GeoForAll UrbanScience CityAnalytics

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Welcome to "Geo for All" Urban Science and City Analytics Thematic

Chairs: Chris Pettit (Australia) and Patrick Hogan (USA)

The mail list will be

With the "Geo for All" Urban Science and City Analytics thematic group established, the chairs of this are now the contact points for any new initiatives, ideas in this theme and the mailing list becomes the first point of contact for the new members and all members can use the list for collaborating on building subject specific collaborations.

This way we can make sure it is scalable and meets local/region requirements/needs.All ideas welcome.

Who in our network is doing what related to this theme?

  • Tom Mueller, California University of Pennsylvania
    • Similar to Charlie, I want to build educational exercises and service learning opportunities for my students.
  • Ant Beck, University of Nottingham Research Fellow
    • Currently transitioning into CityAnalytics looking at city wide entropy based energy management simulations. Have aspirations for an open, big data environment.
  • Phillip Davis, GeoAcademy
    • The GeoAcademy is using QGIS 2.8 to provide Massively Open Online Courses through the Canvas Network to students around the globe for free. We currently enroll 4,000 students in our March 2015 cohort.
  • Patrick Hogan, NASA World Wind Project Manager
    • Building open source virtual globe technology meant to stimulate innovative solutions managing geospatial data, whether open or proprietary.
  • Antoni Perez-Navarro, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
    • Currently working in indoor positioning systems. Previously have developed the Context Aware Recommender System, Present@.
  • Charlie Schweik and Alexander (Sasha) Stepanov
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst. Trying to build educational service learning opportunities for students on advanced GIS using our campus as a "testbed"

Urban Science / City Analytics: Key Application Areas, Needs and Challenges

  • 'CitySmart' app categories' feel free to expand (use-cases next):

We owe all of this 'first cut' to Brandt Melick, Information Technology Department Director, City of Springfield Oregon USA

  1. elevation data
  2. place names
  3. buildings
  4. utilities
  5. parks
  6. wetlands
  7. creeks
  8. streams
  9. rivers
  10. habitats for native and invasive species
  11. rights of way
  12. street systems
  13. storm drainage
  14. water distribution systems
  15. power distribution systems
  16. waste water systems
  17. parcel information
  18. building permits
  19. construction zones, etc.
  20. indoor positioning (added by aperezn)
  21. context aware recommender systems (added by aperezn)
  • Data sharing – Municipalities need to be able to share information with site developers, site constraint specialists (environmental scientists, planners and engineers), utility service providers and regulators. The following information is requested on a regular basis for a wide variety of location based solutions, namely (ESRI products, Autodesk products and standard office products such as excel, access, etc.). These data sets most often include, in order of importance:
    • Imagery (3-inch pixel is preferred, 1 foot pixel is less preferred, 1 meter is getting much less preferred)
    • Cadastral Information (parcel polygons, Rights of Way (ROW), property ownership, assessment and taxation information and property class)
    • Address Information (house number, street name, City, zip, site location (coordinates) and zoning information)
    • Jurisdictional boundaries (incorporated areas, city limits, county boundaries, etc.), urban growth boundaries, public safety response areas
    • Elevation Information (DEM’s (raster), DTM’s (vector), contours and spot elevation points, as well as mass points and break lines)
    • Waterways and protected areas (wetlands, fish-bearing streams, endangered species habitat, well-head protection zones, etc.)
    • Facilities a.k.a. utilities (waste-water, storm-water, transportation systems, power, drinking water, etc. who owns the facility, who maintains the facility, etc.)
    • Structures a.k.a. facilities (bridges, building foot prints, complexes, monuments, etc.)
    • Documents (reference material, procedures, regulations, metadata, etc.)
    • Lidar everyone wants yet few understand how to put it to good use (we are spoiled with 8 points per meter, 4-2 points per meter is still of good value)
  • Biggest challenges: data simplification, data currency, projection (datum) conversion, unit conversion (metric to standard), storage, firewalls, metadata, and then use once received . . . expertise with highly complex ever changing location based tools typically results in the need for some hand holding, then after being used, how to keep it current . . . (interoperable and open web services)
  • Site review – Municipalities need to evaluate the impact of proposed development activity on the existing build and natural environment, which typically includes estimating how much cut and fill is being proposed, how proposed land alteration impacts surface drainage, how proposed structures will to connect to city services (waste-water, storm-water, drinking-water, power, etc.), how steep the roads will be (slope for fire trucks), how close to wetlands and other protected waters of the state. These data sets most often include, in order of importance:
    • Imagery
    • Cadastral
    • Elevation
    • Facilities (structures and utilities)
    • Waterways . . .

Technologies in our network that are available for addressing these needs

Key research questions

Potential Study or Educational Service Learning sites:

  • Universities and university management are like small towns. Who in our list of universities are using GIS to manage their campuses?'
    • Massachusetts, USA
      • University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Schweik and Stepanov)
      • Town of Conway, MA (Schweik -- possibly a service learning case)

Potential Partners

  • GeoAcademy (Phil Davis)
  • IBM (who has that contact to the SmartCIty program)?

Links and References