizen science activities – from health to ecological observations. Martin Brocklehurst summarised where we are – in the UNEA3: there … Continue reading Co-designing the Citizen Science Global Partnership

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European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) 2018 Conference – day 2: Beyond the deficit model, inclusiveness, libraries, and

The second and last day of the conference (day 1 is covered here) started early, with a keynote: “Science society continuum: From ‘deficit model’ to social demand on research – the reform of science in progress” Lionel Larqué, FR – [physicist and head the collaboration of education, civil society organisations, and science. Influenced partnerships between science … Continue reading European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) 2018 Conference – day 2: Beyond the deficit model, inclusiveness, libraries, and

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Science & Dissent – Day 2 – Morning session

The second day of the workshop (day one here) started with The New Technocracy: Scientific Dissent and New Forms of American Governance (Kelly Moore, Loyola University, United States) what are the political conditions of scientists in the US and what are the reorganisation of epistemology and knowledge. Dissent and political reorganisation are dependent on the forms … Continue reading Science & Dissent – Day 2 – Morning session

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Science & Dissent – Day 1

The Science and Dissent workshop was held at the University of Geneva on 1st and 2nd June 2018, hosted by the Citizen Sciences group Welcome and Introduction – Bruno Strasser opened, pointing Why now? When Trump won the election, Bruno felt that “the age of populism is back” – and within is we need to ask what … Continue reading Science & Dissent – Day 1

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Identifying success factors in crowdsourced geographic information use in government

A few weeks ago, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), published an update for the report from 2014 on the use of crowdsourced geographic information in government. The 2014 report was very successful – it has been downloaded almost 1,800 times from 41 countries around the world in about 3 years (with more … Continue reading Identifying success factors in crowdsourced geographic information use in government

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Geothink & Learn citizen science session

The following recording is from the Geothink & Learn lunchtime webinar. The call for the event stated: “Should it be only people with graduate degree who make extraordinary scientific discoveries? Maybe not. Citizen scientists around the world have contributed to new discoveries in fields such as astronomy, biology, meteorology, geography, public health, and more. It … Continue reading Geothink & Learn citizen science session

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Lessons learned from Volunteers Interactions with Geographic Citizen Science – Afternoon session

The context of the workshop and the notes from the first part of the workshop is available here. The theme of the second part of the day was Interacting with geographical citizen science: lessons learned from urban environments Volunteer interactions with flood crowdsourcing platforms – Avi Baruch talk is based on a completed PhD on the aspects of volunteers … Continue reading Lessons learned from Volunteers Interactions with Geographic Citizen Science – Afternoon session

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Lessons learned from Volunteers Interactions with Geographic Citizen Science – Morning session

On the 27th April, UCL hosted a workshop on the “Lessons learned from Volunteers Interactions with Geographic Citizen Science“. The workshop description was as follows: “A decade ago, in 2007, Michael Goodchild defined volunteered geographic information (VGI) as ‘the widespread engagement of large numbers of private citizens, often with little in the way of formal … Continue reading Lessons learned from Volunteers Interactions with Geographic Citizen Science – Morning session

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Participatory soundscape sensing – joint paper with Dr Chunming Li

One of the lovely aspects of scientific research is its international dimension – the opportunity to collaborate with people from different places, cultures, and necessarily practices and points of view. During 2017, Dr Chnming Li, of the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Science, was a visiting researcher in ExCiteS. Dr Li … Continue reading Participatory soundscape sensing – joint paper with Dr Chunming Li

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DITOs, Doing It TOgether Science – introductory video

The Doing It Together Science (DITOs) project is now in its 20th Month. It is a 3-year project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, that is aimed to increase awareness of and participation in citizen science across Europe and beyond. As such, it is focused on communication, coordination, and support of citizen science activities. Therefore, … Continue reading DITOs, Doing It TOgether Science – introductory video

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Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing – week 5 – Data quality

This week, in the “Introduction to Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing“, our focus was on data management, to complete the first part of the course (the second part starts in a week’s time since we have a mid-term “Reading Week” at UCL). The part that I’ve enjoyed most in developing was the segment that addresses … Continue reading Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing – week 5 – Data quality

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Citizen Science for Observing and Understanding the Earth

