Consumer Data Research Centre

Geo+Data London: 5 – Round Up

Our final Geo+Data London of the series on 30th April 2019 was one of our most successful to date, with two fascinating talks on London’s air quality and road traffic data. Below are the slides and abstracts for the two presentations.

Paul Hodgson: ‘Cleaning up London’s air – developments in the use of GIS and data science by the public sector’

Despite some of the headlines, air quality in London has improved in recent years as a result of policies to reduce emissions. However, further improvements are critical to public health and current actions include transforming London’s bus fleet and licenced taxis, protecting the worst affected schools from pollution and the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

At the same time, a revolution is happening in air quality monitoring as part of the fast moving IoT industry. Traditionally, a relatively small number of reference quality sensors are used – followed by a lengthy period of modelling to create a London-wide snapshot. With the proliferation of increasingly affordable air quality sensors, it will be possible to monitor air pollution at thousands of different locations in a city – greatly enhancing our ability to target and prioritise planned interventions. Increasingly companies, non-profit organisations, community groups and individuals also want to monitor the air and are investing in their own sensors.

Against this backdrop, we will describe problems that we have encountered and how we have overcome them, as we seek to combine data from a range of networks, including building stock models, satellite pollution sensors, real-time traffic apps and mobile AQ sensors on Google Street View vehicles. We will also talk about the partnership with the Alan Turing Institute to develop machine learning algorithms, data science platforms and statistical methodology to integrate data and present best estimates and 24hr forecasts.

 

Thomas Heinis: ‘Large-scale Spatial Analytics for Road Space Optimization’

Spatial data and geographical data has become abundantly available and its analysis is key to enable a vast array of different applications. In this talk I will briefly touch on the past as well as future research directions in spatial data management and will discuss one particular application where we have used novel spatial analytics. More specifically, I will talk about road space optimisation, an application involving so much data it would not have been possible without new approaches to spatial data analytics.

 

We may restart the Geo+Data London seminar series in the next academic year (2019/20). If you have not already done so, please sign up to our mailing list so that you are alerted to any future events.

 

Geo+Data London: 5

The CDRC and the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) are pleased to announce the fifth and final Geo+Data London event on 30th April 2019. Our events aim to provide an environment for those working with geographic data to meet, share, and learn from experiences and best practices as demonstrated by industry and current academic research.

For our fifth event, we have brought together speakers from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Imperial College London to speak on GIS and public sector data uses.

Schedule of events:

18:00: Registration
18.25: Introduction and Welcome
18.30: Paul Hodgson (City Intelligence Unit, GLA): ‘Cleaning up London’s air – developments in the use of GIS and data science by the public sector’
19.00: Dr Thomas Heinis (Imperial): ‘Large-scale Spatial Analytics for Road Space Optimization’
19.30: Networking
20.00: Event close

We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

The event is free but booking via Eventbrite is mandatory. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.

About our speakers:

Paul Hodgson is GIS & Infrastructure Manager at Greater London Authority, holds an MSc in GISc (Birbeck 2003), and is a Chartered Geographer (GIS). Paul joined the GLA in 2013, having previously led a national GIS team for 10 years specialising in analysis for the voluntary and public sector. Key pieces of work at GLA include: Open Data, City Data Analytics Programme, Data Science, and Internet of Things / sensors.

Dr Thomas Heinis is a Lecturer in Data Management at Imperial College London leading the SCALE lab. He is currently also a Visiting Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Dr. Heinis is renowned for research and development of systems in large-scale data management systems and parallel databases in general. His research focuses on scaling out big data into the cloud for spatial and geographical applications. Dr. Heinis received a BSc, MSc and PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. During his studies he also received several fellowships, including a Fulbright fellowship (Purdue University).

 

Geo+Data London: 4 – Round Up

Many thanks to all those who attended Geo+Data London 4 on 19th March 2019. Below are the abstracts and slides of our two speakers.

Corrado Cacciarru: ‘Strategies for managing and deploying GIS data on large civil infrastructure projects’.

Click here for slides

In this presentation, the challenges of managing quantities of data on large civil infrastructure projects were discussed along with the solution and the execution to overcome them. The key characteristics of a large civil infrastructure project and a coherent GIS data strategy were assessed to create a vision that inspires the provision of a GIS enterprise platform, and creates the main data environment and single source of information accessible by everyone from anywhere through a geographic data catalogue. Furthermore, quality documentation which sets out data governance and the provision of guidance on processes and procedures necessary for the execution of a specific GIS activity on the project were demonstrated via the establishment of a Communication, Engagement and Education plan. The execution was to establish a data management team in charge of ensuring data governance and continuous provision of advice and support, training, induction and focus group events. The presentation looks at the data management team distributed across the project and how it fits within the quality management process. This data management team is embedded into the project delivery to allow understanding of the dynamics between the teams and continuous review of the data strategy. The strategy strikes the proper balance between defensive (more data control) and offensive (more flexible approach) data management and considers general trade-offs between people, processes and technology.

