Series of themed spatial events

Spatial Series

 

The Center for Spatial Studies organizes series of Spatial Thinking (ThinkSpatial) and Spatial Technology (SpatialTech) events around a particular theme of interest to spatial communities. Every series runs over one semester and it is distributed in several sessions per month focusing on the theories, concepts, applications and technologies of the current theme.

Please contact Karen Doehner, kdoehner@spatial.ucsb.edu or Emmanuel Papadakis epd@ucsb.edu, to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest with the running theme.

Series 2020–2021

 (also available on our Google Calendar)

Fall '20: Knowledge Representation and GeoHumanities
Speakers from a variety of disciplines will deliver talks to communicate interdisciplinary ideas, methods, and technologies about the exciting topic of GeoHumanities. The objective is to study the challenges of representing the spatial knowledge of human phenomena and explore how spatial studies can embrace broader perspectives of space and place that are not bound to existing models or technologies. Read more.

Series: Knowledge Representation and GeoHumanities

For the semester Fall 2020-2021, the Center for Spatial Studies will host a spatial series under the theme:

Knowledge Representation and GeoHumanities

This series of spatial events will study the impact of Knowledge Representation and GIScience in the Geospatial Turn of Humanities.

Topic

Humanities stands for the academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. Although intertwined by definition, the true power of interdisciplinary research in humanities was witnessed with the intersection of digital technologies. Computing led to the development of Digital Humanities (DH) providing not only the tools to digitize phenomena but also revolutionized the methodological focus of the comprising disciplines in the lines of knowledge representation, moving from descriptive representations reflecting individual perspectives to evidence-based, interconnected knowledge structures.Ontologies enhanced DH with the ability to formalize and reason with information about human phenomena. The interoperability afforded by ontologies enabled the exchange of information between systems, as well as enrichment with knowledge from various scientific fields which would seem near impossible in the past.

Humanities have a long tradition of investigating the analysis of place and space. The need for experimentation and the challenge of describing changes in human and social life without considering the impact of the involved spatial components led to the GeoSpatial Turn of Humanities. GeoHumanities allow the exploration of spatial methods and technologies in collaboration with Geographic Information Science opening new pathways of experimental research in the theoretical gulfs of Humanities. Fusing mixed theoretical methods with knowledge representation guidelines and modern spatial technologies enables a holistic approach on the study of place and space. Spatial studies can aid humanities to describe complex elusive phenomena by leveraging the special nature of spatial information and adopting methods and tools in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) that are already being used for critical reflection. GIScience, on the other hand, and GIS tools can be introduced and adjusted to subaltern understandings and conceptions of space that go beyond traditional cartographic paradigms, such as imaginary or vague places, as well as, complexities of time.

We aim to communicate interdisciplinary ideas, methods, and technologies about the exciting topic of GeoHumanities. The sessions will focus on a variety of challenges related to the knowledge representation of phenomena starting with the fundamental question, “what happens where?”. In addition, it will explore ways to inform and transform spatial studies in order to embrace broader perspectives of space and place that are not bound to existing models or technologies.

Sessions

DateSpeakerAffiliationTopic
September 17, 2020Martin DoerrInstitute of Computer Science
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas
ThinkSpatial: Identifiable Individuals and Reality
What Do We Describe and Why?
October 13, 2020Nicola GuarinoInstitute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the
Italian National Research Council
ThinkSpatial: Events and their (spatial) context.
November 3, 2020Karl GrossnerUniversity of Pittsburgh World History CenterThinkSpatial: World Historical Gazetteer and how KR facilitates the design of the platform.
November 24, 2020Patricia Murrieta-FloresLancaster UniversityThinkSpatial: The conception of place and space in Mesoamerican societies before and after the arrival of Europeans to America.

Semantic Technology for Geographic Question Answering (GIScience 2021)

Workshop Overview

Please occasionally check back for updates and announcements.

geoQAThis half-day workshop at GIScience 2021 is meant to attract participants with a research interest in geographic question-answering (geoQA). This workshop focuses on geoQA both from a theoretical and a practical hands-on perspective. It is a unique opportunity to bring together GIScientists interested in diverse aspects of the problem at the early stages in the study of human spatial/place-based question-answering behaviour and QA systems.

This workshop will enable participants to demonstrate and compare early systems, corpora and approaches, and identify suitable directions for future research, including the collection of gold-standard corpora, task and scale specific QA system design (e.g. in-vehicle spatial interaction, instruction QA, factoid GeoQA). The workshop will enable the exchange of geoQA technology and ideas, as well as strive to identify the main challenges in geoQA. Novel challenges include spatial question parsers and corresponding grammars, the establishment of corpora and gold standards, the identification of spatial concepts in questions, and the special role that the geospatial Semantic Web and geo-analytical workflows play in geoQA.

