GI Research Colloquium 2019

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Engineering & IT
Spatial Information Management

A series of talks on GIScience topics by distinguished scholars.

Geoprivacy Attitudes and Personal Location Masking Strategies of Internet Users in California

Location masking, or geomasking, is a practice typically undertaken by data stewards who wish to release a georeferenced data set without infringing on the privacy of those whose data are involved. With numerous daily opportunities to transmit our personal locations through electronic devices, individuals can use geomasking to stem the flow of their location data or otherwise engage in obscuring their locations. Relatively little is known about the factors that influence individuals to protect their location privacy, and the extent to which they do so. Joining a growing recognition of individual-level privacy efforts, this talk presents the results of a study examining the predictors of personal-level location masking and the relationships among geoprivacy-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Using a probability-based sample and an open online sample from California, the study finds that in situ personal masking behavior is consistent across demographic groups. A key attitude influencing whether or not individuals choose to mask location is trust in websites to protect their personal data. Greater knowledge about how location data are transmitted and higher concern for privacy are positively correlated with masking behavior.

Dr. Piotr Jankowski
is Professor of Geography and Department Chair, Department of Geography at San Diego State University. His website is available here.


Spatial Intelligence for Health

The relevance of spatial thinking and geographic techniques for the medical domain extends far beyond the traditional bounds of using GIS and spatial analysis to investigate public health phenomena in geographic space. With some imagination, medical concepts and practices can be seen as simultaneously existing in a multitude of different spaces. Once such an overarching spatial viewpoint is in place, health data can be transformed into engaging artifacts that support medical research, education, and practice. For example, medical records generated by intensive care units could be turned into nuanced representations of patients' health status. The written notes of medical professionals – from surgeons to nurses and radiologists – can be a rich source of insight, not only with respect to individual patients, but in surveying and monitoring the medical ecosystem. Meanwhile, natural language processing and machine learning can be used to organize biomedical research results into coherent knowledge structures. The presentation will highlight three projects that exemplify a spatial intelligence approach to health. These involve diverse data sources, namely (1) a corpus of two million biomedical research articles, (2) detailed clinical records for more than 10,000 ICU patients, and (3) a multi-year registry data base of several thousand heart attack patients. Dr. Skupin is a Professor of Geography and Co-Director of the Center for Information Convergence and Strategy (CICS) at San Diego State University. He is also an Associate Director of the Center for Data Analytics and Intelligence (CENDAI) at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague and co-founder of a start-up company that is turning several patent-pending technologies for text mining and knowledge engineering into commercial products.

Dr. André Skupin combines a classic cartographic education and 25+ years of experience in the global GIS market with long-standing interests in visualization and spatio-temporal modeling. He has developed novel methods for analyzing human mobility and social and environmental processes and has been a thought leader in knowledge visualization, where he has integrated disparate strands from natural language processing, machine learning, and cartography. He has a strong interest in accelerated transition of technological innovation into diverse application areas, from biomedicine to finance, management, and environmental monitoring.


Design, Dissemination, and Disinformation in Viral Cartography

Making and sharing maps is easier than ever, and social media platforms make it possible for maps to rapidly attain widespread visibility and engagement. Such maps can be considered examples of viral cartography – maps that reach rapid popularity via social media dissemination. In this research we share a framework for evaluating the design and social dissemination characteristics of viral maps. We apply this framework in two case studies using maps that reached wide audiences on Twitter. We then analyze collections of maps derived from and inspired by viral maps using image analysis and machine learning to characterize their design elements. Finally, we show how interactive systems can be developed to help explain patterns of social media map dissemination and disinformation.

Dr. Anthony Robinson is Associate Professor of Geography and Director of Online Geospatial Education Programs and an Assistant Director for the GeoVISTA Center in the Department of Geography at Penn State. His website is available here


Data Quality in GI: advances made, goals still to accomplish

This talk starts with revisiting of the findings by Devillers et al. (2010) of a “fairly uncommon exercise in academia, which was to ask a research community to reflect on its achievements and failures, in order to shape a research agenda through the use of a strategic planning approach. Academics are perhaps not the best placed to adopt the formula of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is too much in our culture to emphasize what is going wrong, not necessarily to build a future. It is also much easier to describe and criticize the past, than it is to predict the future. Yet, the research sector plays a key role in exploring weaknesses, turning them into strengths; and also in turning threats into opportunities. The past decades have seen dramatic improvements, particularly in mobilizing a community engaged on issues of spatial data quality. This strength creates opportunities. The combination of the growing penetration of geospatial technologies in day-to-day life, of the omnipresence of uncertainty in spatial data, and of an increasingly risk averse society is likely to put spatial data quality in an increasingly important place on the scientific agenda” (Devillers et al., 2010, p.397). I will update this with ten more years, particularly about the new data streams and the potential for crowdsourcing of data quality. Devillers, R., A. Stein, Y. Bédard, N. Chrisman, P. Fisher and W. Shi (2010). "Thirty Years of Research on Spatial Data Quality: Achievements, Failures, and Opportunities." Transactions in GIS 14(4): 387-400.

Dr. Nicholas R. Chrisman is the Editor of the Journal Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CaGIS). He has retired from a career at a number of universities in US, UK, Canada and Australia and has retained a connection to his penultimate academic appointment at the Department of Geomatic Sciences, Laval University. Dr. Chrisman has been working in the domain of geographic information for over four decades, developing innovative techniques to analyze and display information about the earth and the people who inhabit it. Some long-term themes in his personal work address data quality, deal with time and change, examine institutional and social settings of technology, and are documented in two books and numerous high-quality scientific publications. His profile is available at LinkedIn and researchgate.


Die GIP - Graphenintegrations-Plattform Österreich

Die Graphenintegrations-Plattform GIP ist der multimodale digitale Verkehrsgraph der öffentlichen Hand für ganz Österreich. Die GIP umfaßt alle Verkehrsmittel (Öffentlicher Verkehr, Radfahren, zu Fuß gehen, Autoverkehr) und ist aktueller und detaillierter als herkömmliche kommerziell verfügbare Graphen. Die Graphenintegrations-Plattform GIP führt österreichweit die verschiedenen Datenbanken und Geoinformationssysteme zusammen, mit denen im öffentlichen Sektor Verkehrsinfrastruktur erfasst und verwaltet werden. Dadurch eignet sich die GIP nicht nur als Basis für Verkehrsinformationssysteme, sondern vor allem auch für rechtsverbindliche Verwaltungsabläufe und E-Government Prozesse (z.B. Verwaltung von Straßen und Wegen, Referenzbasis für Unfalldatenmanagement, Datenbasis für die Verkehrsauskunft Österreich VAO und Modellrechnungen, Grundlage für Kartographie). Auch Verpflichtungen resultierend aus EU-Richtlinien wie INSPIRE (2007/2/EG) oder IVS-Richtlinie (2010/40/EU) können mithilfe der GIP erfüllt werden.

Der Vortrag bildet einen Überblick von den Anfängen, über organisatorische Strukturen, den GIP-Betrieb bis zu den Kooperationen mit dem Bundsamt- für Eich- und Vermessungswesen, basemap.at, der Verkehrsauskunft Österreich, um nur einige zu nennen, bis hin zu den zukünftigen Anforderungen und Aktivitäten.

DI Irmgard Mandl-Mair ist seit 2008 Leiterin des Projektes “GIS – Österreich” und seit 2002 Sachgebietsleiterin von „IT – Strasse und Verkehr“ beim Amt der Kärntner Landesregierung – Abteilung 7 „Kompetenzzentrum.