School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

EEO-AGI(S) Series Programme 2015-16

GIS Hot Topics: Census 2011, Forest/Urban Observations, 3D, BIM, Transport, Energy

Old Library, Geography, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP




Friday 2nd Oct 2015, 4.30pm


Cecilia MacIntyre
Head of Census Quality and Data Exploitation, National Records of Scotland

Title: Census 2011 - How National Records of Scotland are making the most of the data
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Cecilia Macintyre joined the National Records of Scotland in 2011 to work on the quality assurance and analysis of the Scotland's Census data . Previous to this she had worked as a researcher in the University of Edinburgh and in a number of roles in Government statistics including a period in the UK Statistics Authority assessing official statistics. Cecilia has been involved with the Royal Statistical Society throughout her career and is currently a member of the RSS Council, with a particular interest in statistical literacy and the use of statistics in education. She was a member of the ESRC Research Resources board and advised on the development of the European Social Survey and the 'Understanding Population Trends and Process initiative' which aimed to promote encourage use of existing resources and build capacity in secondary data analysis . Cecilia obtained a B.Sc. in Mathematics and and M.Sc. in statistics from Edinburgh University. She is currently working on a topic consultation for the 2021 Census and is promoting use of Census statistics in a number of settings including schools, transport specialists and researching user requirement for information on data quality.

This talk will describe the process of creating the Census outputs, will summarise what NRS have done to encourage use of Census data, and plans for consultation on the next Census in 2021.



Friday 16th Oct 2015, 4.30pm


Dr. Joanne Nightingale
Head of Earth Observation, National Physical Laboratory

Title: Establishing traceability in satellite-derived estimates of forest properties through modelling, reference measurements and test-site characterisations
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Dr Nightingale joined the National Physical Laboratory in 2013 from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and brings over 6 years of experience in coordinating Earth Observation System global land product and essential climate variable (ECV) validation activities. Joanne chaired the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation, sub-group for Land Product Validation from 2010 - 2013. Joanne obtained her Ph.D. in Geography and Remote Sensing from the University of Queensland, Australia and completed two post-doctoral research positions at universities within the United States. Her research interests include assessing the quality of information about forests derived from in situ measurement devices and Earth Observation Satellites, improving global satellite-derived biophysical product validation strategies and contributing to good practice guidance for the evaluation of ECV data records.



Friday 20th Nov 2015, 4.30pm


Prof. Jim Crow
Professor of Classical Archaeology and Head of Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

Title: GIS and Archaeology, the consumer's perspective
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Professor Jim Crow is Professor of Classical Archaeology and Head of Archaeology at University of Edinburgh. Professor Crow studied at Birmingham University, with Anthony Bryer and went on to research Byzantine archaeology at Newcastle University with Martin Harrison, writing a thesis on the late Roman fortifications on the lower Danube. He was later a research fellow at the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, and was subsequently director of excavations for the National Trust on Hadrian’s Wall from 1982-1989. Professor Crow was appointed to a lectureship in Archaeology at Newcastle University in 1990 where he taught until 2007. Professor Crow moved to Edinburgh to take up his current post in the summer of 2007.

He was Hon. Secretary of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies from 1996-2006; he has a long association with the British Institute at Ankara and is currently a member of the research committee. His research has been concerned with the archaeology of Roman frontiers and especially Hadrian’s Wall. He has directed research projects in Turkey at Amasra, and east of Trabzon, near Sürmene. Since 1994 he began fieldwork on the Anastasian Wall in Thrace and completed a survey mapping and recording the Byzantine water supply of Constantinople. In 2007-09 he collaborated with Prof. Dr. Derya Maktav of ITU in a project funded by TUBITAK on the application of remote sensing for the study of the water supply system, and they co-curated an exhibition at the RCAC ‘Waters for a Capital’ in 2012-13. He is currently co-directing a project on the historic landscapes of Naxos, supported by Dumbarton Oaks, and a three year trans-disciplinary study combining contemporary engineering practice and archaeology ‘Engineering the Water Supply of Constantinople’, funded by the Leverhulme Research Trust.



Friday 4th Dec 2015, 4.30pm


Prof. Chris Speed
Chair of Design Informatics, School of Design, Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh

Title: Designing with the City as Database
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This seminar will explore the conditions of the city and landscape as a database and the possibilities that this holds for reconfiguring both the representation of the landscape and the practices that can occur within it. A paradigm in which data points become the primary material that describes the places that we work and live, means that any thing can become a landmark. Whilst we are used to buildings, monuments and trees having a datum, the streaming condition of cars, people, animals and all many of objects within the internet of things means that the landscape is no longer described through architectures with fixed points of longitude and latitude. Instead the landscape is a fluid, non static database in which all and any correlations can be made. In support of this theoretical premise I will present a series of research projects that introduce design tactics for designing with the city as database.



Friday 15th Jan 2016, 4.30pm


Dr. Claire Ellul
SpaceTimeLab, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London

Title: The Current and Future Status of 3D GIS in the UK
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Dr Claire Ellul worked as a GIS consultant for 10 years in the UK, Europe and the Middle East before returning to academia. Having completed her PhD at University College London in 2007, she spent two years working as a post-doctoral researcher before being appointed to a Lectureship in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at UCL. She is now a Reader in Geographical Information Science, with research interests that include 3D GIS and BIM/GIS Integration, along with the usability of GIS software and data by non-GIS experts including the 'crowd'
(Dr.Claire Ellul UCL profile)

The talk will review current 3D-related activity in the UK - including research, applications, data and software. It will also go over what needs to be done to move 3D GIS forward from a relatively niche application to mainstream. What are the Use Cases for 3D GIS? What do we need from data providers? What software do we need? Where should we concentrate our research? Can we take advantage of other activities such as the drive for Building Information Modelling or the increasing use of dedicated Graphics Cards in computers?



Friday 12th Feb 2016, 4.30pm


Phil James
Senior Lecturer in GIS, University of Newcastle

Title: To follow - Urban Observatories and NoSQL Data Structures
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Friday 18th Mar 2016, 4.30pm


Prof. James Frew
Associate Professor, University California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

Title: Curating Digital Geospatial Information
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"James Frew is an Associate Professor of Environmental Informatics in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and a principal investigator in UCSB's Earth Research Institute (ERI). A geographer by training, he has worked in remote sensing, image processing, software architecture, massive distributed data systems, and digital libraries. His current research is focused on science data citation and curation, geospatial information provenance, and applications of array databases. This is his second year-long sabbatical in Edinburgh. (He hopes to retire before becoming eligible for a third one.)

"*Preserving* digital information of any kind is challenge - many of us have personally experienced physical media becoming obsolete or unreadable, or data formats becoming unsupported or unintelligible. Digital *curation* is much harder. Curated information is not just preserved - it is also made accessible to current uses, where "current" extends into an indefinite future. Curation is therefore not just an event, or a policy, but an *activity*. In this talk I will try to give a sense of the particular challenges of curating geospatial information, and how they affect you as geospatial information producers and consumers."



Friday 3rd Jun 2016, 4pm


Dr. Paul Norman
University of Leeds

Title: To follow - Data conversion between vector geographies
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This seminar qualifies for 1.5 points under the AGI Professional Development scheme.