Event Organizers and Affiliations

OrganizerAffiliation
Martin TomkoInfrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, AU
Simon ScheiderDepartment of Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University, NL
Manolis KoubarakisDepartment of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, GR
Sara LafiaDepartment of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara, US

For questions, please contact: Sara Lafia – slafia@ucsb.edu

Topic

Question-answering (QA) is a form of verbal, dialogue-based interaction with information gaining ground in commercial services, such as smart assistants. It is enabling the most natural interaction with information thus far limited to human-to-human interaction – speech. It is particularly important in situations where the user is unable to operate via tactile interfaces, such as when driving, manipulating objects, or when the user is sight impaired. Research on the different technical and conceptual challenges of QA has surged in information science, including phrase analysis, phrase mappings to entities in a database, entity disambiguation and the construction of formal queries from questions. Question-answering approaches include knowledge-based (KB QA) and document-based question answering (DB QA). The former exploits reasoning on structured knowledge bases to infer factoid answers, e.g., from linked data stores. The latter extracts answers from text documents.

Since Geography and spatial relationships are an important part of numerous human-asked questions, geographic question answering (geoQA) has recently become an area of intensive research interest, both from a document as well as a knowledge centric view. This includes foundational research on the form and concepts of spatial questions and answers, geographic question corpora, geoQA interfaces, dialogue and information relevance related to specific tasks (incl. Wayfinding instructions), as well as research in enabling technology, including geographic query extensions over knowledge graphs and geo-analytical workflow composition.

Related Work

Contributions

We welcome contributions in the following two forms:

  1. Position papers. Papers should be in pdf format, using the GIScience article template. They should be no longer than 2 pages (including references), and will be presented at the workshop in the form of a 5 minute lightning talk in the first half of the day.
  2. Corpus datasets or QA tools. Both may be presented and tested in the hands-on/tutorial session in the second half of the day.

Submissions may be about (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • geoQA tasks and spatial question types
  • Conceptual foundations of geoQA
  • geoQA question corpora and answer datasets
  • geoQA metrics and validation approaches
  • Knowledge systems and ontologies for geoQA
  • Document datasets and retrieval systems for geoQA
  • Machine learning for geoQA
  • Phrase analysis, grammars and NLP for geoQA
  • Entity disambiguation and georeferencing for geoQA
  • Reasoners and algorithms for geoQA
  • What makes geoQA special, as compared to QA?
  • Comparison of geoQA approaches and systems

Workshop contributions will be submitted via EasyChair (further details to come).

Important Dates

  • Workshop contributions due: TBD (AoE, i.e., UTC-12)
  • Notification of acceptance: TBD
  • Early-bird registration ends: July 31, 2020
  • Camera-ready papers due: TBD
  • Workshop date: TBD (announcement pending conference rescheduling)

Schedule (tentative)

Half-day morning session (9:00 – 13:00):

  • Introduction (9:00 – 9:10)
  • Keynote: Questions in information system design and discussion (9:10 – 9:30)
  • Demos (9:30 – 10:15)
  • Coffee break (10:15 – 10:45)
  • Lightning talks: 3 minutes each, based on position papers (10:45 – 11:30)
  • Breakout groups: geoQA challenges – vocabularies, architectures, corpora (11:30 – 12:15)
  • Plenum discussion (12:15 – 13:00)
  • Lunch (13:00 – 14:00)

ThinkSpatial: Konstadinos Goulias

thinkspatial_logo

On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Life Cycle Stages, Daily Contacts, and Activity-Travel Time Allocation for the Benefit of Self and Others

 

Konstadinos G. Goulias

Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

11:30 a.m. (PST) Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Zoom : https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/96140245863

Abstract:

In this research, we study the correlation between life cycle stages and time allocation for the benefit of self and others. Life cycle stages are defined based on age, employment, family status, and disabilities. Time allocation is classified based on the people with whom each respondent came in contact and for whom he or she performed activities and travel. Based on a two-day time use diary, daily time allocation is classified in social fields that we define as family, friends, schoolmates, co-workers, clubmates, and others. We also include time for sleeping and activities and travel for one’s self. The data analysis creates a taxonomy using cluster analysis of time-of-day activity sequences, complexity of time schedules, and uncovers its correlation with life cycle stages.

Bio:
Since 2004, Konstadinos (Kostas) G. Goulias has been a Professor of Transportation at the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1991 to 2004 he was Professor of Transportation in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of PennState University, where he also directed research centers. His research is on Large Scale Transportation Systems Modeling and Simulation, Travel Behavior Dynamics, Sustainable Transportation, Smart Cities, Economic Geography, Travel Survey Methods, Geocomputation and Geoinformation. He chairs the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research and he is the co-editor-in-chief of Transportation Letters an international peer reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis.  He received a Laurea (5 years and a thesis equivalent to MS) in Engineering from University of Calabria (Italy) in 1986, an MS in Engineering from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1987, and a PhD in Engineering from University of California Davis, in 1991.

