Specialist Meetings

Our annual specialist meetings bring experts from academia and industry together to discuss a specific topic in depth. The proceedings of each event, including presentations and position papers, are made available online and stored in the Spatial Archives.

Leadership workshop on Location Analytics in Business
Location Analytics is the subset of Business Analytics that is concerned with gaining insights by analyzing the spatial component of business data. Leading retail, real estate, finance, manufacturing, and logistics firms, among others, implement location strategies to gain competitive advantage. Furthermore, a new generation of business researchers and educators is beginning to recognize location analytics as a distinctive professional specialty. The role of academics in this field can be to simplify location analysis, propose innovative new theories and methodologies, and educate business and technology leaders.
The Center for Spatial Studies, along with ESRI will hold a 4-day “leadership workshop on Location Analytics in Business” to be held on December 10–14, 2017, at the Upham Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara. Read more.

Spatial Discovery II—2017
discovery2017-banner

In 2015, the UCSB Library and the Center for Spatial Studies received a private grant to study and address the challenges that libraries and researchers face in making research data discoverable via spatial metadata on diverse platforms and in a variety of environments. The goal of this project is an expanded awareness and adoption of spatial discovery and analysis in research and teaching, supported by novel library services.
Partnering in this project with the Center for Spatial Studies, the UCSB Library convened a second expert meeting, “Spatial Discovery II,” which was held at the Upham Hotel and the UCSB campus on May 11 and 12, 2017 in Santa Barbara.
Read more.

Universals and Variation in Spatial Referencing across Cultures and Languages—2016
Specialist Meeting on Universals and Variation in Spatial Referencing across Cultures and Languages. The meeting was sponsored by the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and held on December 7–9, 2016, at the Upham Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA. Read more…
Spatial Discovery—2015
discovery2015-banner

Participants contributed expertise in Library Science, as well as knowledge pertaining to spatial information and relevant research on data-seeking behavior. Five keynote addresses as well as several plenary and break-out discussions explored the challenges, best practices, and potential strategies associated with the cross-platform discovery of spatial data in the context of modern libraries.
Read more.

Keynote PresentationsPositions PapersFinal Report

Spatial Search—2014
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Intense and focused discussions contributed toward the development of an interdisciplinary research agenda to advance spatial search for information from computational, geospatial, and cognitive perspectives. Read more.

Call for PapersPositions PapersFinal Report

Advancing the Spatially Enabled Smart Campus—2013
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geog logo
December 11–12, 2013

“Advancing the Spatially Enabled Smart Campus”

This two-day meeting engaged academic and industry representatives with interest in conceiving, designing, and building a smart campus in a discussion of the Smart Campus.

Call for papersPositions PapersFinal report

Spatial Thinking Across the College Curriculum—2012
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SILC
December 10–11, 2012

“Spatial Thinking Across the College Curriculum”

This two-day specialist meeting discussed the challenges of spatial thinking in different disciplines, cognitive analyses of spatial thinking processes, and current best practices in educating spatial thinking.

Call for papersPositions PapersFinal Report

Future Directions in Spatial Demography—2011
Specialist Meeting on Future Directions in Spatial Demography

December 12–13, 2011

“Future Directions in Spatial Demography”

A two-day workshop for the presentation, discussion, and summarization of current challenges and opportunities for spatial demography

Call for papersPositions PapersFinal Report

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks—2010
20081215 meeting

December 13–14, 2010

“Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks”

A two-day workshop for the presentation, discussion, and summarization of current issues and opportunities on the topic of Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks was convened at the Upham Hotel in Santa Barbara. The primary presentations were as follows:

The social networking perspective (Kathleen Carley)

The geospatial perspective (Mike Goodchild)

The computational perspective (James Caverlee)

The visualization perspective (Shih-Lung Shaw)

The social perspective (Matt Zook)

Spatial
December 15–16, 2008

“Spatial Thinking in Science and Design”

Discussions of the potential of integrating design more fully into GIS, and over the development of curriculum in spatial thinking were the objectives of the two-day specialist meeting.
The central questions posed were:

“To what extent are the fundamental spatial concepts that lie behind GIS relevant in design?”
“To what extent can the fundamental spatial concepts of design be addressed with GIS?”
“Is it possible to devise a curriculum designed to develop spatial thinking in both GIS and design?”

The meeting was attended by 38 GIS and design specialists from the U.S. and Europe, and included a number of context-setting presentations and ample time for discussion in small groups. The group adjourned, agreeing to hold a follow-up discussion in January 2010, in Redlands, CA.

View the agenda

View the presentations

20th Anniversary of NCGIA—2008
20th Anniversary of NCGIA

December 10–12, 2008

20th Anniversary of NCGIA

UCSB Symposium

Marking the beginning of National Science Foundation funding for the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) at its three sites, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Maine, December 1, 2008 represented the twentieth anniversary of NCGIA. In honor of this occasion, a symposium was held at which retrospective and prospective analyses of the work of NCGIA were reviewed.

View the agenda

View the presentations

View NCGIA memorabilia

Volunteered Geographic Information—2007
December 13–14, 2007

Volunteered Geographic Information

Spatial Discovery III

Spatial Discovery III

Discovery III, the third and final specialist meeting on the topic of spatial discovery, marks the culmination of research and prototyping efforts to make research data discoverable by location. The meeting will expand discussions from the prior meeting held in May 2017, with the substantial new turn toward discovery in topic spaces. Recent developments at UCSB include experimentation with the expansion of visualization in ArcGIS Online to topic spaces and the propelling of research data curation efforts on campus through an NSF-supported pilot project. In addition to sharing and discussing research and development, the meeting seeks to discuss future prospects for enabling spatial discovery in a university library setting. Building on the productive disciplinary mixes of the 2015 and 2017 meetings,  librarians will again meet with GIS and information retrieval experts.

For more information, please contact Karen Doehner (kdoehner@spatial.ucsb.edu)

Conference on the Internet of Things (IoT 2018)

The 8th International Conference on the Internet of Things (IoT 2018)

[button link=”http://lampz.tugraz.at/~iotc/iot-conf/iot2018/” type=”icon” icon=”people” newwindow=”yes”] Full Conference Website [/button] [button link=”https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=349418&” type=”icon” newwindow=”yes”] 
The 8th International Conference on the Internet of Things (IoT 2018) hosted by the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara took place at the Kimpton Canary Hotel on October 15–18, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California.

Attended by more than 90 participants, the conference convened to discuss the rapid advancement and ubiquitous penetration of mobile networks, Web-based information creation and sharing, and software-defined networking technology enable us to sense, predict and control the physical world using information technology. To maximize the social and economic benefit of the technology, issues of interoperability, data and service mash-ups, the development of open platforms, and standardization across technology layers must also be addressed.

Pervasive connectivity, smart devices and demand for data testify to an IoT that will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Computing power is dropping in price while new sensors are being developed and incorporated into everyday objects, and as people buy into IoT technology, economies of scale lend themselves to the creation of ever more data-centric businesses. Instrumenting and connecting devices has massive potential to deliver value, but there is need for a coordinated effort when rolling out the next generation of self-reporting paradigms.

With strong support from industry and academia, the International Conference Series on the Internet of Things has become the premier gathering place for visionary, academic researchers and practitioners in the IoT domain. Proceedings of the conference will be published.

Kimpton Canary Hotel

Thinkspatial: Matto Mildenberger

thinkspatial_logo
On Tuesday, October 10, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

The Spatial Distribution of U.S. Climate and Energy Beliefs

Matto Mildenberger

Department of Political Science
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 10, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Abstract:

mapAddressing climate change in the United States requires enactment of national, state, and local mitigation and adaptation policies. The success of these initiatives depends on public opinion, policy support and behaviors at appropriate scales. Public opinion, however, is typically measured with national surveys that obscure geographic variability across regions, states and localities. Matto Mildenberger will present validated, high-resolution opinion estimates of public opinion using a multilevel regression and post-stratification model. The model accurately predicts climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy preferences at the state, congressional district, metropolitan, and county levels, using a concise set of demographic and geographic predictors. Mildenberger will also share research extensions to map the spatial distribution of Republican and Democrat partisan opinions, and to model the spatially-resolved responsiveness of U.S. communities to messaging experiments.

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 Karen Dohner (kdoehner@spatial.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

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Leadership Workshop on Location Analytics in Business

Location Analytics in Business

Hosted by the University of California Santa Barbara and Esri, Inc.
Wednesday, January 31 to Friday, February 2, 2018, at the Upham Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara.

