UCL Department of Geography


Geographical insights from Big Data on credit cards and surnames

5 December 2018

CDRC and AGI host the second London Geo-Data event

Geographical insights from Big Data on credit cards and surnames

A second Geo+Data London seminar was held at UCL on 4 December, allowing academics and industry to share and learn from experience and best practice in the use of Big Data.

The meeting was again hosted by the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC), with the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), and featured Eliot Marcus, Partnerships Europe Manager at Mastercard, and Justin van Dijk, a post-doctoral researcher in UCL Geography.

Eliot Marcus spoke on 'Smart Insights from geo-aggregated transaction data', outlining the rich source of location intelligence provided by Mastercard data. He highlighted some of their uses, including the provision of location intelligence, as well as the influence of Mastercard’s strict data privacy controls.

In 'What’s in a name? Storing surname geographies for both visualisation and analysis', Justin van Dijk described the unique methods he has devised to store and visualise around one million surnames while minimising information loss. His visualisation and analysis of longitudinal datasets provide researchers with a new way of studying population change while also allowing genealogists a window onto family pasts.