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 Emmanuel Papadakis (epd@ucsb.edu) 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

ThinkSpatial: George Baryannis

thinkspatial_logo

On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Qualitative Spatial Reasoning Using Answer Set Programming

 

George Baryannis

Department of Computer Science
University of Huddersfield, UK

11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | Zoom meeting room:

https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/96140245863

Abstract:

Spatial (and temporal) information is often expressed using qualitative terms such as natural language expressions instead of coordinates; reasoning over such terms has several practical applications, such as naval traffic monitoring, warehouse process optimization and robot manipulation. Well over 40 qualitative calculi have been proposed so far, including Allen’s interval algebra and the Region Connection Calculus. Reasoning with such calculi has been the focus of extensive research within the wider AI community, with a number of specialized reasoning tools developed. One barrier to the wide adoption of these tools is that only qualitative reasoning is supported natively, when real-world problems most often require a combination of qualitative and other forms of reasoning.

I will discuss research to overcome this barrier (conducted at the University of Huddersfield, UK and the University of Calabria, Italy),  focusing on using Answer Set Programming (ASP) as a unified formalism to tackle problems that require qualitative reasoning in addition to non-qualitative reasoning. ASP is a logic-based knowledge representation and reasoning approach that includes a rich but simple modeling language and is capable of handling search problems of high complexity. Research is motivated by two case studies: reasoning about the  relations among large numbers of trajectories and determining optimal coverage of telecommunication antennas.

Bio:
George Baryannis is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Huddersfield, UK. He received his Dipl.Eng. in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Crete, Greece. His teaching and research interests lie within Artificial Intelligence, mainly focusing on knowledge representation and reasoning, machine learning and interpretability, as well as applications in supply chain risk management, smart homes and service-oriented computing.

Material:

ThinkSpatial-QSRASP

 

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 Emmanuel Papadakis (epd@ucsb.edu) 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

ThinkSpatial: Claudio Fogu

thinkspatial_logo

On Tuesday, March 10 June 9, 2020, The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

The Fishing Net and the Spider Web—

Making Italians Making Southerners

 

Claudio Fogu

Department of French and Italian
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 June 9, 2020 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

 

Abstract:

This talk will discuss the network-theory approach of Grad Malkin’s study of the Archaic Mediterranean and its extension to the history of the modern Mediterranean. Fogu will focus in particular on the role played by the Italian peninsula, coastal communities, and islands in the oscillation among distributed, centralized, and decentralized patterns of connectivity in the Mediterranean.

Bio:

Claudio Fogu moved to Los Angeles in 1983 to study film at UCLA, and later pursued a Ph.D. in History. He taught at Ohio State University and then at USC. Since moving to UCSB in 2005 he has been an Associate Professor of Italian Studies and teaches courses on Italian cultural history and memory, with an emphasis on film and visual culture. He is author of multiple books and is current President of the California Chapters of the American Association of University Professors (CA-AAUP), President of the UC Santa Barbara Faculty Association (UCSB), and Vice-President for External Affairs of the Consortium of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA).

 

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 (werner@ucsb.edu) 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

Semantic Technology for Geographic Question Answering (GIScience 2021)

Workshop Overview

Please occasionally check back for updates and announcements.

geoQAThis half-day workshop at GIScience 2021 is meant to attract participants with a research interest in geographic question-answering (geoQA). This workshop focuses on geoQA both from a theoretical and a practical hands-on perspective. It is a unique opportunity to bring together GIScientists interested in diverse aspects of the problem at the early stages in the study of human spatial/place-based question-answering behaviour and QA systems.

This workshop will enable participants to demonstrate and compare early systems, corpora and approaches, and identify suitable directions for future research, including the collection of gold-standard corpora, task and scale specific QA system design (e.g. in-vehicle spatial interaction, instruction QA, factoid GeoQA). The workshop will enable the exchange of geoQA technology and ideas, as well as strive to identify the main challenges in geoQA. Novel challenges include spatial question parsers and corresponding grammars, the establishment of corpora and gold standards, the identification of spatial concepts in questions, and the special role that the geospatial Semantic Web and geo-analytical workflows play in geoQA.

