The ESRC Strategic Network Data and Cities as Complex Adaptive Systems (DACAS) is hosting its third event, the international summer school Understanding Urban Transformations through Data. The aim of DACAS is to promote an interdisciplinary complexity science approach to the study of urban data and the links between soft and hard systems as the basis for the development of innovative technological applications. Piyushimita Thakuriah will deliver a keynote as part of the summer school:
Seeing Cities through Big Data: Emerging Topics in Urban Informatics
This talk will discuss the use of emerging sources of data for urban informatics. Big Data is the term being used to describe a wide spectrum of naturally-occurring data generated through transactional, operational, planning and social activities which are not specifically designed for research and, which, due to their structure or access conditions, add considerable complexity to research and analysis. The specific objective of this talk is to describe emerging sources of urban Big Data and the challenges that arise with their use, with a focus on detection of short-term episodes and events in cities, medium-term changes due to fluctuations in the economy or policy changes (e.g., the economic recession), and longer-term structural changes in the urban environment, and land-use and consumption patterns. Examples will be given using social media and other forms of Internet-based data as well as GPS and lifelogging data. The talk will survey the kinds of challenges in going from a data-poor environment to a data-rich world, with specific comments on four challenges that are likely to arise: technological, methodological, theoretical/epistemological, and the emerging political economy of Big Data. The talk will conclude with an introduction to the Urban Big Data Centre, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Piyushimita Thakuriah (Vonu) is the Ch2M Chair of Transport and Professor of Urban Studies in the University of Glasgow. She is the founding Director and Principal Investigator of the Urban Big Data Centre funded by ESRC. She is interested in smart, socially-just and sustainable transport and in the analytics of emerging sources of Big Data to understand complex urban problems. Vonu has published over 170 journal papers, conference proceedings and technical reports on these topics. She is the author of the book “Transportation and Information: Trends in Technology and Policy” (2013) and lead editor of the forthcoming volume “Seeing Cities with Big Data: Research, Methods and Applications in Urban Informatics” (expected 2016). Prior to her current position, she was a professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago. Vonu has advised major transportation projects in Malaysia, China, India, Australia, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. She is a founding co-chair of the Computational Transportation and Society joint subcommittee of the Transportation Research Board, National Academy of Sciences, and a co-chair of the Urban Data Interest group of the Research Data Alliance, a joint data-related effort of the European Commission, National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Australian Government.
Places are limited and booking well in advance is advised: http://goo.gl/ynUjK0