Workshop: Spatial Urban Analytics and Crowdsourced Geographic Information for Smarter Cities

Workshop in conjunction with the 2017 Annual International Conference at the Royal Geographical Society, sponsored by the GIScience Research Group (GIScRG).

Large parts of the world population are living in urban areas and major cities tend to be constantly growing. Such urban areas are complex and heterogeneous systems and a deep understanding of related social, physical and interactional processes is a crucial prerequisite for reaching the goal of designing smarter cities, as well as to resolving some of the most delicate societal as well as scientific issues of our times. This requires strong urban-analytical approaches, in which geography takes a prominent role given its inherent holistic view of real-world systems such as conurbations. The recent emergence and availability of ever more data reflecting everyday human behaviour opens up opportunities for geographers and strengthens the geospatial viewpoint in the interdisciplinary field of urban science.

On behalf of the GIScience Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society, we are delighted inviting you to submit abstracts to our interactive session on spatial urban analytics. We welcome all sorts of methods and applications based on crowdsoucing, social media data, collaborative maps (e.g. OpenStreetMap) and mobile crowd sensing/citizen science approaches. We are interested in exploring the distinctive contribution of explicitly geospatial concepts and methods to the interdisciplinary field of urban analytics, and are thus interested in papers dealing with conceptual innovations, the extension of existing spatial data analysis techniques or the development of new methods that explicitly consider spatial issues (in contrast with more general, non-geographic computational methods). Aside of concepts and methods, potential applications that will be given consideration include all kinds of scenarios related to smart cities, human mobility, urban planning and others, as long as they make use of the emerging (near) real-time data sources to tackle urban challenges.

Session chairs

Dr João Porto de Albuquerque (University of Warwick)
René Westerholt (Heidelberg University)


Session 1 (chair: João Porto de Albuquerque)
  1. Welcome note - João Porto de Albuquerque (University of Warwick, UK); René Westerholt (Heidelberg University, Germany)
  2. A platform for measuring urban functionality from social media data – Chen Zhong (King’s College London, UK)
  3. The role of mobility in exploring spatial aspects of liveability using big data – Anna Gyori (University of Salzburg, Austria)
  4. Locating the social: Embedding spatial urban analytics into the operation of critical urban infrastructure – Philipp Ulbrich (University of Warwick, UK)
  5. How Twitter and Instagram can locate ‘food deserts’ and predict cancer rate: Studying dietary choices and chronic diseases in food deprivation areas in London – Elisabeth Titis (University of Warwick, UK)
Session 2 (chair: René Westerholt)
  1. The paths to knowledge – Danny Edwards (Edwards Stadsontwerp, Amsterdam)
  2. The use of Nature-inspired paradigms to strengthen Urban Resilience: Systematic Literature Review and Future Trends – Francisco Rivas (University of Granada, Spain)
  3. Characterization of urban blocks and sidewalks based on Volunteered Geographic Information and image-based social media – Tessio Novack (Heidelberg University, Germany)
  4. Kriging algorithm Optimisation for impactful integration into industry utilising a new data source to introduce ‘road distance’ and ‘travel time’ matrices – Henry Crosby (University of Warwick, UK)

Call for Papers

  • Spatial analysis and spatial statistics
  • Computational methods to urban analytics with explicit spatial considerations
  • Conceptual analysis and theoretical innovation related to the social implications of urban analytics approaches
  • Uncertainty and ambiguities involved to user-generated urban data
  • Studies involving user-generated geographic data from the urban context
  • Innovative visualisation strategies with specific reference to urban issues
  • Application of geoinformation in urban planning , smart city approaches and related fields
  • (Further topics are welcome that fit the overall session theme.)
Types of contributions

The session will be based on paper presentations and interactive discussions. We accept two different kinds of contributions:

Discussion abstracts (300 – 500 words)

This option allows for short contributions that you want to discuss with peers. We specifically encourage ongoing work at an early stage for this type of contribution. Early stage PhD candidates are specifically encouraged to present their research ideas to a specialist audience.

Abstract (300 – 500 words) + full paper to journal special issue (~6.000 words)

In addition to the short abstracts, we also offer you the opportunity to submit full papers (the latter of which are due at a later date, see dates below). These papers should present substantial results and will undergo a regular peer-review process for a special issue “Crowdsourcing for urban geoinformatics” of the T&F journal Geo-spatial Information Science (to appear in early 2018). Please indicate your preferred type of contribution in your submission.

Important Dates

12 January 2017: Call for papers opens.
5 February 2017: All abstracts are due.
15 February 2017: Authors are notified of acceptance.
30 June 2017: Long papers are due.
01 September 2017: Workshop takes place.

Abstract submission and further information

Please submit your abstract as well as the name, contact details and affiliation of prospective contributions to J.Porto@warwick.ac.uk and/or westerholt@uni-heidelberg.de. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have further questions.

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