ThinkSpatial: Pyry Kettunen

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On Tuesday, February 20, 2018 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

How to Strengthen Technological Support for Wayfinding and Spatial Communication with Context-Dependent Landmarks and Geo-Pictures

Pyry Kettunen

Senior Research Scientist
Department of GeoInformatics and Cartography
Finnish Geospatial Research Institute

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Flyer

Abstract:
Pyry KettunenWayfinding is the core intellectual component of everyday human navigation, which we often find challenging and in which we often make mistakes largely due to inaccurate spatial communication—particularly in unfamiliar environments. Wayfinding typically depends heavily on landmarks, that is, prominent features of the physical environment utilized as points of reference in geospatial thinking. In real use, utilized landmark sets can vary importantly between conditions and the individuals navigating, thus making interpersonal exchange about navigation arduous and even misleading. Still, such exchange plays a central role for the success of collaborative wayfinding efforts in everyday situations, such as a spontaneous gathering in a city, or even in lifesaving group tasks, such as search for a missing person.

In this ThinkSpatial talk, I will present a short general history of spatial cognition research with regards to wayfinding, as well as present results from our empirical in situ landmark studies in nature that show the dependence of utilized landmark sets on summer/winter, and day/night conditions. I will discuss the acquisition of landmark, route, and configuration types of spatial knowledge from geospatial pictures that commonly serve as our initial exposures and wayfinding aids in unfamiliar environments. I will conclude with my suggestions for future work to enhance personal navigation technology with context‐dependent landmark‐based wayfinding guidance in collaborative settings, and my project at the spatial@ucsb.

Bio: Pyry Kettunen is visiting the Center for Spatial Studies as a Fulbright Junior Scholar Feb-Jul 2018 for a research project on collaborative geospatial thinking. He is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) that is part of the National Land Survey of Finland (NLS‐FI). He received his M.Sc. (Tech.) in Geoinformatics from Helsinki University of Technology in 2008 and D.Sc. (Tech.) in Geoinformatics from Aalto University School of Engineering in 2014. His studies included an exchange year at the EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, and four months as a visiting grant researcher at the LMC lab of the Université Paris Descartes. Kettunen’s research has concentrated on human spatial cognition of landmarks and wayfinding as well as on development and usability of varied kinds of cartographic applications. His current research interests include interpersonal spatial cognition, cartographic animation, and web maps. His personal interests are in endurance sports in nature, choir or group singing when possible, and arts in general.

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

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ThinkSpatial: Edzer Pebesma

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On Tuesday, February 6, 2018 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

How can Units of Measurement Improve Spatial Data Science?

Edzer Pebesma

Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, 2018 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Flyer

Abstract:

Pebesma (C) bipm.orgUnits of measurement are a well‐understood system for describing part of the reference of quantities. They help, for instance, in figuring out whether we can meaningfully compare or add two quantities, or what the unit of measurement of a product of quantities is. In this talk I will explore whether they can help spatial analysis: Can we automatically decide, based on the unit of measurement, whether a value associated with polygon or grid cell is spatially extensive, or intensive? Should the “unitless” unit be extended to handle incompatibility between weight ratios (g/g), counts of persons, and counts of wildfires? I will illustrate this with recent implementation work in the R packages udunits, units, and sf; see also https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csi.2017.10.002

Bio: Edzer Pebesma is professor in Geoinformatics at the University of Muenster, Germany. He is associate editor of Spatial Statistics and one of the editors in chief of the Journal of Statistical Software. He is an active developer of R spatial packages, and one of the authors of Applied Spatial Data Analysis with R, 2nd edition.

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

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ThinkSpatial: Vena Chu

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On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Hydrologic Dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Vena W. Chu

Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Flyer

Abstract:

riversThe current need for forecasting Greenland Ice Sheet contributions to global sea level rise is complicated by the lack of understanding of ice sheet hydrology. The proportion of meltwater contributing to sea level rise, as well as the pathways transporting meltwater from snow to sea are not well understood. This presentation examines components of the Greenland hydrologic system using geospatial technologies and field measurements to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of meltwater runoff. I will highlight recent work on supraglacial rivers and moulins that explores how well current models represent when, where, and how much water leaves the ice sheet.