 

Dr Claire Ellul: ‘GeoBIM: Data for a “Single Source of Truth” for Infrastructure’

This talk firstly provided a brief overview of GeoBIM, which is a combination of 3D GIS and Building Information Modelling, listing similarities between the two and challenges for interoperability.  The basic life cycle of a built asset was introduced, including a high level overview of asset management. The talk then went on to outline the benefits of combining these two sources of data into one ‘single source of truth’ and how this could be used both during the design and construction phases for infrastructure but also during asset management/operational.  The talk concluded with an overview of opportunities for further research.

 

Geo+Data London: 4

The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) and the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) are pleased to announce the fourth Geo+Data London event on 19th March 2019. Our events aim to provide an environment for those working with geographic data to meet, share, and learn from experiences and best practices as demonstrated by industry and current academic research.

For our fourth event, we have brought together speakers from LTC Cascade and University College London (UCL) to speak on 3D GIS and civil infrastructure projects.

Schedule of events:

18:00: Registration
18.25: Introduction and Welcome
18.30: Corrado Cacciarru (Arcadis/LTC Cascade): ‘Strategies for managing and deploying GIS data on large civil infrastructure projects’.
19.00: Dr Claire Ellul (UCL): ‘GeoBIM: Data for a “Single Source of Truth” for Infrastructure’.
19.30: Reception and networking
20.30: Event close

We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

The event is free but booking via Eventbrite is mandatory. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.

About our speakers:

Corrado Cacciarru, CGeog (FRGS), MSc, MBA, is the GIS Transformation Lead for the Lower Thames Crossing (LTC), Highway England’s largest infrastructure project to date. In a career spanning over twenty years, Corrado has supported research at academic and industry level, helping organisations redesign and transform their business, culture, capacity and performance through the use of GIS. At LTC, Corrado is responsible for identifying project delivery requirements and ensuring that the Common Data Environment (CDE) is available to all workstreams – checking and reporting on potential risks and opportunities that can affect project legacy, benefits and project delivery. Corrado manages the delivery of the GIS Strategy and Execution plan, leading the implementation of the GIS infrastructures, promoting best practice and technical standards, providing training, chairing focus groups and engaging with internal and external stakeholders to encourage data sharing, innovation, and “one team” collaboration.

Dr Claire Ellul is a Reader in Geographical Information Science (GIS) at University College London. After working for 10 years as a GIS systems integrator and consultant, Claire moved to academia in 2003, completing her PhD in 2007.  Her research focusses on 3D GIS and GeoBIM (the integration of GIS and BIM) and how this relates to Smart Cities, digital twins and a potential ‘single source of truth’ for the built environment, with particular focus on the benefits of seamless integration throughout a project’s lifecycle.

 

Geo+Data London: 3 – Round Up

It was another full house for Geo+Data London: 3 on 22nd January 2019. Below are the slides and abstracts of our two speakers for those who were unable to attend.

Anwar Musah: The risk assessment of various street-level characteristics on the burden of urban crime in a developing country

Throughout the sub-Saharan African continent, there is significant paucity in readily available spatially referenced electronic victimisation data for criminological research. The standard practice for most police stations in sub-Saharan Africa is the documentation of crime outcomes in journals or diaries. The problems of using such records in quantifying the burden of crime is that they are often incomplete, and it would require researchers to transform decades’ worth of paper-based data into a digital format which is time and cost-prohibitive.

One way to overcome such challenges is by conducting a population-based victimisation survey. Here, we interviewed a cohort of up to 3,300 residents in the city of Kaduna (in Nigeria) whereby we collected information relating to their socio-demographic status, household, environmental and street-level characteristics, as well as details of being burgled within the twelve months prior to April and May 2014. The data was used to derive contemporary estimates on the overall burden of residential burglaries in Kaduna. This study adopts an integrated approach using graph theory, statistical modelling and GIS on novel data to determine the impacts of various street characteristics on the risk of residential burglaries in Kaduna.

Anwar Musah is a post-doctoral research associate in UCL’s Department of Geography.