[button link=”http://spatial.ucsb.edu/wp-content/uploads/Report_LocationAnalytics.pdf” type=”icon” icon=”people” newwindow=”yes”] Final Report [pdf][/button]

Abstact

Location Analytics is the subset of Business Analytics that is concerned with gaining insights by analyzing the spatial component of business data. Leading retail, real estate, finance, manufacturing, and logistics firms, among others, implement location strategies to gain competitive advantage. Furthermore, a new generation of business researchers and educators is beginning to recognize location analytics as a distinctive professional specialty. The role of academics in this field can be to simplify location analysis, propose innovative new theories and methodologies, and educate business and technology leaders.

This 3-day workshop prepared selected early-career researchers to do just that. Participants interacted with leading scholars in geographic information science and other related fields, and led breakout discussions on relevant subtopics. Benefits to participants included understanding the current capabilities of a modern location analytics platform, gaining ideas and advice for implementing location analytics in next-generation business school curricula, and crossing disciplinary boundaries to network and collaborate with kindred scholars. Results may include a jointly-authored review and/or manifesto article for a peer-reviewed journal.

 

Photo of Upham Hotel

Listings for Minor in Spatial Studies

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[button link=”http://spatial.ucsb.edu/wp-content/uploads/COURSE-REQUIREMENTS-2016.pdf” type=”icon” icon=”paper” newwindow=”yes”]Course requirements[/button] [button link=”http://spatial.ucsb.edu/wp-content/uploads/Course-listings-Fall-2017.pdf” type=”icon” icon=”paper” newwindow=”yes”]Courses Fall 2017[/button] [button link=”http://spatial.ucsb.edu/wp-content/uploads/Course-listings-Summer-2017.pdf” type=”icon” icon=”paper” newwindow=”yes”]Courses Summer 2017[/button] [button link=”http://www.spatial.ucsb.edu/programs/docs/MINOR-Flyer.pdf” type=”icon” icon=”paper” newwindow=”yes”]View Minor flyer[/button] [button link=”http://spatial.ucsb.edu/wp-content/uploads/Course-listings-2016.pdf” type=”icon” icon=”paper” newwindow=”yes”]Course listings[/button]

 
View details at Minor in Spatial Studies


Spatial Discovery II

In 2015, the UCSB Library and the Center for Spatial Studies received a private grant to study and address the challenges that libraries and researchers face in making research data discoverable via spatial metadata on diverse platforms and in a variety of environments. The goal of this project was an expanded awareness and adoption of spatial discovery and analysis in research and teaching, supported by novel library services.

Partnering with the UCSB Library in this project, the Center for Spatial Studies convened a second expert meeting, “Spatial Discovery II,” at the Upham Hotel and the UCSB campus on May 11 and 12, 2017 in Santa Barbara.

This meeting built on the discussions at the first Spatial Discovery meeting in June 2015, of challenges, practices, and potential strategies associated with cross-platform content discovery.

The fundamental questions discussed were:

  • How can spatially mediated discovery provide single-point access to research data, across distributed repositories and catalogs?
  • How can the discovery of research objects in general be spatially supported? and
  • How can spatial discovery be applied to topic spaces, not just geographic ones?

Participants, typically involved in research on data-seeking and its requirements, contributed expertise in Library Science, as well as in Geography and Computer science, pertaining to spatial information.

Thursday, May 11 was devoted to discussions in plenary and small-group sessions. Friday, May 12 was spent in part on campus, demonstrating first project results and involving campus researchers and administrators in a discussion of how to move forward.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Universals and Variation in Spatial Referencing across Cultures and Languages

Specialist Meeting: Dec. 7–9, 2016.

Universals and Variation in Spatial Referencing across Cultures and Languages, sponsored by the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (http://spatial.ucsb.edu/) with a contribution from Esri, was held December 7–9, 2016, at the Upham Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA (http://www.uphamhotel.com/).

By “spatial referencing” we mean the function with which a natural language expression locates something in the world. What do we know (and what would we like to know) about how such expressions and their referring function stay the same or vary across languages and cultures? Are there universals and systematic variations?

Forty-two researchers were hosted for an open discussion of research results and needs addressing these and related questions. Participants represented the broadest possible range of disciplines and professions offering insights on the topic.