Since the end of 2015, I’ve been using the following mapping of citizen science activities in a range of talks: The purpose of this way of presentation is to provide a way to guide my audience through the landscape of citizen science (see examples on SlideShare). The reason that I came up with it, is … Continue reading Citizen Science for Observing and Understanding the Earth

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Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing – week 3 – Participation inequality

One of the aspects that fascinates me about the nature of participation in citizen science and crowdsourcing is the nature of participation and in particular participation inequality. As I’ve noted last week, when you look at large scale systems, you expected to see it in them (so Google Local Guides is exhibiting 95:5:0.005 ratio). I knew … Continue reading Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing – week 3 – Participation inequality

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Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing – week 2 – Google Local Guides

The first week of the “Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing” course was dedicated to an introduction to the field of citizen science using the history, examples and typologies to demonstrate the breadth of the field. The second week was dedicated to the second half of the course name – crowdsourcing in general, and its … Continue reading Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing – week 2 – Google Local Guides

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Launching a citizen science course – week 1

Today, I gave the opening lectures of the new UCL course ‘Introduction to Citizen Science and Scientific Crowdsourcing‘. In a way, it was more work than I originally thought, but I also thought that I’m underestimating the effort – so it’s not completely unexpected. Although I am responsible for the first installation of Moodle, the … Continue reading Launching a citizen science course – week 1

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Citizen Science Inquiry event and book launch at the Open University

Citizen Inquiry is a new book, edited by Christothea (Thea) Herodotou,‎ Mike Sharples,  and Eileen Scanlon – all are education technology experts at the Open University. To celebrate the book, the Institute of Education Technology organised a citizen science impact symposium.  These are my notes from the day. The day opened with Eileen Scanlon covered … Continue reading Citizen Science Inquiry event and book launch at the Open University

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Chapter in Routledge Handbook of Mapping and Cartography – VGI and Beyond: From Data to Mapping

Hot on the heels of the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice is the Routledge Handbook of Mapping and Cartography. The handbook was edited by Alex Kent (Canterbury Christ Church University) who is currently the President of the British Cartographic Society and Editor of The Cartographic Journal; and Peter Vujakovic (also from Canterbury Christ Church University) who edited The Cartographic … Continue reading Chapter in Routledge Handbook of Mapping and Cartography – VGI and Beyond: From Data to Mapping

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Caren Cooper’s Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery

Today, Caren Cooper new book Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery is going on sale in the UK. The book has been out in the USA for about a year, and it is a good point to review it. The library of citizen science books is growing – there are the more … Continue reading Caren Cooper’s Citizen Science: How Ordinary People are Changing the Face of Discovery

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Defining principles for mobile apps and platforms development in citizen science

In December 2016, ECSA and the Natural History Museum in Berlin organised a  workshop on analysing apps, platforms, and portals for citizen science projects. Now, the report from the workshop has evolved into an open peer review paper on RIO Journal. RIO is worth noticing: is “The Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) journal” and what … Continue reading Defining principles for mobile apps and platforms development in citizen science

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Chapter in ‘Understanding Spatial Media’ on VGI & Citizen Science

The book ‘Understanding Spatial Media‘ came out earlier this year. The project is the result of joint effort of the editors Rob Kitchin (NUI Maynooth, Ireland), Tracey P. Lauriault (Carleton University, Canada), and Matthew W. Wilson (University of Kentucky, USA). The book is filling the need to review and explain what happened in the part 20 years, with the increase use … Continue reading Chapter in ‘Understanding Spatial Media’ on VGI & Citizen Science

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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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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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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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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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Citizen Science 2017 – workshops day and opening panel

The Citizen Science Association conference is held at the River Center in St Paul, Minnesota on 17th to 20th May. This post and the following ones are notes that were taken during the meeting in the sessions that I’ve attended. Wednesday was dedicated to workshops, and I joined the Citizen Science at College level workshop. Organised by Thomas … Continue reading Citizen Science 2017 – workshops day and opening panel

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Call for Papers in a special issue of Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation on citizen science

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation is a new open access journal, addressing the interdisciplinary field that links different aspects of remote sensing (the use of different imaging and sensing technologies) and the field of ecology and conservation. It is publishing its papers in Open Access, so the papers are free to download and share. … Continue reading Call for Papers in a special issue of Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation on citizen science

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Paper: GeoKey – open infrastructure for community mapping and science

