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Mapping and Geospatial Science

Mapping and geospatial science is rapidly changing in response to new visualisation approaches, the handling of "big data", increasing availability of spatial data and the creation of a mass consumer market via web and mobile platforms.

 

Exposure and Geocoding

A fundamental component in risk management is the ability to locate and represent an insured asset in time and space. The practice known as geocoding was established over thirty years ago as a computational approach to deriving a spatial location based on the interpretation of a textual address or place. The practice still exists today and is required to locate insured properties all over the globe. Advances in thinking and computational processes have seen the evolution of geocoding to become more precise, attempt to  quantify uncertainty and to tackle issues around language, spelling and phonetics. Now in the mobile and social media age, geocoding becomes an implicitly linked to locating people and social behaviours to things around them. As society develops itself to locate and monitor everything on the globe, there are many challenges to overcome such as locating moving assets, representing temporal patterns and trends right through to the more recent development of 3D, 4D and 5D representations and augmented reality.

Hazards and Events

Geospatial science combined with technology advances and public policy change has created a continuously growing collection of natural and man-made hazard information. Ranging from risk indices through to current hurricane and earthquake events fed by sensors and models, geospatial systems provide a way to visualise and analyse this information in conjunction with exposure to attain a better grasp of risk.

Geo statistical Analysis and Visualisation

During the Web 2.0 revolution, Google and Microsoft brought geospatial in to the mainstream and out of a specialist GIS industry. Driven by mass internet consumption, searching and link information spatially became a commodity but brought innovation, simplicity and advanced visualisations such as Google Earth. This first revolution focused on visualisation rather than analytical advances. The advent of the mobile platform has seen the embedding of these same visualisations in to portable devices to and bring spatial decision-making in to everyday decisions. Harnessing these visualisations and combining with the vast amounts of spatial datasets brings emerging opportunities to undertake more complex geo statistical analysis bringing a greater understanding of the world around us.

Social and Community GIS

Driven the collaborative nature of the internet, recent times have witnessed the creation of social and community driven projects. Innovation and creative thinking around social media has produced the concept of “crowd sourcing” which affords the collection of spatial information from a distributed and collaborative community. Driving vast amounts of new data and creating “big data” challenges, location intelligence tools and analytics is adapting to transform this data in to valuable information. Examples such as OpenStreetMap are testament to the successes in both technology and human collaborative behaviour to create information for the public good and gain a better understanding of the environment around us – in this case, a priceless asset created to help communities rebuild in the wake of natural disasters.

Latest on Mapping and Geospatial Science

  • Visual analysis of social networks in space and time

    Date: Jun 22, 2012 | Type: Article | Conf: Nokia Data Challenge Workshop, Pervasive 2012, 20 - 22 Jun 2012, Newcastle, UK | Ext. Link: Click Here ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby, Roger Beecham, Jo Wood
    Fields:

    Summary: In this paper, the authors designed and applied novel interactive visualisation to investigate how social networks - derived from smartphone logs - are embedded in time and space.

    Read More about this publication ›

    Visualisation of Origins, Destinations and Flows with OD Maps

    Date: May 01, 2010 | Type: Paper | Ext. Link: Click Here ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: Presents a new technique for the visual exploration of origins (O) and destinations (D) arranged in geographic space.

    A novel way of exploring spatial variation in data

    Date: Mar 18, 2010 | Type: Paper | Ext. Link: Click Here ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: A presentation of rectangular hierarchical cartograms for mapping socio-economic data and a demonstration of cartograms by mapping the Office for National Statistics Output Area Classification (OAC) by unit postcode (1.52 million in Great Britain) through the postcode hierarchy, using these to explore spatial variation.

    Designing Visual Analytics Systems for Disease Spread and Evolution

    Date: Jan 01, 2010 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: A report on the design decisions and software development process used to create visual analytics software for understanding disease spread and mutation.

    Rethinking Map Legends with Visualization

    Date: Jan 01, 2010 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: This design paper presents new guidance for creating map legends in a dynamic environment. It suggests is a set of guidelines for legend design in a visualization context and a series of illustrative themes through which they may be expressed.

    A novel visualisation technique for spatial data

    Date: Jan 01, 2010 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. Robert Radburn, Roger Beecham.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: At Leicestershire County Council, spatial treemaps are used to analyse labour markets and commuting behaviour. This novel visualization technique, presented at InfoVis 2008, has resulted in a number of insights and discoveries.

    Discovery Exhibition: Making Hurricane Track Data Accessible

    Date: Jan 01, 2010 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , David Brayshaw , Jason Dykes , Jo Wood and Pier Luigi Vidale.
    Fields: Atmospheric

    Summary: The interactive tool allows the exploration, validation and presentation of hundreds of years of dynamically simulated storm tracks. The tracks were generated as part of a research project to improve the risk assessment of tropical storm damage by the insurance industry.....

