Intended as an inspirational session, the Lightning Talks are a series of delicious, rapid-fire talks on spatially-flavored topics. Each presenter is allotted three minutes to develop a topic. This event is currently organized by Kitty Currier.

1/23/2022 Update: Videos from 2021 are available below. While we are working to restore earlier videos, a subset is archived at the Center for Spatial Studies’ eScholarship page.

2021 Lightning Talks
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Due to Covid-19, 2021’s Spatial Lightning Talks moves online and it has attracted more than 300 registers from all around the world. The success of its international debut attributes to our great speakers who come from multiple walks of life and disciplines. They have shared topics including geology, spatial cognition, space and music, remote sensing, disaster response, ecology, and so on. Plus, this year’s event was dedicated to the memory of Paul Wilson (video), who was one of the Center’s most avid and constant participants of all things spatial.

Michael Goodchild: “You are here” (video)

Gabriela Morosanu: “Fine sediments sources and coal mining: Spatial-temporal interference” (video)

Menno-Jan Kraak: “How an advertisement made me think about space and time” (video)

Anna Lopez-Carr: “Mapping applications for post-disaster learning in Puerto Rico” (video)

Xiang Ye: “There is a reason for ‘geospatial’” (video)

Ronnie Bailey- Steinitz: “The forest or the trees: Scaling measurements of food availability” (video)

Michael Kilburn: “Geosophy”

Monica Castelhano: “Exploring real-world schemes: Semantics and functions of everyday spaces”

Lexie Kunz: “GPS usage and its effect on spatial navigation” (video)

Qingyu Ma: “Satellite maps tell a lot” (video)

Ashley Kuder: “Saving birds from window collisions, one building at a time” (video)

Alexis Story Crawshaw: “Spatial expression approaches in electro- somaesthetic” (video)

Katy Börner: “Human [reference] map” (video)

André Skupin: “Yes, There’s a Map For That!” (video)

Stephen Hirtle: “Why is it not a cognitive map?” (video)

Jayden Schultz: “The norming of space” (video)

Andrew Schroeder: “Mobility data for emergency response” (video)

2020 Lightning Talks
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2020’s Spatial Lightning Talks were one to remember. As we munched on Chipotle, our listeners from across campus and the community were regaled with three-minute talks that ran the gamut, and that captured our attention for an hour. Speakers had the challenge to present a new topic to the audience in only three minutes, after a which a loud (electronic) bell would stop their thought in its tracks – because it was question time! Read the full summary of the event here.

Dr. Keith Clarke: “Why Map Rozel Point?”

Dr. Clayton Nall: “Why Partisans Don’t Sort”

Joel Salzman: “The Best Places to Vote in California”

Nick Triozzi: “Drones and Thermal Imagery for Archaeological Survey”

Margaret Fisher: “Taking Up Space: Large(st) Animals and the Collective Literary Unconscious”

Paul Wilson: “Where Do We Live?”

Eduardo Romero: “High Frequency Radar in the Santa Barbara Channel”

Louis Graup: “Fire and Water: A Spatial Connection”

Dr. Wendy Meiring: “Collaborations Through Time and Space”

Thomas Crimmel: “Ancient Real Estate at the Maya Center of El Pilar”

Pratik Raghu: “Spaces of Hope Under State Terrorism”

Zoe Hinck: “Mapping Professional Networks”

2019 Lightning Talks
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New space, same (but never old!) event, 2019’s Spatial Lightning Talks were one to remember. As they munched on sandwiches and pizza, our listeners from across campus were regaled with three-minute talks that ran the gamut, and that captured our attention for over an hour. Speakers had the challenge to present a new topic to the audience in only three minutes, after a which a loud (electronic) bell would stop their thought in its tracks – because it was question time! Read the full summary of the event here.

John Lee: Race and Space on an American College Campus, 1886-1888

Thomas Hervey: Travel Spaces and their Stories

Skona Brittain: Space-Filling Curves

Mike Johnson: An R-based Ecosystem for Earth System Data

George Legrady: 3D Data Visualization Fundamentals from MAT 259 Course

Keith Clarke: Where is Nowhere?

