What a treat it was to host the Center for Spatial Studies’ first Spatial Data Science hangout. Almost 30 usually dispersed graduate students crept out from their hiding places into the bright of day this Tuesday, having heard the call of an informal gathering of spatial data scientists. Initially smelling the hor d’oeuvres from C’est Cheese, they stayed to hear Dr. Janowicz propose two moonshot ideas to advance the field of Spatial Data Science. If we want to make Spatial Data Science a field with a vision, he imagines, we need a big, crazy idea to drive towards. What could that idea be? How about a Geo-Turing test: say a user asks a GIS question of a machine and is unable to tell the difference between a machine’s and a GIS analyst’s results? Or, as another crazy idea, how about detecting and resolving spatial trends of civil destruction, before the Great Filter is upon us?

Students then hopped into the mingling space to grab some Mediterranean food and discuss the ideas they’d just heard. What more was there to learn and do? What next could be done? Inter-lab discussion brought a chance to catch up with old friends and get new ways to think about these topics.


We plan to host many more productive discussions on a monthly or a bi-weekly basis by bringing together bright young minds in a space with some brain food and a provocative thought.  

If you were unable to make it and are dreaming of the pita, or have ideas for topics of discussion, please contact janowicz@ucsb.edu or join the Spatial Data Slack channel.


Join us for Spatial Data Hangout 2 on March 15!

The Lunch Incubator: A Spatial Data Hangout Recap