 

Alice Goudie: Real-world innovations with geodata around the UK

Alice’s talk explored how innovative uses of Geodata across the UK can help solve problems surrounding the widespread uptake of electric vehicles.  More specifically, where to put charging points. Various policy changes mean that electric vehicles are going to be more and more present on our roads, with the UK government banning the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.  This talk will explore some of the challenges surrounding electric vehicles and how GIS and spatial data analysis can start to solve some of the associated problems.

Alice Goudie is a Senior Location Intelligence Analyst at Emu Analytics.

 

Geo+Data London: 3

CDRC and the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) are pleased to announce the third Geo+Data London event on 22nd January 2019 at UCL. Our events aim to provide an environment for those working with geographic data to meet, share, and learn from experiences and best practices as demonstrated by industry and current academic research.

For our third event, we have brought together speakers from Emu Analytics and University College London (UCL) to speak on innovations in geodata and urban crime in a developing country.

Schedule of events:

18:00: Registration
18.25: Introduction and Welcome
18.30: Alice Goudie (Emu Analytics): ‘Real-world innovations with geodata around the UK’
19.00: Dr Anwar Musah (UCL): ‘The risk assessment of various street-level characteristics on the burden of urban crime in a developing country’
19.30: Reception and networking (room G07)
20.30: Event close

We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

The event is free but booking via Eventbrite is mandatory. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.

About our speakers:

Alice Goudie is Senior Location Intelligence Analyst at Emu Analytics and specialises in analyzing and visualizing spatial datasets in order to help clients make informed decisions. She works across many different sectors including smart cities, energy, electric vehicles, prop tech, transport, infrastructure and demographics. She did her Undergraduate Degree in Geography at UCL and returned a year later to do an MSc in GIS.

Anwar Musah is a post-doctoral research associate in UCL’s Department of Geography. Prior to this appointment, he attained a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health (University of Nottingham, UK) and a MSc in Epidemiology (Imperial College London, UK). He works with Dr James Cheshire, Dr Tatiana Thieme and with global partners from Ahmedu Bello University (Zaria, Nigeria) on the Development Frontiers on Crime, Livelihood & Poverty (FCLP) project. His work focusses on the dynamics and interlinkages between crime, livelihoods and poverty in second-tier cities in Africa. His work is interdisciplinary and includes the application of statistical modelling and GIS to spatially referenced sociodemographic, environmental criminological records.

 

Geo+Data London: 2 – Round Up

Thanks to all those who made it out for our second Geo+Data London event on 4th December 2018. For those of you who were unable to attend, we have asked our speakers to provide a short summary of their presentation as well as a copy of their slides. Unfortunately we are unable to share Mastercard’s slides due to commercial sensitivities.

Justin van Dijk: What’s in a name? Storing surname geographies for both visualisation and analysis

In the United Kingdom and many other countries, surnames are regionally clustered, reflecting the spatial extent of local, socio interaction, regional cultural milieus and settlement histories. As such, using longitudinal data sets, surnames and their geographies can be used to, for instance, study population change. For the past months, we have been working on cleaning, analysing, and visualising such surname geographies. At the same time, we are working on a website on which people can visualise their own surname geographies. Ideally, we would create a single database that could serve both purposes.

We are creating surname geographies using a Kernel Density Estimate (KDE) – which is a technique to capture spatial variations in point densities. However, a KDE is calculated over a regular grid that is placed over an area of interested – the entire United Kingdom in our case. Depending on the size of the grid cells, this leads to files that are relatively large in size. With thousands of surnames for multiple years, the pre-calculation and storage of all these geographies becomes infeasible. At the same time, if we were to only extract certain information from the regular grid we are losing information. This leaves little margin for errors in our analysis

In this talk, I will introduce a method that I have used to store hundreds of thousands of grids with a minimum of information loss. By carefully deconstructing the grids during the storage process, and by on the fly reconstructing the grid for visualisation, the same database can be used for both advanced analysis and rapid display of these geographic data.

Justin van Dijk is a post-doctoral research assistant in the Geospatial Analytics and Computing Research Group in the Department of Geography at UCL.

 

Eliot Marcus: Smart Insights from geo-aggregated transaction data

Mastercard transaction data is a rich source of location intelligence insights. Eliot reviewed some of the opportunities and uses of this data, and some of the location intelligence products that Mastercard offers. He also discussed the company’s strict data privacy controls and their impact on Mastercard’s work.

Eliot Marcus is Partnerships Europe Manager at at Mastercard.