Ethan Turpin & David Gordon: An Interactive Fire, Water and Climate Model

Dan Montello: Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!

Greg Hillis: Mandalas: Buddhist Maps of Perfection

Aaron Bagnell: Fuzzy Oceans: Clustering Water Masses to Overcome Local Sampling Bias

Ken Dunkley: COOL Terroir: Place and the Character and Quality of Food and Beverages

Tom Ekman: Exploring a Watershed with Mexican Youth

2018 Lightning Talks
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The UCSB Center for Spatial Studies hosted another great round of Spatial Lightning Talks, with a whole new batch of spatially-relevant topics. Eight speakers took the challenge to “enlighten us, but make it quick!” Many new and returning faces in the crowd had the opportunity to hear a lively group of speakers and make new connections across campus. This year, there was a 2-minute question and answer period after each 3-minute presentation, allowing the audience to participate more in the program. Read the full summary of the event here.

Keith Clarke: The Honda Point Disaster

Jeremy Douglass: Panelcode

Paul Wilson: Mapping Thomas

Joshua Kuntzman: UCSB Crossroads

Lily Cheng: Left Hand, Right Hand

James Caesar: Thomas Fire: Don’t Fight the Scenario

Thomas Crimmel: The Abridged History of the Digital Desktop

William Yim: Focus

2017 Lightning Talks
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The sixth annual Lightning Talks event was held on Tuesday, February 28 at the Mosher Alumni House. In this fast-paced, hour-long event 16 speakers from across and beyond campus presented 3-minute talks falling under the broad theme of “space/spatial,” ranging in scope from drone mapping to smartphone organization, offshore wind energy planning, and a history of UCSB campus planning. The event, organized by Kitty Currier, was standing-room-only, with about 80 attendees from diverse departments campus wide, as well as from the local community.

Dan Montello: The Un-Spatial Talk

Thomas Crimmel: Your Smartphone, Organize It

Elizabeth J. Hambleton: Acoustic Spatialization

Rui Zhu: IChing and Geography

Paul Wilson: The Geography in Cancer

James Caesar: UCSB Emergency Preparedness Programs

Dennis Whelan: A Lovely Mess– A Brief History of UCSB Campus Plans

John Loman: UCSB Communications Network Mapping and Documentation

Marc Mayes: Mysteries of a Breathing Biosphere

Frank Pendleton: Offshore Wind Energy Planning

Waldo Tobler: A New Companion for Mercator

Skona Brittain: Time for Space

Karly Marie Miller: Using Space As a Proxy for Time to Study Tourism and Fisheries

Daniel Phillips: Defining the Community of Interest as a Cognitive Region

William F. Yim: A Day in Ventura

Eduardo Romero : Drone Mapping

2016 Lightning Talks
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Fifteen speakers presented their work and perspectives in a 3-minute format, making the fifth annual Lightning Talks a great success. Crystal Bae organized this event, which took place at Student Resources Building Multipurpose Room on February 29, 2016.

Alexander Boone: Navigation and the Human Stress Response

Susan Cassels: Syphilis, Circuit Parties, and Circular Migration

James Caesar: Emergency Management and the Use of Information and Maps

Keith Clarke: How to Prove the Earth is Round

Tommie Dickie: The Iditarod: 1000 Mile Alaskan Test of Courageous Dogs and Mushers

Jeremy Douglass: Page Spaces, Remixed: 500+ Excursions through House of Leaves Pages

Song Gao: Earth’s Biggest Seasonal Human Migration on a Map

Adam Grosshans: Navigating a Volume: The Seattle Public Library

Jordan Hastings: What’s in a Gazeteer?

Donald Janelle: UCSB Spatial Archives @ eScholarship

Sara Lafia: Degrees of Separation: Measuring Musicians and Places

Sijie Loo: Space Traveling in Paintings

Kevin Mwenda: How High can Mosquitoes Get?

Celeste Pilegard: Training Spatial Skills with Video Games

William F. Yim: Coast Redwoods in California

2015 Lightning Talks
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Fourteen new and returning speakers made the fourth annual Lightning Talks a success. Kitty Currier organized the event, which took place at Mosher Alumni House on February 25, 2015.