The Specialist Meeting Organizing Committee:

  • Werner Kuhn, (Chair), Director of the Center for Spatial Studies and Jack and Laura Dangermond Professor of Geography, UCSB
  • Niclas Burenhult, Associate Professor of General Linguistics, Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University; and Research Associate, Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen
  • Bernard Comrie, Distinguished Faculty Professor, Department of Linguistics, UCSB
  • James Pustejovsky, Chair, Language and Linguistics and Computational Linguistics Programs and Director, Lab of Linguistics and Computation, Brandeis University
  • Thora Tenbrink, Director of Research, College of Arts and Humanities and Reader in Cognitive Linguistics, Bangor University.

Invited Speaker:

  • Stephen C. Levinson, Director, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Core Concepts of Spatial Information

Introduction

The Core Concepts of Spatial Information are designed to facilitate spatial computing and reduce its complexity. They also serve as conceptual lenses on environments, allowing for different perspectives on them, fed by data with any sort of spatial reference. We specify the Core Concepts as Abstract Data Types (ADT), defining a set of core computations for each concept, through which users can ask spatial questions (Kuhn & Ballatore, 2015). The ultimate goal is a generic Application Programming Interface (API) for spatial computing.

Motivation

The main motivation of this project is to promote transdisciplinary research through a more intuitive access to spatial data and computing (Kuhn, 2012). Spatial computing is seen as an enabler, but remains notoriously complex, especially for those without expertise in GIS. A large part of this complexity results from historically grown command sets rather than from inherent difficulties. The Core Concepts and Computations constitute a high-level language that allows for question-based spatial computing across disciplines. Spatial computations get organized around questions, instead of being accessed through procedural commands, limited to certain file formats, and requiring frequent format conversions.

Case Study

A case study (Vahedi et. al, 2016) exemplifies the gain from applying the Core Concepts to spatial analysis. An economist studying economic activity in China decides to use nighttime light as an indicator. His goal is to quantify nighttime light within a 50-kilometer buffer around Chinese road networks and excluding gas flares. He develops a lengthy ArcPy script solving the problem in around 10 steps (see http://economics.mit.edu/files/8945). To answer the same question through the Core Concepts, one conceptualizes nighttime luminosity as a field. In a single computational step, one restricts the field domain to a 50-Kilometer buffer around roads excluding gas flares, and coarsens the granularity of the field.

Architecture

The Core Concepts get developed and tested through a four-layer architecture. We assume (and willhave to test) that domain specialists from any discipline can usefully express their spatial questions (Domain questions layer) in terms of Core Concepts (Core Concepts layer). A Mediation layer then automatically translates the results into commands of existing spatial technologies (Technological layer). Together, the Core Concepts and Mediation layers act as a wrapper around existing spatial computing technologies, such as GIS or statistical packages with spatial data structures and analysis functions.

Current Status

As of now, the set of Core Concepts consists of seven concepts, namely,

    – One Base Concept: Location

    – Four Content Concepts: Field, Object, Network, Event

    – Two Quality Concepts: Granularity, Accuracy

It appears likely that the Base and Content Concepts are sufficiently complete to cover the scope of most GIS analyses. The number of Quality Concepts, on the other hand, is likely to grow to include such ideas as the provenance of spatial data.

The Core Concepts and their operations are specified in Haskell. The mediation layer is currently being implemented using Python and GDAL, generating wrappers for translating spatial questions into existing spatial technologies. The latest status of implementation is always accessible as a generic API programming library with Haskell and Python implementations.

Validation and Future Work

We validate the Core Concepts, testing their domain neutrality and suitability by systematically redoing GIS analyses (such as bird flu risk assessment, solar panel placement, industrial activity monitoring etc.).

The challenges we are addressing include:

  • Determining the necessity of other concepts (e.g., provenance);
  • Completing the set of operations associated with each concept;
  • Using core concept lenses to design data products;
  • Re-designing the teaching of GIS around the Core Concepts;

Challenges to address in the future include:

  • Understanding spatial intuition and assessing the concepts’ effectiveness in aiding this intuition;
  • Assessing the potential impact on end user interfaces of GIS;
  • Implementing the Core Concept API in the form of cloud services;
  • Designing RDF vocabularies to represent core concept instances as linked data;

History

This work started with the observation that Geographic Information Science lacks a set of core concepts (cf. the ideas of a cell in biology or of value in economics). A sequence of early publications (Kuhn 2011, Kuhn 2012) proposed slightly different lists of Core Concepts, with subsequent research leading to the current list. The reason to eliminate the concept of neighborhood (contained in these publications) was that it cuts across the other content concepts and is part of the idea of location. The reason to eliminate meaning and value is that there are no solid theories for them yet to make them
“core” to spatial analysis.