 

Geo+Data London: 2

The CDRC and the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) are pleased to announce the second Geo+Data London event on 4th December 2018. Our events aim to provide an environment for those working with geographic data to meet, share, and learn from experiences and best practices as demonstrated by industry and current academic research.

For our second event, we have brought together speakers from Mastercard and University College London (UCL) to speak on transaction data and the geography of names.

The event will be held in Room G22 of the Pearson Building at UCL on Tuesday 4th December, from 6pm to 8.30pm. See here for a map of the location.

Please register your attendance through Eventbrite. Booking is free, but it is mandatory. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Schedule of events:

18:00: Registration
18.25: Introduction and Welcome
18.30: Eliot Marcus (Mastercard): ‘Smart Insights from geo-aggregated transaction data’
19.00: Dr Justin Van Dijk (UCL): ‘What’s in a name? Storing surname geographies for both visualisation and analysis’
19.30: Reception and networking
20.30: Event close

We look forward to welcoming you to this event.

About our speakers:

Eliot Marcus is Partnerships Europe Manager at at Mastercard.

Justin van Dijk is a post-doctoral research assistant in the Geospatial Analytics and Computing Research Group in the Department of Geography at UCL. Prior to this he obtained a Master’s degree in Human Geography and Planning from Utrecht University (the Netherlands), and received a Ph.D. degree in Transport Economics from Stellenbosch University (South Africa). His primary research interests are grouped around the analysis and visualisation of large scale spatial data, urban mobility, and geographic information systems in general.

 

Geo+Data London: 1 – Round Up

For those of you who were unable to come to our first Geo+Data London event on 2nd October 2018, we have asked our speakers to provide a short summary of their presentation as well as a copy of their slides.

Balamurgan Soundararaj: Estimating real-time high street footfall from Wi-Fi probe requests

In the past decade, Wi-Fi has emerged as the most extensively used technology in providing internet access to mobile devices in public spaces, resulting in multiple Wi-Fi networks being available at almost every location in dense urban environments. Modern mobile devices with Wi-Fi capability regularly broadcast a special type of signal – probe requests – to discover these available Wi-Fi networks, and the devices switch between them seamlessly. Though this provides us with an open, passive, continuous, and wireless source of data available at any urban location which can be used to understand the number of people present in the immediate surrounding in real-time and with high granularity, we also face two major uncertainties in such data sets. First is the field of measurement, which is impossible to delineate precisely; and second is the randomisation of MAC addresses by devices to protect the privacy of the users. In this talk, I introduced a proposed methodology which solves the former by classifying reported signal strength using k-means clustering algorithm, and solves the latter by a novel graph based clustering algorithm. Thus enabling us to estimate pedestrian footfall at these locations from just the Wi-Fi probe requests with considerable accuracy and without infringing on the privacy of the users involved.

To see Bala’s beautiful presentation, please click here. You will need to use the arrow buttons on your keyboard to click through it.

Bala Soundararaj is a a PhD student in the Department of Geography at UCL. To learn more about Bala, please click here.

 

Alastair McMahon: Smart Cities and Smart Transportation

Alastair is Analytics Director at Telefonica UK. To learn more about his work, please click here.

To see a copy of Alastair’s slides, please click here.

 

See here for a news item about the event. Our next event will be on Tuesday 4th December and features speakers from Mastercard and UCL. We will release full information and registration details shortly.

 

Geo+Data London: 1

The CDRC and the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) are collaborating for a five-part series of events entitled Geo+Data London.

These events aim to provide an environment for those working with geographic data to meet, share, and learn from experiences and best practices as demonstrated by industry and current academic research.

Event 1:  WiFi technology and smart cities, 2 October 2018

Speakers:
Telefónica UK and University College London (UCL) discussed the significance of WiFi technology and smart cities.

Schedule of events:
18:00: Registration
18.25: Introduction and Welcome by Tim Marston (Carto).
18.30: Alastair McMahon (Telefónica UK): ‘Smart Cities and Smart Transportation’.
19.00: Bala Soundararaj (UCL): ‘Estimating real-time high street footfall from Wi-Fi probe requests’.
19.30: Reception and networking
20.30: Event close

About the speakers:
Alastair McMahon is Analytics Director at Telefonica UK.

Balamurgan Soundararaj is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at UCL working with CDRC footfall data produced under the SmartStreetSensor project. Prior to this he worked in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between UCL School of Construction and Project Management and Transport for London looking at the use of network analysis in project management. His primary research interest is in the analysis and visualisation of large scale complex data relating to spatial and networked phenomena.