Bio: Vena W. Chu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at UCSB. She received the Ph.D. degree in Geography from UCLA, where she also earned her M.A. (Geography) and B.A. (Geography and Economics). She was also a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the UC Berkeley Department of Geography.

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

Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

ThinkSpatial: Alexander Franks

thinkspatial_logoOn Tuesday, November 21, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

“From Pixels to Points: Using Tracking Data to Measure Performance in Professional Sports”

Alexander Franks

Department of Statistics
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Flyer

Thinkspatial Alexander Franks

Abstract:
New optical tracking technologies are increasingly used to gather high resolution spatial and time series data in professional sports. In the National Basketball Association (NBA), the technology is used to record the positions of the players and the ball at 25 frames/second, yielding hundreds of millions of observations per season. In this talk, I will describe a series of spatio-temporal models for quantifying the game of basketball. By blending Bayesian hierarchical models with geography inspired mapping tools, we will shed light on previously unidentified aspects of play. Specifically, we develop models to describe spatial variation of defensive ability, the value of decision-making and propose a model for clustering player trajectories. Importantly, efficient inference requires models that pool information both between players and across space. Although we apply these methods to professional basketball data, we emphasize the applicability of our methods to a wide range of domains.

Bio:

Alex Franks is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability. His research interests include covariance estimation, multivariate analysis and high dimensional data, errors-in-variables models, missing data, and spatio-temporal methods. His primary focus is on applications in computational and systems biology. He is also a member of XY Research (xyresearch.com), a group that conducts research in sports statistics with a focus on playertracking data.

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

Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

ThinkSpatial: Amr El Abbadi

thinkspatial_logoOn Tuesday, November 14, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

“LocBorg: Location Privacy while Preserving Online Persona”

Amr El Abbadi

Department of Computer Science
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Flyer

Thinkspatial Amr El Abbadi

Abstract:
Social media stream analysis can reveal the characteristics of users who engage with or post about different topics. Recent technologies show that it is possible to reveal sensitive attributes (e.g., location, gender, ethnicity, political views, etc.) of individuals by analyzing their social media streams. Although, the prediction of a user’s attributes can be used to enhance the user experience in social media, revealing some sensitive attributes like location could represent a threat to individuals. In this talk will explore our vision regarding the future of user privacy on social media. We advocate a cyborg, an artificial intelligent system, which helps social media users protect their privacy by obfuscating their location while maintaining their online persona.

Bio:

Amr El Abbadi is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his B. Eng. from Alexandria University, Egypt, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. El Abbadi is an ACM Fellow, AAAS Fellow, and IEEE Fellow. He was Chair of the Computer Science Department at UCSB from 2007 to 2011. He has served as a journal editor for several database journals, including, The VLDB Journal, IEEE Transactions on Computers, and The Computer Journal. He has been Program Chair for multiple database and distributed systems conferences, most recently SIGSPATIAL GIS 2010, ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC) 2011, COMAD (India) 2012, the first ACM Conference on Social Networks (COSN)2013 and The International Conference on Networked Systems (NETYS) in Morocco 2017. He currently serves on the executive committee of the IEEE Technical Committee on Data Engineering (TCDE) and was a board member of the VLDB Endowment from 2002 to 2008. In 2007, El Abbadi received the UCSB Senate Outstanding Mentorship Award for his excellence in mentoring graduate students. In 2013, his student, Sudipto Das received the SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award. Most recently El Abbadi was the co‐recipient of the Test of Time Award at EDBT/ICDT 2015. He has published more than 300 articles in databases and distributed systems and has supervised more than 35 Ph.D. students.

