Monday, September 30, 2013

Geosimulation Models - AAG 2014: Call for Papers


Since the publication of Geosimulation in 2004, the use of Agent-based Modeling (ABM) and Cellular Automata (CA) under the umbrella of Geosimulation models within geographical systems have started to mature as methodologies to explore a wide range of geographical and more broadly social sciences problems facing society. The aim of these sessions is to bring together researchers utilizing geosimulation techniques (and associated methodologies) to discuss topics relating to: theory, technical issues and applications domains of ABM and CA within geographical systems.

Papers will discuss issues relating to:
  • Validation, verification and calibration of Agent-based and CA models
  • Hybrid modeling approaches (e.g. utilizing Spatial Interaction, Microsimulation, etc.)
  • Handling scale and space issues
  • Visualization of agent-based models (along with their outputs)
  • Ways of representing behavior within models of geographical systems
  • Participatory modeling and simulation
  • Applications: Ranging from the micro to macro scale
Please e-mail the abstract and key words with your expression of intent to Andrew Crooks by November 28th, 2013. Please make sure that your abstract conforms to the AAG guidelines in relation to title, word limit and key words and as specified at;. An abstract should be no more than 250 words that describes the presentation's purpose, methods, and conclusions as well as to include keywords. Full submissions will be given priority over submissions with just a paper title.

Andrew Crooks, Computational Social Science, George Mason University.
Suzana Dragicevic, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University.
Paul Torrens, Department of Geographical Sciences and Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, University of Maryland.

September 30th, 2013: First call for papers.
November 19th, 2013: Second call for papers

November 28th, 2013: Abstract submission and expression of intent to session organizers. E-mail Andrew Crooks by this date if you are interested in being in this session. Please submit an abstract and key words with your expression of intent. Full submissions will be given priority over submissions with just a paper title.

November 29th, 2013: Session finalization. Session organizers determine session order and content and notify authors.

December 2st, 2013: Final abstract submission to AAG, via All participants must register individually via this site. Upon registration you will be given a participant number (PIN). Send the PIN and a copy of your final abstract to Andrew Crooks. Neither the organizers nor the AAG will edit the abstracts.

December 3rd, 2013: AAG registration deadline. Sessions submitted to AAG for approval.

April 8th -12th, 2014: AAG meeting, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not in Focus: Stories from Ahmedabad Slums

As some readers might know, I been doing some work with Amit Patel and Naoru Koizumi on slums. To show some of this work we have organised a photo exhibation. If you are in the DC area feel free to pass by and say hello.

Not in Focus: Stories from Ahmedabad Slums

School of Public Policy, Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study and Arts Management Program at George Mason University are pleased to invite you to the Founders Art Gallery on:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Founders Art Gallery, George Mason University, Arlington Campus
3351 Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22201 (Click here for a map)

A photo exhibition that takes you inside the slums of Ahmedabad, India to experience challenges and indigenous solutions of citizens who are rarely in focus in the development process. (Exhibition will remain open through November 3, 2013). The photographs featured result from a research grant funded by NSF on slum formation in Ahmedabad, India, collaboratively carried out by George Mason University, CEPT University (India) and SAATH (India).

Screening of:
The Fourth World: A widely acclaimed documentary by Mark Volkers on individuals from slums around the world.
5:30 - 6:30 pm

Reception to follow
6:30 - 7:30 pm

This event is Free and Open to the Public. RSVP Here.

Contact Amit Patel at for queries.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

U.S. Synthetic Population Viewer

I have blogged before about a project that is creating a synthetic population for each household and person in the U.S. based on 2005-2009 ACS public use microdata and other data sources. Now one can view this information with an on-line viewer. Whats interesting about the viewer is that you can visually explore combinations of income, household size, and household age across the U.S. More information about the project can be found here, while the actual data can be downloaded from here.

Work featured in IQT Quarterly

Two of our recent papers have been  featured in IQT Quarterly. The first looks at completeness and error in VGI and the second features some of our work on social media and polycentric communities. The papers have been significantly shortened and edited and make easy reading (that's not to say the original papers were difficult to read :). For those not familiar with IQT Quarterly, it  is a publication from In-Q-Tel which: 
"was created to bridge the gap between the technology needs of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) and emerging commercial innovation".
Full References:
Stefanidis, A., Cotnoir, A., Croitoru, A., Crooks, A.T., Radzikowski, J. and Rice, M. (2013), Demarcating New Boundaries: Mapping Virtual Polycentric Communities through Social Media Content, IQT Quarterly, 5 (2): 12-14. (pdf)

Jackson, S. P., Mullen W., Agouris, P., Crooks, A. T., Croitoru, A. and Stefanidis, A. (2013), Assessing Completeness and Spatial Error of Features in Volunteered Geographic Information, IQT Quarterly, 5 (2): 22-26. (pdf)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Land-use, livelihood strategies, and sustainability

People interested in exploring the connections between land-use, livelihood strategies, and sustainability should check out Nicholas Magliocca from the Agent-Based Virtual Labs blog who  has a new a paper entitled " Exploring Agricultural Livelihood Transitions with an Agent-Based Virtual Laboratory: Global Forces to Local Decision-Making" Not only does the paper show the strengths of using agent-based modeling for enriching our understanding of the relationships between agricultural intensity and population density but also highlights how a growing trend in sharing model code and utilizing the ODD protocol for documenting the model which can aid in understanding the model but also for model replication. Its only a shame more modelers don't do this.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Geosocial Gauge Paper

As regular readers of the blog know, we have been spending a lot of time recently looking at social media and the growth in locational information within such media. To this end we are very happy to see one of our papers appear in the International Journal of Geographical Information Science. The paper is entitled "GeoSocial Gauge: A System Prototype for Knowledge Discovery from Social Media" which in essence discusses the challenge of merging diverse social media datasets into a single database which can then be used to generate geosocial knowledge. Below is the abstract:
"The remarkable success of online social media sites marks a shift in the way people connect and share information. Much of this information now contains some form of geographical content because of the proliferation of location-aware devices, thus fostering the emergence of geosocial media – a new type of user-generated geospatial information. Through geosocial media we are able, for the first time, to observe human activities in scales and resolutions that were so far unavailable. Furthermore, the wide spectrum of social media data and service types provides a multitude of perspectives on real-world activities and happenings, thus opening new frontiers in geosocial knowledge discovery. However, gleaning knowledge from geosocial media is a challenging task, as they tend to be unstructured and thematically diverse. To address these challenges, this article presents a system prototype for harvesting, processing, modeling, and integrating heterogeneous social media feeds towards the generation of geosocial knowledge. Our article addresses primarily two key components of this system prototype: a novel data model for heterogeneous social media feeds and a corresponding general system architecture. We present these key components and demonstrate their implementation in our system prototype, GeoSocial Gauge."

Full reference:
Croitoru, A., Crooks, A.T., Radzikowski, J. and Stefanidis, A. (in press), GeoSocial Gauge: A System Prototype for Knowledge Discovery from Social Media, International Journal of Geographical Information Science. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2013.825724 (pdf).
If you don't have access to IGIS, send us an email and we can send you an early version of the paper.