SpaceTimeLab for Big Data Analytics Newsletter 2014

6 January 2015

As 2014 draws to a close, I want to share with you the highlights of SpaceTimelab in the past year. It has been a year of change and growth for SpaceTimeLab. Most notably, our name has changed to SpaceTimeLab for Big Data Analytics. We feel this change encapsulates the core business of the lab, and situates us at the heart of research into the problems and opportunities of Big space-time data. We were fortunate to host Prof Michael Goodchild in October, who gave an inspiring talk, asking: Is Big (geo) Data the next big thing in GIScience? We hope to answer this question through our work and we hope you share our vision. We are always eager to collaborate with those who share our enthusiasm for this research.

I have good news to share regarding a number of our people. Firstly, James Haworth has been appointed a lecturer in Spatio-temporal Analytics and takes up a permanent position at SpaceTimeLab. Our graduate Dr Ed Manley has also taken up a lectureship at UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. I am pleased that they remain at UCL, enabling us to work closely together in the future.

We also welcome two new postdoctoral researchers, Gabriel Rosser and Chris Gale, who join the Crime, Policing and Citizenship (CPC) project. Current CPC postdoctoral researcher Sarah Wise was awarded the Sinesio Alves Junior award for best paper at GISRUK 2014 in Glasgow. We say goodbye to Adel Bolbol, who successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled Understanding Travel Behaviour from Sparse GPS Data, examined by Prof Bin Jiang and Prof Peter Jones. In turn, we welcome three new doctoral students; Huanfa Chen, Juntao Lai and Nilufer Sari Aslam.

SpaceTimeLab Team 2014

The SpaceTimeLab Team

From left: Dawn Williams, James Haworth, Huanfa Chen, Sarah Wise, Nilufer Sari Aslam, Chris Gale, Monsuru Adepeju, Tao Cheng, Khaled Taalab, Ge Chen, Jianan Shen, Gabriel Rosser, Juntao Lai

SpaceTimeLab has been lucky to host colleagues from a number of institutions this year. Prof Tomoki Nakaya, Prof Xinhai Lu and Prof Ge Chen joined as visiting professors from Ritsumeikan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Qingdao Ocean University, respectively. We also welcomed Dr Igor Ivan and Prof Jiri Horak from VSB Technical University of Ostrava, and Lenka Zajickova from Palack√Ĺ University in Olomouc. We hope they were able to learn as much from us as we did from them, and look forward to welcoming them back in the future.

In other news, Chief Superintendents BJ Harrington, Camden Borough Commander; and Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command; both of the London Metropolitan Police Service, visited us in September and December respectively. They had a chance to see the work taking place in the EPSRC funded CPC project (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cpc/). CPC aims to investigate the relationship between detailed patterns of police activities and the space-time pattern of recorded incidents and public perceptions of policing. Their visits were invaluable in giving us an insight into how the Police use predictive information in the field. In turn, our research could be transferred into digital policing in London, and could have a real impact in our local community.

Our other projects are also progressing well. INFRARISK (Novel indicators for identifying critical INFRAstructure at RISK from Natural Hazards, FP7: http://www.infrarisk-fp7.eu) is starting to generate exciting results. We are also pleased to be part of the Consumer Data Research Centre (http://cdrc.ac.uk/), the largest of the ESRC Big Data Initiatives. I want to thank all the Co-Is, advisors, industrial partners and researchers working on these projects. Looking forward, we are hoping to secure funding from Horizon 2020 to continue working on intelligent mobility and to develop collaborations with those working in other domains of big data.

SpaceTimeLab believes in developing big data analytics through teaching and training, and this year we launched a new MSc in Spatio-temporal Analytics and Big Data Mining (www.ucl.ac.uk/sta). The degree draws elements from our current MSc in GIS, and from the departments of Geography and Computer Science. With the course, we hope to equip the next generation of researchers and data scientists with the knowledge to deal with the uniqueness of Big spatio-temporal data.

I want to thank you for your kind help and support for SpaceTimeLab in 2014. I wish you a very pleasant holiday and a happy new year.

Tao Cheng

SpaceTimeLab Director

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