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

Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

ThinkSpatial: Clodoveu Davis

thinkspatial_logoOn Tuesday, October 31, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

“Spatial Integrity Constraints from Conceptual Modeling and their support in Spatially-extended DBMSs”

Clodoveu Davis

Computer Science Department
Universidade Federal de Minas Gervais

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 31, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Flyer

Thinkspatial Clodoveu Davis

Abstract:
Relational database management systems (DBMS) typically offer, through SQL, functions and statements dedicated to establishing and enforcing integrity constraints for conventional data. Spatial extensions for RDBMSs add simple geometric data types, spatial reference systems, and spatial functions, but they have not advanced in the direction of a general specification of spatial integrity constraints. Further, there is a large semantic distance between abstract representation alternatives used in conceptual modeling for spatial databases, as opposed to the much simpler point/line/polygon definitions included in spatially‐extended RDMBSs. This distance has to be covered by application code, or by using general‐purpose (and frowned upon) mechanisms such as triggers. An argument will be presented toward (1) including more advanced spatial data types in spatial databases, and (2) the need for future expansion of data and indexing structures for spatial DBMSs to support the enforcement of spatial integrity constraints by the DBMS, to the benefit of superjacent applications, with greater efficiency.

Bio:

Clodoveu Davis is an associate professor at the Computer Science Department of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He lectures in graduate and undergraduate courses, and coordinates the Information Systems major at UFMG. In 2015 he created the Interdisciplinary Computer Science Lab (dubbed LabCS+x, where x stands for any other area of knowledge), which he continues to coordinate. He is also the program chair of GeoInfo, the main Brazilian conference on geoinformatics. His primary research interests are: spatial databases, spatial data infrastructures, geographic information systems (GIS), geographic data modeling, geocoding and urban GIS applications.

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

Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

Thinkspatial: Matto Mildenberger

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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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Brownbags 2016-2017

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The UCSB Brownbag Forum on Spatial Thinking

 

Informal noon-time presentations that feature theories, concepts, tools, and applications for spatial thinking across disciplines, including the natural and the social sciences, as well as the humanities. Presentations will take place at the Center for Spatial Studies, Phelps 3512, 12:00–1:00 pm.

Schedule 2016–2017

DateSpeaker/Topic
June 6, 2017Werner Kuhn
Center for Spatial Studies and Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Place-based GIS: What’s the big deal?
May 30, 2017Kelly Caylor
Earth Research Institute; Bren School of Environmental Science and Management; and Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Dryland Feedbacks between Biogeochemistry, Plants and Surface Hydrological Dynamics
May 2, 2017Dennis Whelan
Campus Planning and Design
University of California, Santa Barbara

A Brief But Spectacular History of UCSB Campus Planing
April 11, 2017Susan Cassels
Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Short-term Mobility and Sexual Behavior – Testing the Selection, Enabling, and Influence Hypotheses
March 14, 2017Werner Kuhn, Nick Eidler and Marc Thiemann
University of California, Santa Barbara

The New UCSB Interactive Campus Map
February 14, 2017Liz Chrastil
Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

Navigation: Spatial Knowledge, Individual Differences, and Neuroscience
November 29, 2016Andre Bruggmann
University of Zurich

How Does GIScience Support Spatio-Temporal and Thematic Information Exploration in the Humanities?
November 8, 2016Tomi Kauppinen
Aalto University
Helsinski, Finland

On Spatial Aboutness
November 1, 2016Ben Halpern
NCEAS
University of California, Santa Barbara

Mapping Global Hotspots of Ocean Aquaculture
October 25, 2016Johanes Sholz
TU, Graz

Ontology and Epistemology of Indoor Manufacturing Environments
October 18, 2016Katja Seltmann
Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration
University of California, Santa Barbara

The Informative Bug: A Case Study Defining Areas of Endemism using North American Insects
October 11, 2016Jeffrey Hoelle
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Forest, Weeds, and Hair: Conceptual Categories of Nature and the Management of "Covers" in Amazonia

ThinkSpatial: Werner Kuhn

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On Tuesday, June 6, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

Place-based GIS: What’s the big deal?

Werner Kuhn

Center for Spatial Studies
Department of Geography
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Abstract:

Modeling “place” remains a conundrum for spatial computing. Geographic Information Science has discussed requirements and possible approaches for many years, but has not yet produced a convincing solution. In this brief talk, I will present my recent work, together with colleagues at Melbourne University, that sheds new light on the topic. We took the current state of my Core Concepts of Spatial Information (Location, Field, Object, Network, Event) and asked what the simplest possible account for place would be in them that still satisfies the known requirements. The proposed solution (places are a special kind of objects) is now being tested against the requirements stated in the literature. Your feedback and questions will help in this process.

