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 Fall Quarter 2020–2021, the Center for Spatial Studies will host a series of virtual spatial events 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 to 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.


The Knowledge Representation and Geohumanities speaker series is a joint effort of the Center for Spatial Studies and the NSF-funded KnowWhereGraph project.

Access and Participation

Please contact Karen Doehner (kdoehner@spatial.ucsb.edu) or Emmanuel Papadakis (epd@ucsb.edu) if you would like to share your research in this series of events, in order to review and schedule possible topics.

If you would like to attend the event, please register here. Please note that upon registration you can attend any of the events using the same access link that will be sent to you.

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: on the semantics of locative modifiers
October 21, 2020 Yingjie HuUniversity of BuffaloSpatialTech: Advancing spatial and textual analysis with GeoAI
October 27, 2020Karl GrossnerUniversity of Pittsburgh World History CenterThinkSpatial: Representing Place for World Historical Gazetteer.
November 10, 2020Seila Gonzalez EstrechaMichigan State UniversitySpatialTech: Enslaved.org: A knowledge representation in WikiBase of people, events and places in the historical slave trade
November 17, 2020Bruno MartinsUniversity of LisbonSpatialTech: Challenges in resolving place names over text.
November 24, 2020Patricia Murrieta-FloresLancaster UniversityThinkSpatial: Subaltern Spatial Thinking: Towards a decolonial approach to spatial technologies.

ThinkSpatial: Martin Doerr

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On Thursday, September 17, 2020, The UCSB forum on spatial thinking presents

Identifiable Individuals and Reality
What Do We Describe and Why

 

Dr. Martin Doerr

Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH)

10:00 a.m. Thursday, September 17, 2020 | Zoom link*

Abstract:

Data of empirical-descriptive sciences, such as cultural heritage studies, geography, geology, biodiversity are usually kept in predicate-logic based information systems that refer to things in reality by unique identifiers. This can only work, if the referred features or phenomena, in reality, are distinct and can diachronically be identified in the same way by independent observers without a dialogue between them. In this presentation, we argue that only a smaller part of the features in our environment is sufficiently distinct over a useful time-span to form “identifiable individuals.” Different ontological categories can provide specific criteria about how parts of reality can be subdivided into “identifiable individuals” that turn out to be useful for modeling the behavior of reality as a result of observation, rather than convention, the so-called ontological individuation. We demonstrate (1) that there are always cases in which individuality is undecidable basically within all such categories, (2) that multiple individuals may overlap in substance in characteristic ways, and (3) that no such individual has precise spatiotemporal boundaries due to a variety of causes.

We argue that the kinds of conditions allowing for ontological individuation have widely not been studied, as well as what properties make phenomena not suited for individuation, such as clouds, stages of growth, flowing matter, and so forth. We further propose that the description of delimited situations in such systems, be it after observation or in prediction, needs to relate to identifiable individuals as reference. This epistemic individuation inherits the indeterminacy of the individuals of reference. We further propose that many kinds of scientific description of reality are an approximation that can be better processed via outer bounds. As a practical application, we show how adequate individuation criteria can substantially reduce the ambiguity of spatiotemporal gazetteers.

Bio:

Dr. Martin Doerr is a Research Director at the Information Systems Laboratory and honorary head of the Centre for Cultural Informatics of the Institute of Computer Science, FORTH. He has been leading the development of systems for knowledge representation and terminology, metadata, and content management. He has been leading or participating in a series of national and international projects for cultural information systems. His long-standing interdisciplinary work and collaboration with the International Council of Museums on modeling cultural-historical information have resulted besides others in an ISO Standard, ISO21127:2006, a core ontology for the purpose of schema integration across institutions.

Material:
ThinkSpatial2020-MartinDoerr

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial 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 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 in spatial thinking. If you are participating from outside the UCSB community, please also ask for access credentials.

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)

ThinkSpatial: Liz Ackert

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On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, The UCSB forum on spatial thinking presents

Latinx Destinations and Health

 

Liz Ackert

Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

11:30 a.m. (PST) Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Zoom* : https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/98445704485

Abstract:

The geography of Latinx areas of residence in the U.S. has shifted dramatically in the past three decades, with the Latinx population increasingly living in urban, suburban, and rural areas outside of established immigrant gateways such as California and Texas. This project addresses the consequences of the geographic diversification of Latinx settlement in the U.S. for patterns of health and well-being among the Latinx population. Amidst the changing geography of Latinx settlement, one question of interest is whether emerging areas of Latinx settlement, including “new” and “other” areas of settlement, have more positive or negative contextual resources and intergroup relations related to health and well-being than established gateways. In this ThinkSpatial talk, I present initial exploratory results from an assessment of variation in health care resources and immigration enforcement policies across three types of Latinx counties: (1) Established Destinations; (2) New Destinations, and; (3) Other Destinations. I draw from an array of publicly-available data sources, including the U.S. decennial censuses, the Health Resources and Services Administration (Area Health Resource Files, Health Professional Shortage Areas data, and Medically Underserved Areas data), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (County Health Rankings and Roadmaps), and the Migration Policy Institute and Immigrant Legal Resource Center (287g program participation information). This work has important implications for the current COVID19 pandemic, as it reveals the types of communities where Latinx populations may be lacking health care resources and where they may face contextual barriers to accessing health care.

Bio:

Liz Ackert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include racial/ethnic inequality, immigration, education, health disparities, urban geography, and quantitative methods. Her work examines explanations for why racial/ethnic and immigrant-origin groups are unequally distributed across contexts—including schools, neighborhoods, and immigrant destinations—and evaluates the consequences of this contextual inequality for disparities in outcomes in domains such as education, residential mobility, and health. Ackert is particularly interested in understanding how the attributes of immigrant-receiving contexts, including states, communities, neighborhoods, and schools, influence the health and well-being of Latinx  children and youth.

Material:

Ackert_ThinkSpatial_Talk_Web_June2_2020

* Note, if you are participating from outside the UCSB community, please contact epd@ucsb.edu to get access to the credentials.

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: Alina Ristea

thinkspatial_logo

On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the UCSB forum on spatial thinking presents

Spatial Crime Patterns vs. Safety Perception: Mixed Experiments

 

Alina Ristea

Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI)
School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Northeastern University, Boston

11:30 a.m. (PST) Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Zoom* : https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/98445704485

Abstract:
The occurrence of crime depends on a multitude of factors, namely crime attractors or generators, and it shows high spatiotemporal complexity. This presentation is targeting two opposite crime perspectives: (1) objective crime, and (2) subjective crime—perceived crime safety—fear of crime. This work contributes to the research on environmental crime analysis and prediction by pursuing two objectives. The first goal is to uncover spatial relationships between crime occurrences and nearby social media activity, whereas the second goal is to estimate the possible influence of social media posts on crime prediction models. The focus of this part of the presentation is on sporting events, suggesting that spatial crime patterns and people’s social posts are similar on event days and more dissimilar on non-event days. The subjectivity in crime is captured through the lenses of fear of crime. This project is an approach to amalgamate the knowledge about safety features already studied in the urban environment. The primary goal of this work is in using a fusion methodology for integrating a systematic video data acquisition, geographical storytelling, and human physiological measurements to build upon the analysis of the urban environment through a GIS-based platform. The three main objectives of this project are: (1) to test the compatibility of data acquisition through mixed technologies; (2) to extract safety information from the data acquired using mixed methods and to implement it in a GIS-based model; (3) to compare official crime data reported to the police, urban blight indicators, and people’s perceived safety, extracted from the mixed-method approach.

Bio:
Alina Ristea
is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI), part of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University. She has a Ph.D. in Applied Geoinformatics from the University of Salzburg, Austria (2019), entitled Integration and Evaluation of Social Media in Crime Prediction Models. Her background studies are in the domains of geography, cartography, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Ristea’s research interests are highly interdisciplinary, and include interdisciplinary level, focusing among others on combining elements of GIScience, urban informatics, neighborhood effects, spatiotemporal crime analysis, social media mining, predictive analytics, and safety perception. She is a guest editor for the International Journal of Geo-Information (IJGI), by MDPI: Special Issue Urban Crime Mapping and Analysis Using GIS. In addition, she is a member of the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) and the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Among others, Ristea won a Marshall Plan Scholarship (February–May 2019), from the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, for a research stay at Louisiana State University (LSU).

Material:

ThinkSpatial - Alina Ristea

 

* Note, if you are participating from outside the UCSB community, please contact epd@ucsb.edu to get access to the credentials.

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: Konstadinos Goulias

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On Tuesday, April 28, 2020, the UCSB 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 into 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, among others. We also include time for sleeping and activities and personal travel. 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 M.S.) in Engineering from the University of Calabria (Italy) in 1986, an M.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1987, and a Ph.D. in Engineering from University of California Davis, in 1991.

The objectives of the ThinkSpatial 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 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 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