    Using Twitter and HiVE and QR Codes to enable collaborative spatial analysis

    Date: Jan 01, 2010 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: The demonstration of a new approach to collaborative visual analysis, in which descriptions of graphics are shared online. HiVE – a high-level descriptive language – captures the way in which graphics are built and configured.

    Visual analysis of sensitivity in CAT models

    Date: Jan 01, 2010 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. David Clouston and Matthew Foote
    Fields: Cat Models

    Summary: We demonstrate how visual interactive graphics can support both spatial and aspatial model sensitivity analysis, using a Venezuela-based earthquake CAT model as a case study. We identify the model inputs that drive the model's estimated losses using interactive maps, treemaps to give overviews and linked barcharts, spineplots and maps to explore the effects of specific input combinations on the estimated loss outputs. Interactively linking these methods allow them to be integrated into the workflows of analysts.

    Configuring Hierarchical Layouts to Address Research Questions

    Date: Oct 11, 2009 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: This paper explores the effects of selecting alternative layouts in hierarchical displays that show multiple aspects of large multivariate datasets, including spatial and temporal characteristics.

    New Ways of Visualising Seasonal Climate Forecasts

    Date: Apr 01, 2009 | Type: Article |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , David Stephenson , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. Rachel Lowe and Tim Jupp
    Fields: Climate Change

    Summary: Seasonal climate forecasts are used by climate scientists, government departments, utility agencies, health agencies and in agriculture. Uncertainties in environmental data and in numerical prediction models make such forecasts inherently probabilistic. Good decisions require that this uncertainty in predictions be communicated to users. Some established methods have limitations, prompting this collaborative work between data visualizers and climate scientists facilitated by the Willis Research Network.

    Visualization of Uncertainty and Analysis of Geographical Data

    Date: Jan 01, 2009 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. Naz Khalili-Shavarini and David Mountain
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: A team of five worked on this challenge to identify a possible criminal structure within the Flitter social network. This summary of the work emphasises one of those applications detailing the geographic analysis and uncertainty handling of the network data.

    Techniques for exploring property price data

    Date: Jan 01, 2009 | Type: Article |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. Andrew Crooks
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: The price of property and how it varies spatially within cities through time can be linked to the economic and social processes of urban systems. Treemaps (Shneiderman, 1992) are used for visually exploring 1.8 million property sales in London between 2000 and 2007 – and focus on how the layout and ordering of elements in the treemap can reveal different information.

    Flow tree for Exploring Spatial Trajectory

    Date: Jan 01, 2009 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. Robert Radburn
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: This paper presents a novel alternative representation of origin-destination topology that makes it more amenable to the visualization of structure and spatial organisation of trajectories.

    Google Earth and Risk Management - A New Future

    Date: Aug 11, 2008 | Type: Article |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: The WRN's Dr Aidan Slingsby talks Google, Geovisualisation and GIS to reinsurance magazine, The Review

    A bird's eye view of risk

    Date: Aug 01, 2008 | Type: Article |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: Fast, flexible and one of the most revolutionary internet applications ever released,Google Earth's aerial view offers astonishing potential benefits to re/insurers, says Aidan Slingsby.

    Building inventories and geospatial data

    Date: Jul 08, 2008 | Type: Presentation | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Keiko Saito
    Fields: Exposure & Vulnerability

    Summary: Streamlining the creation of building inventories using remote sensing and geospatial data

    Visualising Risk

    Date: Jul 08, 2008 | Type: Presentation | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: Presentation surrounding the understanding and communication of risk though visualisation

    The Visual Exploration of Insurance Data in Google Earth

    Date: Jun 02, 2008 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood. Matthew Foote - WRN Research Director, Michael Blom - Willis Analytics
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: Exploration of how Google Earth can be used to interactively explore exposure, catastrophic events and potential loss information

    A guide to getting your data into Google Earth

    Date: May 02, 2008 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Core Technologies & Methods
    Hub: Mapping and Geospatial Science

    Authors: Aidan Slingsby , Jason Dykes and Jo Wood.
    Fields: GIS & Geovisualisation

    Summary: This document provides a step-by step account of how to load one's own data into Google Earth for visual synthesis.

About WRN

As economic, social and environmental uncertainties increase, institutions and populations seek greater resilience to support sustainable growth. Science and insurance lay at the heart of understanding, managing and sharing these risks, building more secure futures at local and global scales.

The Willis Research Network (WRN) operates across the full spectrum of risk from natural catastrophe, to legal liability, financial and security issues linked across driving themes: Resilience, Security & Sustainable Growth; Managing Extremes; Insurance & Risk Management and Mastering the Modelled World.

All Members and activities are united by a common aim: improving resilience by integrating first class science into operational and financial decision-making across public and private institutions.

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