Event Organizers and Affiliations

OrganizerAffiliation
Martin TomkoInfrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne, AU
Simon ScheiderDepartment of Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University, NL
Manolis KoubarakisDepartment of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, GR
Sara LafiaDepartment of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara, US

For questions, please contact: Sara Lafia – slafia@ucsb.edu

Topic

Question-answering (QA) is a form of verbal, dialogue-based interaction with information gaining ground in commercial services, such as smart assistants. It is enabling the most natural interaction with information thus far limited to human-to-human interaction – speech. It is particularly important in situations where the user is unable to operate via tactile interfaces, such as when driving, manipulating objects, or when the user is sight impaired. Research on the different technical and conceptual challenges of QA has surged in information science, including phrase analysis, phrase mappings to entities in a database, entity disambiguation and the construction of formal queries from questions. Question-answering approaches include knowledge-based (KB QA) and document-based question answering (DB QA). The former exploits reasoning on structured knowledge bases to infer factoid answers, e.g., from linked data stores. The latter extracts answers from text documents.

Since Geography and spatial relationships are an important part of numerous human-asked questions, geographic question answering (geoQA) has recently become an area of intensive research interest, both from a document as well as a knowledge centric view. This includes foundational research on the form and concepts of spatial questions and answers, geographic question corpora, geoQA interfaces, dialogue and information relevance related to specific tasks (incl. Wayfinding instructions), as well as research in enabling technology, including geographic query extensions over knowledge graphs and geo-analytical workflow composition.

Related Work

Contributions

We welcome contributions in the following two forms:

  1. Position papers. Papers should be in pdf format, using the GIScience article template. They should be no longer than 2 pages (including references), and will be presented at the workshop in the form of a 5 minute lightning talk in the first half of the day.
  2. Corpus datasets or QA tools. Both may be presented and tested in the hands-on/tutorial session in the second half of the day.

Submissions may be about (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • geoQA tasks and spatial question types
  • Conceptual foundations of geoQA
  • geoQA question corpora and answer datasets
  • geoQA metrics and validation approaches
  • Knowledge systems and ontologies for geoQA
  • Document datasets and retrieval systems for geoQA
  • Machine learning for geoQA
  • Phrase analysis, grammars and NLP for geoQA
  • Entity disambiguation and georeferencing for geoQA
  • Reasoners and algorithms for geoQA
  • What makes geoQA special, as compared to QA?
  • Comparison of geoQA approaches and systems

Workshop contributions will be submitted via EasyChair (further details to come).

Important Dates

  • Workshop contributions due: TBD (AoE, i.e., UTC-12)
  • Notification of acceptance: TBD
  • Early-bird registration ends: July 31, 2020
  • Camera-ready papers due: TBD
  • Workshop date: TBD (announcement pending conference rescheduling)

Schedule (tentative)

Half-day morning session (9:00 – 13:00):

  • Introduction (9:00 – 9:10)
  • Keynote: Questions in information system design and discussion (9:10 – 9:30)
  • Demos (9:30 – 10:15)
  • Coffee break (10:15 – 10:45)
  • Lightning talks: 3 minutes each, based on position papers (10:45 – 11:30)
  • Breakout groups: geoQA challenges – vocabularies, architectures, corpora (11:30 – 12:15)
  • Plenum discussion (12:15 – 13:00)
  • Lunch (13:00 – 14:00)

[Canceled] Spatial Tech Lunch: Roland Knapp

Canceled due to COVID19 outbreak. Any updates will be posted here.

 

On Wednesday, March 11, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP here by Saturday, March 7. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided.

Spread of a virulent amphibian pathogen across the Sierra Nevada

Dr. Roland Knapp

 

Abstract: The global emergence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium
dendrobatidis: “Bd”) has caused the extinction of at least 90 frog species and the decline of
hundreds more. This impact has been called the most spectacular loss of vertebrate
biodiversity due to disease in recorded history. Bd is believed to have originated in Asia, but is
now distributed worldwide due to global commerce. In California’s Sierra Nevada mountains,
Bd emerged in the 1960s and subsequently spread across the range, causing precipitous
declines of the once-common mountain yellow-legged frog and its eventual listing under the
U.S. Endangered Species Act. Describing this spread, including identifying factors associated
with its arrival in frog populations, would allow better prediction of future spread and aid in the
identification of possible vectors. In this presentation, I will provide details on the patterns of
Bd spread in the Sierra Nevada and solicit input on how these data could best be analyzed.

Bio:
Roland Knapp is a research biologist at the University of California Sierra Nevada
Aquatic Research Laboratory. His research interests include the population and conservation
biology of endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains,
and the community ecology of montane lake ecosystems. The landscape-scale surveys of
aquatic habitats in the southern Sierra Nevada (7,000+ lakes and ponds) that he led form the
basis for ongoing amphibian and lake recovery efforts in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and
Yosemite National Parks, and beyond. His current research focuses on the recovery of
mountain yellow-legged frogs in the presence of the recently-emerged amphibian chytrid
fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis).

 

Have any questions for Dr. Knapp before or after the discussion? Give him a shout at roland.knapp@ucsb.edu.