Period: 2012—now

Contact: Werner Kuhn (Center for Spatial Studies)

Researchers: Thomas Hervey, Sara Lafia, Behzad Vahedi

Code: https://github.com/spatial-ucsb/ConceptsOfSpatialInformation

    Publications (including links to slides):

  • Allen, C., Hervey, T., Lafia, S., Phillips, D., Vahedi, B., Kuhn, W. (2016). Exploring the Notion of Spatial Data Lenses. Ninth International Conference on Geographic Information Science. (accepted)
  • Kuhn, W. (2012). Core concepts of spatial information for transdisciplinary research. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 26(12), 2267-2276.
  • Kuhn, W. (2011). Core Concepts of Spatial Information: A First Selection. XII GEOINFO, November 27-29, 2011, Campos do Jordão, Brazil (pp. 13–26).
  • Kuhn, W. & Ballatore, A. (2015). Designing a Language for Spatial Computing. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography 2015, AGILE, Lisbon, Portugal, pp 309-326. Best Paper Award. PDF
  • Vahedi, B., Kuhn, W., Ballatore A. (2016). Question-Based Spatial Computing – A Case Study. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (AGILE 2016) (pp. 37 – 50). Berlin: Springer. PDF

Research

The Center for Spatial Studies promotes excellence in interdisciplinary research, supporting spatial thinking in a variety of ways. We organize research-oriented events, such as the ongoing ThinkSpatial Brown Bag presentations for the local community and our annual Specialist Meetings. Our Help Desk provides technical support to researchers. Learn more about our Research Resources.

Our current research projects are described below.

Core Concepts of Spatial Information

Introduction

The Core Concepts of Spatial Information are designed to facilitate spatial computing and reduce its
complexity. They also serve as conceptual lenses on environments, allowing for different perspectives
on them, fed by data with any sort of spatial reference. We specify the Core Concepts as Abstract Data
Types (ADT)
, defining a set of core computations for each concept, through which users can ask spatial
questions (Kuhn & Ballatore, 2015). The ultimate goal is a generic Application Programming Interface
(API)
for spatial computing. Read more…

Spatial Discovery
Website: Spatial Discovery Project Website

Period: 2015–active

Co-PI’s: UCSB Library and Werner Kuhn (Center for Spatial Studies)

Researchers: Sara Lafia

This research is studying the challenges and strategies that libraries and researchers face in trying to discover linked spatial data via metadata on diverse platforms and in a variety of environments. The research is being carried out in a collaboration between the UCSB Library and the Center for Spatial Studies.

Contact: Werner Kuhn

Tags: spatial discovery, library, metadata, spatial search

Energy Challenges: Development and Climate Change in Global Perspective
Location: Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies Research Cluster Award

PI: Javiera Barandiaran (Global & International Studies)

Co-PI’s: Werner Kuhn (Center for Spatial Studies), Lisa Parks (Film & Media Studies), Paul Amar (Global & International Studies), Stephan Miescher (History), Corey Byrnes (East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies).

What are developing countries doing to switch to cleaner energies and with what effects? How are they participating in the rise of new energy challenges? Can they benefit from new energy sources, such as lithium used in electric cars? Or are fossil fuels still black gold, as Brazil’s recent oil discoveries suggest? Orfalea Research Cluster funds are creating a cluster around humanities approaches to energy issues, focused on the intersecting challenges of development and climate change. Participating faculty bring expertise from around the world, with on-going or planned research projects in Ghana, Brazil, Bolivia and China, and from a range of energy technologies: oil, lithium, hydroelectric, and mobile energy sources. We create cross-departmental collaborations that will inform our research and teaching efforts. The result will be the improved academic capacity to discuss energy choices in environmental, social, and political contexts, as well as in economic and engineering concerns. We will learn about and explore ways in which mapping technologies and spatial data can support humanities-based research on energy issues, and vice versa. These efforts are carried out at a series of cluster meetings in various educational and research settings and will culminate in a conference showcasing a leading researcher in this field that will attract students and faculty from across campus.

