Tagged: GIScience

Topics for GIScience master theses

After several months of setting the stage and doing lots of preparatory work, we are currently entering the ‘core phase’ in two research projects at the GI Mobility Lab internet. In this context we provide the opportunity to Master’s students to participate in the projects and write their thesis in GIScience (or related fields).

FamoS
Our part in the FamoS internet project is, among others, to develop an agent-based bicycle flow model for an entire city. In this context we offer two topics:

  1. Behavior to space (description internet)
  2. Exploring geoprocessing, geovisual analytical and mapping functionalities of GAMA (description internet)

GISMO
Experts from sports medicine, GIScience and transport planning and management are collaborating in the GISMO internet research project in order to provide a sound evidence basis for the promotion of active commuting. Part of the research is a clinical study, in which we document the subject’s mobility by different means. For the analysis of this data we offer the following two topics:

  1. Analysis of movement data from fitness watches (description internet)
  2. Linking travel diaries and GPS trajectories (description internet)

The topics are primarily offered to local internet and UNIGIS internet students. However, I’m also open to any other form of supervision and collaboration, given we find a sound format for it.

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Spatial information and bicycling safety

Originally, this blog was intended to document the progress of my PhD research. Mhm, this goal has been successfully reached yesterday …

Successfully defending my doctoral research (pictures by R. Wendel)

I finished my doctoral studies with a thesis on Spatial Information and Bicycling Safety and yesterday’s defense. The thesis internet is based on five peer-reviewed, published papers and aims to strengthen the spatial perspective in bicycling safety research.
The thesis is motivated by the fact that bicycling safety research is dominated by non-spatial domain experts, e.g. with backgrounds in trauma medicine, psychology, bio-mechanics, sociology, epidemiology, engineering, planning, law and some more. Interestingly, the spatial perspective on bicycling safety is hardly ever considered in these domain-specific approaches. This holds especially true for bicycle crash analyses, where basic geographical concepts, such as nearness, spatial autocorrelation and topology, are hardly ever considered.
Neglecting location as a co-determining attribute of safety is remarkable for a very simple reason. Mobility of people – and thus bicycling – as such is spatial by its very nature. Consequently, bicycling safety (from the physical environment to crashes to individually experienced safety threats) has spatial facets, which can be modeled and analyzed accordingly in order to gain relevant information for safer bicycling.

The primary hypothesis of my doctoral thesis is that spatial models and analyses contribute to a better understanding of certain aspects of bicycling safety and provide relevant results, which support measures to mitigate safety risks for bicyclists. Specifically I argued that:

  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) facilitate holistic approaches for improving the bicycling safety situation. The spatial perspective is relevant for virtually all stages of the implementation of bicycling safety strategies.
  • Model-based approaches have a great potential in safety assessment and can form the basis for a number of applications – from status-quo analysis to planning and route optimization.
  • The spatial analysis of bicycle crashes reveals significant and safety-relevant patterns and particularities, which remain hidden in common, non-spatial or highly aggregated approaches.
  • The spatial perspective is crucial for advanced (simulation) models, which are necessary for reliable risk estimations on the local scale. Furthermore, the spatial implications of risk mapping on the local scale must be made explicit.

The thesis is structured in three elements. The first paper demonstrates the contribution of GIScience to bicycling safety research and is intended to set the stage for the remaining papers. Two of them primarily deal with spatial models in the context of road space assessment and transport modeling, while the rest is about spatial analysis of bicycle crashes.

Structure of the thesis

Although the completion of my doctoral studies is a huge, personal milestone, there is still a lot of research work in this context to be done. Besides the further development of the spatial models, the applied statistical methods and analysis routines, I see research gaps in the context of data (from static to dynamic real-time data and data streams), information (e.g. what are the effects of information provision on decision process or on individual and collective behavior?) and cross-domain collaboration.
The amount of work that still lies ahead motivates me to further blog on some of our research activities and to connect with anyone who is interested in spatial information, bicycling safety, urban mobility etc. I’m looking forward to learning, reading and hearing from you in virtual internet and – even more preferably – in face-to-face communication!

Spatial perspectives on transport – conference preview

Last year’s GI-Forum internet special session on “Spatial Perspective on Transportation Modelling” (read a brief review here internet) was a kind of trial balloon, as we weren’t able to foresee the demand for transdisciplinary exchange at the interface of GIScience and transport research in the context of GI-Forum.
Traditionally, GIScientist gather at GIS conferences and transport researchers at transport conferences. Actually there is not as much overlap between the two domains as there could be – think of groundbreaking contributions from geographers (Hägerstrand internet) to transport research and vice versa. Maybe this is the reason for why I enjoyed the session and all the successive conversations so much. Actually, several participants from this special session worked hard to condense the contributions and discussions into a review/position paper which will be (hopefully!) published soon – the manuscript is currently under review; this is why I’ll provide more information on a later occasion.

In succession of last year’s premiere we are going to organize a GI-Forum special session dedicated to GIS and transport again. Both keynote speakers (Harvey Miller and Anita Graser), from GI-Forum and AGIT internet (German language twin conference) will contribute to the special session “Spatial Perspectives on Transport Systems” on Wednesday afternoon (July 6th, 5pm internet)! Here is what is planned for the session:

1. Harvey Miller (Ohio State University): Geographic Information Systems for Transportation in the 21st Century
The session will be opened with a session keynote by Harvey Miller internet, who currently holds the Reusche Chair in Geographic Information Science at Ohio State University. Harvey will provide a comprehensive overview of GIScience in transport research, similar to his latest paper on the topic (Miller & Shaw 2015 internet).

2. Johannes Schwer (University of Augsburg): Spatial Decision Support: Small-Scale Site Selection Model for Carsharing Services
Johannes internet, who is currently writing his dissertation at the University of Augsburg, will present a spatial decision support system for the selection of car sharing pods. In his analysis he combined demand and supply parameters, such as public transit connections, central facilities, population distribution, socio-demographic and behaviour criteria.

3. Mario Dolancic (University of Salzburg): Automatic lane level road network graph generation from Floating Car Data
Mario is on his last mile of his Master’s studies (Applied Geoinformatics internet, University of Salzburg) and works for an innovative traffic consulting company in Salzburg. He will present an approach that derives lane center lines from GNSS trajectories using KDE and distance relations. With this method, very detailed road graphs can be generated, which are a prerequist for ITS-applications and autonomous driving.

4. Anita Graser (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology): Integrating Open Spaces Into OpenStreetMap Routing Graphs for Realistic Crossing Behavior in Pedestrian Navigation
Anita internet will start and finish this conference day. After her AGIT keynote in the morning (“Offen und dynamisch – OpenSource, OpenData & OpenScience”), she will give a presentation on two more Open* aspects. Anita is going to provide a brief review of common algorithms for dealing with open spaces in routing and navigation applications, before she introduces a visibility graph approach, which is capable to model realistic routing behaviour based on OpenStreetMap data.

Of course, there will plenty of time for discussion during the session and for further exchange and networking afterwards. As this special session is the last one on this conference day, we will have the chance to smoothly fade into the AGIT Expo Night with snacks and beverages.

If you are not registered internet for the conference yet, early bird rates are available until May 25th. By the way, this special session is only one highlight for those who are interested in GIS and transport/mobility research (for instance a whole-day track on autonomous vehicles is scheduled for Thursday).
If you won’t make it to the conference, have a look at the conference’s social media channels internet to stay updated or follow me on Twitter internet. Research papers of the conference will be published in GI-Forum Journal internet for GIScience (open access) – you will find Johannes’, Mario’s and Anita’s contribution there.