The special issue of the Human Computation Journal (see the details of the editorial here), summarises the result from the EU FP7 “Citizen Cyberlab” project. One of the outcomes of the project is the development of the GeoKey platform for participatory mapping. Therefore, a paper that was written with Oliver Roick and Claire Ellul explains … Continue reading Paper: GeoKey – open infrastructure for community mapping and science

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Into the night – training day on citizen science slides

Last December, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) awarded funding to UCL Extreme Citizen Science group and Earthwatch as part of their investment in public engagement. The projects are all short – they start from January to March and included public engagement and training to early career researchers. “Into the Night” highlights the importance of light … Continue reading Into the night – training day on citizen science slides

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Public Participation GIS and Participatory GIS in the Era of GeoWeb – editorial for a special issue

As part of the AAG 2015 conference, Bandana Kar, Rina Ghose, Renee Sieber and I organised a set of sessions on Public Participation GIS – you can read the summary here. After the conference, we’ve organised a special issue of the Cartographic Journal (thanks to Alex Kent, the journal editor) dedicated to current perspectives of public participation … Continue reading Public Participation GIS and Participatory GIS in the Era of GeoWeb – editorial for a special issue

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A Shared Perspective for PGIS and VGI – new paper

Part of the special issue on Public Participation GIS that was published in The Cartographic Journal, was a paper that was led by Jeroen Verplanke (ITC). This paper goes back to the workshop on participatory GIS in 2013, that was the leaving event for Dr Mike McCall in ITC, after which he continue to work in UNAM, Mexico. … Continue reading A Shared Perspective for PGIS and VGI – new paper

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Authoritative and VGI in a Developing Country: A Comparative Case Study of Road Datasets in Nairobi

The motivation behind the paper was that while there are numerous studies comparing VGI to authoritative data in the developed world, there are very few that do so in developing world. In order to address this issue in the paper we compare the quality of authoritative road data (i.e. from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development – RCMRD) and non-authoritative crowdsourced road data (i.e. from OpenStreetMap (OSM) and Google’s Map Maker) in conjunction with population data in and around Nairobi, Kenya.

Results from our analysis show variability in coverage between all these datasets. RCMRD provided the most complete, albeit less current, coverage when taking into account the entire study area, while OSM and Map Maker showed a degradation of coverage as one moves from central Nairobi towards more rural areas. Further information including the abstract to our paper, some figures and full reference is given below.

Abstract:

With volunteered geographic information (VGI) platforms such as OpenStreetMap (OSM) becoming increasingly popular, we are faced with the challenge of assessing the quality of their content, in order to better understand its place relative to the authoritative content of more traditional sources. Until now, studies have focused primarily on developed countries, showing that VGI content can match or even surpass the quality of authoritative sources, with very few studies in developing countries. In this paper we compare the quality of authoritative (data from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development – RCMRD) and non-authoritative (data from OSM and Google’s Map Maker) road data in conjunction with population data in and around Nairobi, Kenya. Results show variability in coverage between all these datasets. RCMRD provided the most complete, albeit less current, coverage when taking into account the entire study area, while OSM and Map Maker showed a degradation of coverage as one moves from central Nairobi towards rural areas. Furthermore, OSM had higher content density in large slums, surpassing the authoritative datasets at these locations, while Map Maker showed better coverage in rural housing areas. These results suggest a greater need for a more inclusive approach using VGI to supplement gaps in authoritative data in developing nations.

Keywords: Volunteered Geographic Information; Crowdsourcing; Road Networks; Population Data; Kenya  
Road Coverage per km2
Pairwise difference in road coverage. Clockwise from top left: i) RCMRD 2011 versus Map Maker 2014; ii) RCMRD 2011 versus OSM 2011; iii) RCMRD 2011 versus OSM 2014; iv) OSM 2014 versus Map Maker 2014 (Red cells: first layer has higher coverage; Green cells: second layer has higher coverage).

Full Reference:

Mahabir, R., Stefanidis, A., Croitoru, A., Crooks, A.T. and Agouris, P. (2017), “Authoritative and Volunteered Geographical Information in a Developing Country: A Comparative Case Study of Road Datasets in Nairobi, Kenya”, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 6(1): 24, doi:10.3390/ijgi6010024.

As always any thoughts or comments about this work are welcome.

