Latest Posts

Classification through consultation: public views of the geography of the e-Society

Although viewed by business and commerce as successful solutions, geodemographic profiling of neighbourhoods has attracted wide-ranging criticism in the academic literature. This paper addresses some specific concerns that arise because the derivation of classifications is rarely transparent and open to scrutiny or challenge. The substantive focus of the research reported in this paper is a nationwide geodemographic classification of how people engage with new information and communication technologies (ICTs). In response to the critique of geodemographics as a ‘black box’ technology, we describe how the classification was opened up to public scrutiny and how we conducted a major consultation exercise into the reliability of its results. We assess the message of the 50,000+ searches and 3952 responses collected during the consultation exercise, in terms of possible systematic errors in the shape and detail of the classification. Unusually for Internet-based surveys, we also investigate the likely reliability of the response information received and identify ways in which the outcome of consultation might be used to improve the classification. We believe that this is the first-ever large-scale consultation survey of the validity and remit of a geodemographic classification and that it may have wider implications for the creation of geodemographic classifications.

Longley, P.A., and A.D. Singleton. 2009. “Classification Through Consultation: Public Views Of The Geography Of The E-Society.” International Journal of Geographical Information Science 23 (6): 737–763.

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Creating open source geodemographics: Refining a national classification of census output areas for applications in higher education

This paper explores the use of geodemographic classifications to investigate the social, economic and spatial dimensions of participation in Higher Education (HE). Education is a public service that confers very significant and tangible benefits upon receiving individuals: as such, we argue that understanding the geodemography of educational opportunity requires an application-specific classification that exploits under-used educational data sources. We develop a classification for the UK higher education sector, and apply it to the Gospel Oak area of London. We discuss the wider merits of sector specific applications of geodemographics and enumerate the advantages of bespoke classifications for applications in public service provision.

Singleton, A.D., and P.A. Longley. 2009. “Creating Open Source Geodemographics – Refining a National Classification of Census Output Areas for Applications in Higher Education.” Papers in Regional Science 88 (3): 643–666.

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Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography (Fixed-term)

Department:  Department of Geography, University of Sheffield Ref No:  R07432 Closing Date:  11th August, 2009 Salary:  £36,532 – £43,622 per annum Summary: The appointee will cover teaching in quantitative areas of Human Geography, pursue an independent research agenda, contribute to departmental administration, and the expanding range of Masters teaching. The post-holder will have experience in […]

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Genesis: How to Build a Planet

John Conway’s “Game of Life” was one of the first things I ever wrote in Java, back in the days when we were using 1.1. This is a slight variation on the traditional 2D view, where the alife simulation is wrapped around a spinning globe. The results are shown below, along with the link to […]

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From Tile Pyramids to Population Pyramids

It’s actually a stacked bar chart rather than a traditional population pyramid, but the image below shows male/female population by age for all the output areas in England. The red thematic overlay is total population for every OA, which can be clicked to get the age group breakdown shown in the popup window. This map […]

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Big, Fast Crowds on the Sony PlayStation 3

Craig Reynolds first introduced flocking to the computer graphics area by creating the Boids artificial life simulation in 1986. It was a computer model of coordinated animal motion such as bird flocks or fish schools, that allowed for collision avoida…

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QMRG Prize 2009

I am pleased to announce that the QMRG prize for the best dissertation in quantitative geography will again be awarded in 2009 and that nominations are now invited. As in previous years, the prize is for the best dissertation in *any* area of quantitative geography, which include the application of existing techniques or the development […]

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As this is my first post, let me detail a little about me, and about this blog.I am currently studying for a PhD in Crowd Simulation in the Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London (UCL). I did an MSc in Vision, Imaging & Virtual …

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Geodemographics, Visualisation, and Social Networks in Applied Geography

This review begins by acknowledging the success of geodemographics as an important area of activity in applied geography. However, it then develops a critique of the conceptual and computational underpinnings of the approach, and argues that changes in data supply and online communication have rendered current practices obsolete. It presents elements of a new perspective, entailing: changes in the specification, estimation and testing of online geodemographic systems; adoption of consultative practices from online folksonomies; automated generation of pen portraits; and

Singleton, A.D., and Paul A. Longley. 2009. “Geodemographics, Visualisation, and Social Networks in Applied Geography.” Applied Geography 29 (3): 289–298.

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SpatialKey looks a promising new GIS based start up built around geovisualisation. Of particular note are the heat map visualisation demos which link both time and place.

It appears to be built in the new Flex framework which I think w…

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I have always struggled to find a nice easy way to create cartograms. That was until I found a relatively new tool called ScapeToad ( Within minutes I had generated a very appealing cartogram of London at Output …

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