Bio:

Werner Kuhn holds the Jack and Laura Dangermond Endowed Chair in Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is professor of Geographic Information Science. He is also the director of the Center for Spatial Studies at UCSB. His main research and teaching goal is to make spatial information and computing accessible across domains and disciplines. Before joining UCSB in late 2013, Kuhn was a professor of Geoinformatics at the University of Munster, Germany, where he led MUSIL, an interdisciplinary semantic interoperability research lab. Kuhn is described as a leading expert in the area of geospatial semantics and especially known for his work on Semantic Reference Systems as well as his work on interaction metaphors for Geographic Information Systems. Recent research projects include the Linked Open Data University of Muenster (together with the university library), and a series of EU projects on geospatial services in the semantic web.

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 Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar

ThinkSpatial: Kelly Caylor

thinkspatial_logoOn Tuesday, May 30, 2017 The UCSB brown-bag forum on spatial thinking presents

“Dryland Feedbacks between Biogeochemistry,
Plants and Surface Hydrological Dynamics”

Kelly Caylor

Professor, Department of Geography and the
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
Director, Earth Research Institute
University of California, Santa Barbara

12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, 2017 | 3512 Phelps Hall (map)

Dryland landscape

Abstract:
Both the ecology and hydrology of dryland landscapes are characterized by high degrees of spatial and temporal heterogeneity. In particular, temporal heterogeneity in rainfall drives coupled hydrological and biogeochemical surface dynamics that are themselves highly influenced by the spatial organization of dryland vegetation. Despite being appreciated as a conceptual tool for understanding dryland function, the specific role of temporal and spatial variability in governing the dynamics of drylands has received little empirical attention. Most studies of variability in rainfall and soil moisture dynamics have attempted to capture either fine-scale spatial heterogeneity caused by vegetation structure (i.e. tree/grass/bare patch differences) or short-term impacts of shifts in soil moisture distributions via experimental manipulations. In this talk, I will examine the larger-scale implications of rainfall variability, impacts of variability on the partitioning of surface hydrological fluxes, and subsequent patterns and dynamics of vegetation and biogeochemistry across a range of ecological settings. Of particular interest is understanding how dryland, moist tropical, and subsistence agricultural ecosystems will respond to shifts in rainfall climatology which may alter the frequency and depth of rainfall events without necessarily impacting average seasonal rainfall totals. Using examples from across the tropics – with a focus on sub-Sarahan Africa – I will highlight some recent work which explores shifts in ecosystem function driven by altered rainfall climatology and the potential impacts of increased variability on the structure and function of African ecosystems.

Bio:
Professor Caylor is the Director of the Earth Research Institute and Professor of Ecohydrology in the Department of Geography and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. He received his PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. Professor Caylor’s research seeks to develop improved insight into the way that land use and climate change are interacting to affect the dynamics and resilience of global drylands. His primary research sites are in sub-Saharan Africa, where he is focused on understanding the vulnerability of pastoral and subsistence agricultural communities to current and future changes in hydrological dynamics. His teaching experience and interests include field courses in Kenya, earth system sciences, environmental biophysics, and environmental sensing and sensor development. He is a co-founder of Arable Labs, Inc. (www.arable.com), a company focused on enhancing agricultural decision making and improving in-field data availability for farmers. Professor Caylor conducts research at a number of spatial and temporal scales; from small-scale experiments during individual rainfall events all the way up to continental-scale analyses of climate trends. A major focus of his research is the development of new methods to improve the measurement and prediction of ecosystem water use efficiency. Professor Caylor has served on the editorial board of Water Resources Research, the Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, Vadose Zone Journal, and Environmental Research Reviews, Environmental Research Letters. He was a recipient of an Early Career Award from the NSF, and was the inaugural recipient of Early Career Award in Hydrological Sciences given by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

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 Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) to review and schedule possible discussion topics or presentations that share your disciplinary interest in spatial thinking.

Follow spatial@ucsb on Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Google Calendar