New Spatial Visitor: Weiming Huang

The Center for Spatial Studies is happy to announce the arrival of a visitor to the center, Weiming Huang (September-November, 2019)

Weiming Huang is a Ph.D. student in Geographical Information Science at Lund University, Sweden. His research topic is “Knowledge-based geospatial data integration and visualization with Semantic Web technologies.” His research interests span geospatial semantic web, geospatial semantics, data integration, data visualisation, and machine learning.

His work can be explored at:

Please join us in welcoming Weiming to campus! He will be working at 3512 Phelps Hall during his stay–please feel free to contact him — — if your research interests intersect with his.

Spatial Center Receives NSF Grant

Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara participating in NSF C-Accel Pilot

View the complete news release at:

The Center of Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara is receiving research funding under the Open Knowledge Network track of the new Convergence Accelerator Pilot (C-Accel) by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Prof. Krzysztof Janowicz leads a diverse team of partners from academia, industry, and federal agencies. The team will develop Artificial Intelligence based models, methods, and services for representing,  retrieving, linking, and predicting spatial and temporal data from a highly diverse set of public knowledge graphs that range across topics such as soil health and the historic slave trade. 

This new NSF Convergence Accelerator Pilot program is set to “bring teams together to focus on grand challenges of national importance that require a convergence approach […] and have a high probability of resulting in deliverables that will benefit society within a fixed term.” NSF is funding several teams under this program in an effort that will lead to the development of public knowledge graphs which in turn have “the potential to drive innovation across all areas of science and engineering, and unleash the power of data and artificial intelligence to achieve scientific discovery and economic growth.” The funding program is highly competitive and had an acceptance rate of only 8.5%.

2019 Spatial Data Science Symposium

Spatial Data Science Symposium

“Setting the Spatial Data Science Agenda”

December 9–11, 2019


Upham Hotel (

Santa Barbara, California


Space and time matter not only for the obvious reason that everything happens somewhere and at some time, but because knowing where and when things happen is critical to understanding why and how they happened or will happen. Spatial data science is concerned with the representation, modeling, and simulation of spatial processes, as well as with the publication, retrieval, reuse, integration, and analysis of spatial data. It generalizes and unifies research from fields such as geographic information science, geoinformatics, geo/spatial statistics, remote sensing, and transportation studies, and fosters the application of methods developed in these fields to outside disciplines ranging from the social to the physical sciences. In doing so, research on spatial data science must  address a variety of new challenges that relate to the diversity of the utilized data and the underlying conceptual models from various domains, the opportunistic reuse of existing data, the scalability of its methods, the support of users not familiar with the language and methods of traditional geographic information systems, the reproducibility of its results that are often generated by complex chains of methods, the uncertainty arising from the use of its methods and data, the visualization of complex spatiotemporal processes and data about them, and, finally, the data collection, analysis, and visualization playing out in near real-time. Spatial data science does not only utilize advanced techniques from fields such as machine learning or big data storage and retrieval, but it also contributes back to them. Recent work, for instance, has shown that spatially-explicit machine learning methods substantially outperform more general data when applied to spatial data even though this spatial component may seem of secondary importance at first glance.

Co-sponsored by Esri, the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara is hosting a symposium entitled “Setting the Spatial Data Science Agenda.” The meeting will bring together academic and industry representatives from fields such as geographic information science, geoinformatics, geo/spatial statistics, remote sensing, and transportation studies, with interest in setting an interdisciplinary research agenda to advance spatial data science methods and practice, both from scientific and engineering viewpoints. We also invite experts from related fields and those that are producers or users of spatial data in the social and physical sciences.


Instead of being restricted by a historically grown partition into small and overlapping communities that deal with spatial data in one way or the other, the overarching goal of this symposium is to put spatial data science at the forefront of a unified field that explores the current research and application landscape to define an agenda for spatial data science for the next 10 years.


About 35 invited and funded experts from academia and industry will convene to share and develop visions, insights, and best practices. Plenary presentations and intense exchanges in small breakout discussion groups offer opportunities for knowledge transfer.

Call for Applications 

To apply, please submit a one-page, paragraph-style bio with a photograph and a short two-page position paper (in PDF format), discussing your perspective on the subject by August 23, 2019. Participants will be selected by the organizing committee and notified of their acceptance by September 9. Our goal is to achieve a balance of participants from a variety of disciplines and from different career levels. Hence, we especially encourage early-career (including graduate students) participants from both the industry and academia to apply. We will cover the full expense of accommodations and reimburse travel expenses up to $1,200 for international participants and $700 for domestic. 

The meeting will be held at the Upham Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara on Dec. 9–11; suggested travel days are Dec. 8 and the afternoon of Dec. 11.

Please see for more information. 

Submit your application directly to Karen Doehner <>.

Please feel free to contact Krzysztof Janowicz <> if you have questions about the event or the call for applications.

