Archives for posts with tag: GeoSpatial

Slides from the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference, Portland September 2014.

Mapping urban infrastructure systems is a key requirement to advance our capacity to understand and promote the resilience of cities to both extreme weather events as a result of climate change and to long-term infrastructure transformation as a process of climate adaptation. Yet, while developing nations will bear the brunt of the interwoven, climatic, economic and social challenges of the 21st century, many of these countries lack the sensor networks required to monitor and model the response of the urban system to change.

The nexus of people and place embedded in social media communication which is widespread and ubiquitous in many developing nations offers one potential solution. In this context, location-based social media often in the form of big-data, can be used to map emerging spatio-temporal trends to support situational management. Critically, however, the collection and application of such data raises significant questions around privacy, trust and security of the information gathered. The project will be presented as a demonstration of the capabilities of free and open source geospatial technology to employ real-time social media data in a secure and anonymous manner for the purpose of decision support.

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I recently published a short essay in the IEEE Technology & Society Magazine about the opportunities and research challenges that social media present as a data source for understanding complex urban systems in informal settlements.  The post below is a synopsis of the article posted on IdeaPod.

Social media, driven by the explosive uptake in mobile computing, has caused a systematic shift in personal communications on a global scale. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement it is apparent that social media is becoming an integrated part of our global communication infrastructure. Critically, much of this information is underpinned by geographical content such as mobile GPS coordinates, which enable the user to tie their media to a specific location on the Earth’s surface. In this new paradigm, social media are effectively forming a human-powered sensor network.

PetaJakarta_FloodReport 2

As world populations continue to grow, and we face the social, climatic and economic challenges of the 21st century, how can we leverage the potential of this new global network of intelligence sensors? How can we use this data to inform us about the urban system and adapt to global change?

Article originally published in IEEE Technology & Society Magazine Spring 2014:

Previously, in this blog post, I discussed the ways in which we’re tackling the infrastructure challenges in developing nations using open data. Below are the slides I presented at the first International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure. The work presented is a proof-of-concept model using data from Map Kibera to optimise a road-based sewage network. The great thing about using this data is that for the first time we can glean an insight into infrastructure provision in informal urban settlements, and examine methods to improve it.

Following in the footsteps of the Raster Processing Suite, I’ve added GitHub pages for the PostGISDroid script which I wrote last year. This was a prototype Python script, built on the Android scripting layer, to log the location of an Android device to a remote PostGIS server. Check it out here:

PostGISDroid track in QGIS
A track from PostGISDroid in Quantum GIS.

If you’re looking for a full-blown Android client for mobile data acquisition check out the Sense Cloud Framework: