The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Dr Jonathan Reades

Dr Jonathan Reades

Associate Professor in Spatial Data Science

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2020

Research summary

My research draws on geographical theory and ‘spatial data science’ methods to address contemporary challenges in urban and regional development. My experience in planning and geography, as well as data and programming, enables me to translate concepts and applications across disciplinary boundaries while paying attention to the details of data, method, and context.

Thematic Research Areas

  • Theme 1: Economic Geography – I focus on the ‘knowledge economy’, and interactions between individuals and organisations, to understand the developmental trajectories of cities.
  • Theme 2: Housing & Neighbourhoods – I employ quantitative and computational approaches to understanding the links between housing and demography dynamics, and small areas.
  • Theme 3: Smarter Cities & ‘Big Data’ – I work with open event and administrative data from urban infrastructures to understand human behaviour, contextualising these insights as part of planning and governance.

Methodological Research Areas

  • Theme 4: From Open Data to Reproducible Teaching & Research – I explore how open data and tools (both new and old) create opportunities for more robust and accessible teaching and research.
  • Theme 5: Emerging & Overlooked Quantitative Methods – I seek to understand the implications of machine learning and older analytical approaches for complex geodata.

Most recently, several these themes have been drawn together in a set of PhD projects in collaboration with the British Library in which we use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to examine economic geography issues relating to innovation and bias in Higher Education.

Teaching summary

I currently teach Foundations of Spatial Data Science (CASA0013), the design of which has been deeply informed by my experience learning to code while at university and by the teaching of Geography undergraduates at King's College London. Teaching materials are publicly and freely available on GitHub along with the Docker image required to create a programming environment on your own computer. 


My research builds on a mix of undergraduate study in comparative literature, professional experience with database mining, postgraduate study in planning, and a long-standing interest in cities. I hold a PhD from UCL's Bartlett School of Planning and was Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography at King's College London for more than 7 years before returning to CASA.

I live in London with my partner, our two daughters, and cat who are all awesome.