Save the Date: Spatial Data Science Symposium

Save the Date!
The Center of Spatial Studies at UCSB will be hosting the first international Spatial Data Science Symposium December 9-12, 2019 to bring together leading experts from a wide range of relevant domains to set the 5-year agenda for Spatial Data Science. The symposium will focus on intense discussions, breakout groups, hands-on workshops, agenda-setting, and so forth and not on the presentation of research papers.

Limes – Who? What? When? Where? Why? A ThinkSpatial Recap

The Spatial Center was glad to invite Grant McKenzie, one of Geography’s own graduates, back from the chill of Montreal for a visit and talk on March 5. Formerly from the STKO lab, Grant is interested in how geographic information has a role to play in the study of the the intersection of information technology and society and what we can understand about human behavior.

At the Center, he presented some early exploration he and his group were doing on scooters as a form of public transportation. Here, he asked the audience if anyone frequently used Lime to get around (just one?!):

Engaging participants across disciplines -- Public Scooters
Engaging participants across disciplines — Public Scooters

This analysis led to a discussion about Lime’s function for users as a replacement for or adjacent to bike sharing and other form of shared economy transport means.

Introducing the Subject - Grant McKenzie
Introducing the Subject – Grant McKenzie

One of the takeaways? It looks like (in DC) bikes are used for commute (such as to and from work), whereas scooters are used for quick, short trips (average duration of just 5 minutes!).



Save the Date: Spatial Hangouts 2

Dear all,
After a successful first Spatial Data Science Hangout, we would like to run a follow-up on Monday March 18, 2019 from 12-1pm. We got a lot of positive feedback form many of you but even more importantly several useful suggestions on how to change the formula for the hangout and we will implement them for next week. We will also have a light lunch available for you. Finally, you can also join our slack channel if you plan to regularly participate in the hangout series:

ThinkSpatial: Linda Adler-Kassner

thinkspatial_logo On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Spatial Thinking as a Heuristic:

Shaping Learning about Teaching

Linda Adler-Kassner

University of California Santa Barbara

Director, Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)


Teaching is a complex activity, especially for faculty members who are experts in their disciplines. Faculty members need to take into account a number of complex concepts associated with contexts for teaching and learning, disciplinary identities, representational practices, and students and their identities in order to make learning accessible. At the same time, the ways in which these ideas need to be considered are themselves areas of learning. Adler-Kassner will discuss how spatial thinking can serve as a visual metaphor for facilitating faculty members’ thinking about learning. As a faculty member whose research is bound up with contributing to a research-based teaching culture in our research university, she will describe the evolution of a spatial model intended to facilitate others’ thinking about epistemologically inclusive teaching. Since attendees are “also” teaching, feedback and discussion about the idea of spatial thinking as a heuristic will also be encouraged.

Bio: Linda Adler-Kassner is Professor of Writing Studies; Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning; and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education in the College of Letters and Science. Her research focuses broadly on how literacy is defined, taught, and assessed in disciplinary contexts, and on implications of those definitions for students, for teaching, and for public policy. Adler-Kassner is author, co-author, or co-editor of 11 books and more than 50 articles and book chapters and worked with faculty across the country on issues associated with teaching and learning. She has served as President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and board member of the National Council of Teachers of English. The objectives of the ThinkSpatial brown-bag presentations are to exchange ideas about spatial perspectives in research and teaching, to broaden communication and cooperation across disciplines among faculty and graduate students, and to encourage the sharing of tools and concepts. Please contact Werner Kuhn ( to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking. Follow spatial@ucsb on Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

New Spatial Visitor: Carlos Carbonell Carrera

The Center for Spatial Studies is happy to announce the arrival of a visitor to the center, Carlos Carbonell Carrera (March-June, 2019)Carbonell is an Associate Professor of Surveying, Mapping, Geographic Information Systems and Land Information Technologies in the Department of Techniques and Projects in Engineering and Architecture (Area of knowledge of Cartographic, Geodetic and Photogrammetric Engineering) at the La Laguna University, Spain. He earned an M.Sc. degree in Surveying Engineering in 1992 from Madrid Polytechnic University, Master in Geographic Information Systems in 2005 from Girona University and a Ph.D. in Engineering in 2011 from La Laguna University.

Carbonell has previously held two international research stays at the University of Life Sciences and Environment (Iasi, Romania in 2016) and Temple University (Philadelphia, 2018), conducting studies on geospatial thinking with 3D technologies. He has also performed short research stays within the Erasmus + program of the European Commission in Italy, Romania, Poland, Belgium, and Finland.

Sponsored by a grant from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain within the mobility stays program for professors and researchers in foreign centers of higher education and research, Carbonell is visiting the Center for Spatial Studies at UCSB during the months March, April, and May 2019.  His research interests focus on the improvement of spatial orientation skill and the study of new media and Geographic Information Technologies for the development of innovative teaching methodologies in the field of Surveying, GIS, and Mapping.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Carbonell to campus! He will be working at 3512 Phelps Hall during his stay–please feel free to contact him — — if your research interests intersect with his.