Tommy Dickey and Hot Rod Linkin, Polar Bears and Great Pyrenees Dogs: A Matter of Scale!

David Gordon, Linking Sound, Image and Place

Skona Brittain, More Than Four Colors

Yingjie Hu, Metadata harmonization in spatial data infrastructures

Todd Bryan, Wedding Cake Geoprocessing for Web GIS

Amy Shadkamyan-Talamantes, UCSB Business Continuity

Selena Daly, Mapping the Italian Avant-Garde: Futurism in Space and Time (1909-1944)

Bernard Comrie, Go West, Young Man: Consistency and Inconsistency in Cognitive Representations of Cardinal Directions

Keith C. Clarke, Why isn’t the US metric?

Jeremy Douglass, Experimental Game Spaces: virtual visions, architectures, and dimensions

William F. Yim, Chinese Calligraphy

David A. Hallowell, First-Grade Students and Geometric Diagrams: What do they notice?

Kim Yasuda, Light Works: Isla Vista

Steve Miley, Beyond the Locked Gate

2014 Lightning Talks
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The third annual Lightning Talks featured a lineup of 11 new and returning speakers, presenting to a full room at Mosher Alumni House on February 25, 2014. Kitty Currier organized the event.

Keith C. Clarke, The Four Washington Meridians

Tommy Dickey, Teddy, and Linkin, Brave Arctic Gold Rush Dogs

Song Gao, Spatial Questions Collected from GIS HelpDesk

Margaret R. Tarampi, A Little Pictorial Space Can Change Your Perception of Art

William Yim, Airport Terminal Designs

Crystal Bae, Lessons from the Road: Cross-Country by Bicycle

Paul Wilson, Whale Traffic Control

Heather Burte, Individual Differences and the Neural Bases of Allocentric-Headings

Andrea Ballatore, Computing the Spirit of Place

George Legrady, Image, Interaction and Representation: Some Artistic Projects that Address Space

Jeremy Douglass, Navigating Narratives as Networks

2013 Lightning Talks
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Kitty Currier organized this edition of Lightning Talks, held at the Mosher Alumni House over the lunch hour on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. The brave cast of inspirational speakers included:

Tommy Dickey, Chasing Ocean Eddies and Pyrenean Sheep!

Mary Hegarty, How I Became a Spatial Thinker

Song Gao, Spatio-Temporal Patterns from Mobile Phone Data

Jim Caesar, Emergency Preparedness

Don Janelle, Convergent Places—Warped Spaces

Rodrigo Bombardi, Relationships Between Precipitation over Eastern South America and the South Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature

Skona Brittain, Where in the World is Hunter San Cazador?

Chuck Champlin, Twinkle: A Geometry of Meaning

Grant McKenzie, Airports: The Good, the Bad, and the WTF

Emily Ellis, Can we use terrestrial biogeography to inform placement of MPA’s?

Jon Jablonski, New in MIL: The Fairchild Aerial Surveys Collection

William Yim, Airfield Design and Capacity

Yingjie Hu, Citation Map: Visualizing the Spread of Scientific Ideas through Space and Time

Kitty Currier, Shipshaping and Fiafia (or How I Became a Geographer)

2010 Lightning Talks
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March 10, 2010

Organized by Alan Glennon, the brave cast of inspirational speakers presenting to a standing-room-only crowd included:

Rick Church, Marine Transportation: OOPS (video)

Helen Couclelis, Why Sketching Works (or, Why GIS Needs Design) (video)

Kitty Currier, Beyond Street View: Documenting Coral Reefs with “Immersive” Video (video)

Alan Glennon, How to Map a Cave (video)

Rhonda Glennon, How to become a Private Pilot (video)

Michael F. Goodchild, Spatio-temporal Constraints on Social Networks (video)

Dan Montello, Baldknobbers of the Ozarks (video)

Hugo Repolho, Optimum Location of Motorway Interchanges: Concessionaires’ Perspective (video)

Waldo Tobler, Ravenstein Revisited (video)

View all videos on YouTube: