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Duncan Smith University College London

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Presentation on theme: "Duncan Smith University College London"— Presentation transcript:

1 Duncan Smith University College London

2 Web 2.0 Rapid development and integration of Web 2.0 and geographical technologies- webmapping, mash-ups, LBS etc. Why is space important online? Ideas and aspirations behind the style- Creation of rich interactive web applications Building online communities, online social networking User contributed content Sharing data/ free open access Collective intelligence, ’crowd-sourcing’ ‘Long tail’ business model Technical standards and approaches- AJAX, SOAP etc, distributed web services Many aspects and interpretations. Partly about style, buzzwords…

3 Why ‘Where?’ matters on the web The Geoweb Space can be used as a fundamental approach to organising information. The Geoweb is a vision of all spatial data being integrated and accessible online. Some information services strongly spatial (mapping, business search etc.), while many others can be augmented with spatial context (encyclopaedias, social networking, applications in academic research). Internet companies competing to be the lead spatial web portal, and control growing market of spatial searching. Effectively ‘arms race’ between Google and Microsoft. Massive investment and innovation.

4 Google Maps- the de facto Geoweb? Google Maps first released in 2005. Fantastic innovation including- Global to local topographic and satellite mapping together online for first time. Free to access. Easy to use interface API released for user created mapping. Continually added to with more features- business searching, travel planning, ‘My Maps’, ‘Street View’… Spatial ‘glue’ to stick together Location Based Services e.g. now key feature on mobiles such as iPhone. Does Google Maps match the Geoweb Vision? Issues concerning data ownership, open source standards, future advertising… Lacking tools to allow researchers to share and analyse more complex spatial data.

5 Academic Perspectives on the Geoweb Lots of disciplines engage with geographic information, wealth of data- geography, planning, demography, economics, statistics, ecology, geology, sociology, ethnography, criminology, archaeology… Many datasets benefitting from online visualisation and access- UK national datasets increasingly online Standardisation improving through OGC Remains difficult for researchers to easily share their own spatial data. Often need your own web server and software. Specialist GIS and web programming knowledge required. Lack of tools with the intuitive ease of use of Web 2.0, public engagement, online communities. Google maps and similar don’t offer basic GIS functionality. New tools needed to expand online spatial data capabilities for researchers

6 The GeoVUE Project GeoVUE project part of NCeSS. Mission to develop free web-based technologies and software for the social sciences. At CASA new GIS applications developed for 2D and 3D web mapping and urban visualisation. Software tools GMap Creator Image Cutter Websites MapTube NCeSS, digitalurban, LondonProfiler, gisagents Related Work NCeSS Nodes- online modelling with MoSeS, GENeSIS OpenStreetMap Spatial Literacy

7 GMapCreator Making a Map with GMapCreator GMapCreator creates thematic map websites from GIS data, overlayed on Google Maps. Visualisation and data sharing tool for large datasets, with geographical context provided by the basemap. Straightforward to use and does not require a server and web programming knowledge.


9 Example Application- The London Profiler Platform on which public sector data can be displayed and searched through a common interface. Includes demographic, health, ethnicity, transport and deprivation data. Used mainly by local government and the health sector. Application by Maurizio Gibin, CASA and UCL Geography.

10 London Profiler Applications: Spatial Literacy & Outreach

11 London Profiler – IMD Applications: Spatial Literacy & Outreach

12 London Profiler – Multicultural Atlas Applications: Spatial Literacy & Outreach

13 London Profiler – Multicultural Atlas Applications: Spatial Literacy & Outreach

14 London Profiler – Applications: Spatial Literacy & Outreach

15 Example Application- The London Profiler

16 MapTube website MapTube is an easy to use website for sharing maps created with GMapCreator. Web 2.0 approach to building a spatial research community. Maps can be overlayed and transparency altered to compare data visually. Existing maps can be searched and combined, and users can login to upload new maps. Uploading to MapTube

17 The Image Cutter Tool Also possible to share any image based data using similar approaches. Image Cutter tool takes any image or digital photo and cuts it into tiles displayed on a Google Map. Large images can be published on the web in a format that allows the user to pan and zoom using the standard Google Maps interface. Wide variety of applications including urban panoramas, very high resolution microscopic imaging, art history visualisation. Example from the Homer Multitext Library

18 Beyond Google- OpenStreetMap and OpenLayers Software tools based around Google Maps. Ideally should have greater flexibility, options of open source data. Expanded flexibility of MapTube using OpenLayers software. Can be used to integrate wide range of standards- GML, KML, WMS, WFS… OpenStreetMap Great example of user generated content. Topographic mapping for much of the world created by mapping enthusiasts using GPS data. Less restrictive copyright than Google or Ordnance Survey. For UK comprehensive and sufficiently accurate for many applications.

19 Expanding the Maptube Concept Crowd sourcing- –Potential to use online mapping for visualising spatial surveys. Greater interactivity with clickable thematic maps 3D Mapping in Second Life and Google Earth

20 Mapping the Credit Crunch for BBC Radio 4 iPM Show Crowdsourcing BBC Radio 4 MapTube Change over time

21 Spatial Surveys Comments Proof of concept. Great potential to expand ideas of interactive spatial surveys. Temporal as well as spatial information provided. Expanding use in other contexts e.g. getting feedback on geodemographic datasets. Best example OpenStreetMap discussed earlier. Issues with sampling- who are online users? Who most likely to contribute? And need more rigorous approach to format of survey.

22 Web GIS and Interactivity Display Tile Feature Tile (links every pixel to a unique feature ID code) Attribute Data Fid1510 DistrictM41 MaxClass3 Total349 PCTDrivePay20.63 PCTDiffTimes18.62 PCTPublicTrans11.75 PCTElsewhere44.13 PCTNotAffected4.87 Feature XML File (one for every feature) Manchester Congestion Charge

23 3D Visualisation in Google Earth and Second Life 3D Urban Environments in Google Earth Sharing urban panoramas Second Life as an interface to Geographical Information

24 Conclusions Many innovations allowing spatial research to be shared online, such as the tools developed for GeoVUE. Many applications, strong public interest when well implemented. Not quite reached the fully integrated vision of the GeoWeb yet, but getting closer. Web 2.0 concepts and open source standards helping to achieve this goal. More effort needed to widen community beyond geographical experts. Some GIS software currently still needed to produce maps. Next stage likely to be full creation of maps online without GIS software, further widening users. Blurring of amateur-expert users creates opportunities and problems (‘lies, damn lies and statistics…’). Projects to address this such as Ideas from GeoVUE being continued into GENeSIS project, expanding web visualisation to incorporate modelling and simulation.

25 Where to find out more… Thank you for listening! Welcome comments and questions. To find out more and try out the tools for yourself- Software tools programmed by Richard Milton at CASA. Can be downloaded at: GeoVUE at CASA led by Prof Mike Batty and Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith. Andy’s work viewable at:

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