Workshop: Making Maps: Generating and analyzing spatial data sets

Past Event

27 May 2011, 10:00am - 5:00pm

The Denys Wilkinson Building
Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford

Schedule of the day:

Arrival and coffee

9.30 - 10.15
Joe Zuntz
- Programme on Computational Cosmology - Mapping the sky during the data deluge

Humans have been making maps of the sky for at least 30,000 years, but it is only in the last generation that simply making them from raw observations has become a serious challenge. Joe Zuntz will talk about how the landscape of making maps of astronomical objects has been changed by new technologies that acquire vast amounts of data, and how it will change in future. He will focus on a particular type of map-making common in astronomy and other fields: combining repeated scans of the same signal under noisy conditions to make an optimal image.

10.15 - 11.00
Scott Hale - Oxford Internet Institute - 'Net Increase? Blogging the 2010 Haitian Earthquake in Japanese, English, and Spanish

Information uploaded online has context---including, among other factors, language, location, and time. This talk focuses on one factor, language, and presents analysis and visualizations of linguistic barriers and cross-lingual interaction in the blogosphere through a link analysis of over 100,000 blogs discussing the 2010 Haitian earthquake in English, Spanish, and Japanese.

While the dataset does not show the naive ideal of global discourse, the dataset does reveal a surprising level of human translation in the blogosphere. Implications for website design, information flow, and copyright are discussed. Finally, work in progress on visualizing geo-spatial information from Twitter, Wikipedia, and other platforms is presented.

11.00 - 11.30
Coffee Break

11.30 - 12.15
Kathy Willis
- Biodiversity Institute - Determining the ecological value of landscapes beyond protected areas

A systematic tool for determining the ecological value of landscapes outside of protected areas could be relevant to any industrial development that results in a parcel of land being transformed from 'natural' to 'industrial'. Specifically what is needed is a method to determine which landscapes beyond protected areas are important for the ecological processes that they support and the threatened and vulnerable species that they contain. This talk will present the results of a project to develop an automated method for mapping ecologically important landscapes beyond protected areas; a Local Ecological Footprinting Tool (LEFT). The primary audience of this tool are those practitioners involved in planning the location of any industrial and/or business facility outside of protected areas.

12.15 - 13.00
Chris Farmer - Programme on Predicting and Modelling Climate - Interpolation, Bayesian Statistics and Map Making

In this talk Dr Farmer will introduce the mathematical theory used in some areas of computer generated maps. He will first of all indicate the traditional methods, and then introduce the statistical approach involving ideas from Bayesian statistics. The talk will finish by discussing what we might call 'ensemble mapping', where many maps all consistent with the available data could be used in decision making. The talk will use some mathematical ideas and notation from the calculus, but will mainly use pictures and words.

13.00 - 14.00
Lunch Break

14.00 - 14.45
Rob Simpson - Galaxy Zoo - Mapping Historical Climate Data

The Old Weather project has enlisted the help of tens of thousands of online volunteers in transcribing Royal Navy Ships logs from the first world war. These logs are rich in both history and vital climate data taken all over the world, almost a century ago. The Old Weather website has been running for just over six months and has transcribed nearly half a million ships logs. The data collected are being used to create more accurate models of the world's climate, and to help historians extract new information about life at sea in World War One.

14.45 - 15.30
Steve Harris
- Particle Therapy Research Institute

Internet map services are changing our use of geographical information. Advances in imaging technologies are changing medical practice. In each case, visual representations of geographical or physical features are being integrated with other information and services - often automatically, and often through the engagement of a wide range of contributors - in decision support, data analysis, and planning. In this talk, we will examine the ways in which images are annotated and used in our everyday lives, and then in an area which is - for most of us - anything but everyday: in the planning and application of new cancer therapies. We will show how the creation and management of appropriate metadata, and the application of model-driven technologies, can transform the quality, reliability, and scalability of social and scientific endeavours.

Coffee and farewells