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Understanding Cities through Urban Analytics

Location: CS1.02, Computer Science Building


For many developed nations, an era of constrained census budgets and response rate decline in many national surveys are challenging for traditional Social Sciences who have relied upon these data sources to make sense of human behaviour and their contexts. In parallel, cities are increasingly awash with new and emerging forms of spatially explicit data, that within appropriately selected analytical frameworks can provide new insight into human dynamics, urban form and conditions; with often much greater spatio-temporal resolution than might have previously been attainable. However, such data are not a panacea for the understanding and management of future cities, and caution is needed in their use. Urban analytics is the multi-disciplinary area of research that is concerned with using such data alongside computational and statistical techniques to study cities. This talk will describe a range of case studies from within the Geographic Data Science Lab at the University of Liverpool and the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre.


After the talk we invite you to participate in a Missing Maps Mapathon. Missing Maps' mandate is to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world and places affected by disasters, in order to provide international and local NGOs and individuals with maps and geographic data to better respond to crises and humanitarian needs. Using OpenStreetMap ensures that all data gathered under the project will be free, open, and available for use under an open license. In this session, we will be joined via videolink by the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) who are also hosting a mapathon. The mapping task we will be working on will be to support the Tanzania Development Trust with their work in reaching remote villages. Janet Chapman from the Tanzania Development Trust and founder of crowd2map Tanzania will also join us via skype to provide the project background.


Both beginners and experienced mappers are welcome to join this Mapathon. All you need is a laptop (if you could also bring a mouse it would make mapping even easier)! Please register for the Mapathon here:



About the speaker: Alex Singleton is a Professor of Geographic Information Science at the University of Liverpool and Deputy Director of the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC). Prior to this he worked at University College London as a researcher and is also where he completed his PhD. His research is concerned with how the complexities of individual behaviours manifest spatially and can be represented and understood though a framework of geographic data science.


About crowd2map Tanzania:

Crowd2Map Tanzania is a crowdsourced mapping project aiming to put rural Tanzania on the map. Since 2015, they have been adding schools, hospitals, roads, buildings and villages to OpenStreetMap with the help of over 1600 volunteers worldwide and on the ground in Tanzania. They are concentrating first on the areas where girls are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). So far they have added over 1.8 million buildings and mapped over 70,000 sq kilometres. They were recently awarded a microgrant by Humanitarian OpenStreetMap to train community mappers in 4 areas of Tanzania.

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