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Authoritative and VGI in a Developing Country: A Comparative Case Study of Road Datasets in Nairobi

The motivation behind the paper was that while there are numerous studies comparing VGI to authoritative data in the developed world, there are very few that do so in developing world. In order to address this issue in the paper we compare the quality of authoritative road data (i.e. from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development – RCMRD) and non-authoritative crowdsourced road data (i.e. from OpenStreetMap (OSM) and Google’s Map Maker) in conjunction with population data in and around Nairobi, Kenya.

Results from our analysis show variability in coverage between all these datasets. RCMRD provided the most complete, albeit less current, coverage when taking into account the entire study area, while OSM and Map Maker showed a degradation of coverage as one moves from central Nairobi towards more rural areas. Further information including the abstract to our paper, some figures and full reference is given below.

Abstract:

With volunteered geographic information (VGI) platforms such as OpenStreetMap (OSM) becoming increasingly popular, we are faced with the challenge of assessing the quality of their content, in order to better understand its place relative to the authoritative content of more traditional sources. Until now, studies have focused primarily on developed countries, showing that VGI content can match or even surpass the quality of authoritative sources, with very few studies in developing countries. In this paper we compare the quality of authoritative (data from the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development – RCMRD) and non-authoritative (data from OSM and Google’s Map Maker) road data in conjunction with population data in and around Nairobi, Kenya. Results show variability in coverage between all these datasets. RCMRD provided the most complete, albeit less current, coverage when taking into account the entire study area, while OSM and Map Maker showed a degradation of coverage as one moves from central Nairobi towards rural areas. Furthermore, OSM had higher content density in large slums, surpassing the authoritative datasets at these locations, while Map Maker showed better coverage in rural housing areas. These results suggest a greater need for a more inclusive approach using VGI to supplement gaps in authoritative data in developing nations.

Keywords: Volunteered Geographic Information; Crowdsourcing; Road Networks; Population Data; Kenya  
Road Coverage per km2
Pairwise difference in road coverage. Clockwise from top left: i) RCMRD 2011 versus Map Maker 2014; ii) RCMRD 2011 versus OSM 2011; iii) RCMRD 2011 versus OSM 2014; iv) OSM 2014 versus Map Maker 2014 (Red cells: first layer has higher coverage; Green cells: second layer has higher coverage).

Full Reference:

Mahabir, R., Stefanidis, A., Croitoru, A., Crooks, A.T. and Agouris, P. (2017), “Authoritative and Volunteered Geographical Information in a Developing Country: A Comparative Case Study of Road Datasets in Nairobi, Kenya”, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 6(1): 24, doi:10.3390/ijgi6010024.

As always any thoughts or comments about this work are welcome.

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The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science

‘The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science’ is a fairly slim and small format book. Darlene Cavalier and Eric B. Kennedy edited this short collection of papers that came out earlier in 2016. The book is part of a series, from the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes (CSPO) at Arizona State University. The series aims are … Continue reading The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science

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Crowdsourcing the Future?

About a month ago, on 7th December 2016, DR Kingsley Purdam (Manchester) organised a one day workshop on citizen science, and in particular on citizen science from a social science methodological perspective. The day organised with the support of the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM). The purpose of the workshop/conference was to explore the … Continue reading Crowdsourcing the Future?

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The Potential of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Future Transport Systems

An aspect of collaborative projects is that they start slowly, and as they become effective and productive, they reached their end! The COST Energic (European Network for Research into Geographic Information Crowdsourcing) led to many useful activities, with some of them leading to academic papers. From COST Energic, we’ve got the European Handbook on Crowdsourced Geographic … Continue reading The Potential of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) in Future Transport Systems

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UCL Synergies podcast – Congo Citizen Science

The “UCL Synergies podcasts” is series of interviews with researchers who are working on a shared problem from two disciplinary perspective. It is part of the activities to demonstrate how UCL addresses the grand challenges. The series itself is an excellent  demonstration of the issues that come up in interdisciplinary research and you can find … Continue reading UCL Synergies podcast – Congo Citizen Science

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Has GIScience Lost its Interdisciplinary Mojo?

The GIScience conference is being held every two years since 2000, and it is one of the main conferences in the field of Geographic Information Science (GIScience). It is a special honour to be invited to give a keynote talk, and so I was (naturally) very pleased to get an invitation to deliver such a talk … Continue reading Has GIScience Lost its Interdisciplinary Mojo?

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