Contact: Werner Kuhn

Tags: clean energy, sustainability, humanities

Modeling, Display, and Understanding Uncertainty
modeling-projectThe Center for Spatial Studies is collaborating with researchers at the University of Utah, Clemson University, and Texas A&M University to establish the foundations for capturing the uncertainty associated with predictive simulations for policy decision making.

Aspects of the project include simulation and uncertainty quantification, developing methods of visualizing uncertainty, and evaluating these visualizations by examining perception, cognition, and decision making in the presence of visualizations of uncertainty. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Contact: Mary Hegarty

Home page: http://visunc.sci.utah.edu

Tags: uncertainty, visualization, perception, decision making

I/UCRC for Spatiotemporal Thinking, Computing, and Applications
nsf_stc_logoMany 21st century challenges, such as natural disasters and climate change, happen in space and time. Most scholarship assumes a single static timeslice, and fails to explore the true dynamics of social and physical phenomena. Spatio-temporal principles are rarely utilized to optimize and enable relevant science discovery and engineering advancements. A systematic investigation of exploring and utilizing the principles will advance human knowledge in providing a trailblazer thinking methodology and exploring the next-generation computing for addressing the challenges. This I/UCRC for spatio-temporal thinking, computing, and applications was established as a collaboration platform among academia, industry, government agencies, and other organizations to advance this domain of knowledge. The center is established on the previous success of three sites, including a) Center for Intelligent Spatial Computing (CISC) at GMU for computing/software development, b) the National Center for Geographic Information Analysis (NCGIA) and the Center for Spatial Studies (spatial@ucsb) at UCSB for spatial thinking, and c) the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) at Harvard for applications.

Contact: Keith Clarke

Home pages: http://stcenter.net/stc, http://spatial.ucsb.edu/stc

Tags: Spatiotemporal analysis, spatial thinking, spatial computing

A Generic API for Geographic Information
To validate research on spatial questions, we design a generic Application Programming Interface (API) for computations on geographic information. The API methods map to various existing spatial computing environments and are made accessible as web services. The longer-term goal is to first map from domain API’s to this generic spatial computing interface.

Contact: Werner Kuhn

Tags: geographic information, API

Individual Differences in Large-Scale Spatial Cognition
The Center for Spatial Studies conducts research on Large-Scale or Environmental Spatial Cognitive Processes, including learning the layout of new environments, wayfinding and navigation in known environments, and representing and communicating spatial information. Much of our work in this area has involved collaboration between Mary Hegarty (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences) and Daniel R. Montello (Department of Geography). This research has contributed new measures, such as the Santa Barbara Sense of Direction Scale, and basic research on the nature of individual differences in large-scale spatial cognition. Current research, funded by a seed grant from the UCSB Center for Creative Biotechnologies, is focused on identifying fundamental differences in neurological and cognitive processes that differentiate people with a good vs. poor sense of direction.

Home page: http://labs.psych.ucsb.edu…

Contact: Mary Hegarty

Tags: sense of direction, spatial cognition

Transdisciplinary Knowledge Infrastructures for Linked Science
Linked data and related semantic web technologies have the potential to break up and connect information silos. Based on these, we build infrastructures for searching and linking scientific data spatially and semantically. The results are tested in transdisciplinary projects on, for example, energy, public health, and urban history. The LIFE project at the University of Münster develops pilot services and applications that inform a follow-up effort now being initiated at UCSB. The emphasis is on developing and testing tools for future library users, pursuing the broader vision of interconnecting scientific knowledge.

Home page: http://lodum.de/life

Contact: Werner Kuhn

Tags: linked data, eScience, semantic web

Detecting and Theorizing Place Sentiment in Big Data
The area of sentiment analysis aims at extracting and summarizing writers’ feelings from raw text. Knowing what people think about a given object has a wide range of scientific and commercial applications. This project investigates sentiment analysis focused on places, tapping a variety of novel digitized data sources, including travel blog, travel literature, and social media. Tailoring data mining and natural language processing techniques to geographic objects can provide insights about the complex relationship between places and humans.

Contact: Andrea Ballatore

Tags: sentiment analysis, opinion mining, place, natural language processing

See also the archive of our former research projects.