Bridging the Qual/Quant Divide 2: Flipping Out

So I hope that I made a decent case for why we need quantitative methods teaching in Geography in my last post. The next question is how to teach them, and for this I’m going to need two more blog posts: this one covers a new approach to instruction in general, and the next will cover some thoughts that I have on the programme that I’ve been working on here at King’s. Continue reading

An excerpt from the final image in the article.

‘Mapping the Space of Flows': the geography of the London Mega-City Region

I’m pleased to be able to post here the penultimate version of an article that Duncan Smith and I recently had accepted to Regional Studies. In this article we look at ways of combining ‘big data’ from a telecoms network with standard BRES employment data to generate a more nuanced understanding of where ‘work’ happens in the Greater Southeast of England across several key sectors. Continue reading

Bridging the Qual/Quant Divide

I’ve been in my new post in the Geography department at King’s College London for nearly nine months now and — together with another new-ish colleague — have been asked to design a programme to teach quantitative research methods to students who often seem to think that their interests are solely qualitative. Continue reading

TfLWeekly

Big Data’s Little Secrets (Part 2)

In my previous post I looked at some of the issues affecting the extent to which ‘big data’ gives a reliable picture of the world around us. In this post I want to take you through one of the least sexy—but most important—parts: the data itself. My point, again, is not to suggest that big data is fatally flawed, but to call into question some of the easy assumptions upon which we rely when working with this type of data, and the universality of the conclusions that we can draw from this type of research.

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Big Data’s Little Secrets (Part 1)

The term ‘big data’ has been getting a lot of attention recently, some of it very complimentary (see ‘The End of Theory‘), and some of it not so much (see Mark Birkin’s report on a recent AAG session). On one level this is very exciting for me since much of my work with travel and communications data falls loosely under this rubric. But when big data sets are promoted as ‘the answer’ to everything from the next Census to deriving universal laws of human behaviour, it is also time for us to look a little more closely at what big data can actually deliver. Continue reading

Fear of Failure

An ongoing preoccupation of many governments, but perhaps most especially this one, has been the fostering of innovation and the training of the next generation of entrepreneurs. The positioning of tertiary education under Business, Innovation & Skills is one obvious sign of this focus and so, as I noted before, is the Government’s investment in (and messaging around) ‘Tech City‘. Continue reading

Multiple MySQL Servers on a Single Machine

Note: this was previously posted at simulacra.info, but I am in the process of (re)organising my technical notes and tutorials.

A bit of a dry post here, but I thought I’d share my experience of trying to get two instances of MySQL (and two different versions, to boot) running simultaneously on a single piece of hardware as I’ve spent the past two days tearing my hear out and swearing profusely (mostly) under my breath. Continue reading

The MapThing Processing Library

MapThing allows you to perform a range of useful mapping (in the geographical sense) functions within Processing and offers a collection of classes for reading ESRI-compliant Shape files (a.k.a. shapefiles), CSV point data, and GPX files, and then displaying them as part of a sketch. Continue reading

Plotting & iGraph on Lion and Mountain Lion

Note: this was previously posted at simulacra.info, but I am in the process of (re)organising my technical notes and tutorials.

After giving up on Gephi (again, I really should learn), I decided it was time to get to grips with Python and iGraph since I really need to produce multiple iterations of a graph. The matmos at CASA have, of course, been touting Python for ages, but I’ve just not had the time/incentive to install and, more importantly, actually get around to using it… until now. Continue reading

Extracting files from Moodle MBZ Archives with Python

These days it seems that just about every university is using Moodle, the “open-source community-based tools for learning”, to manage the delivery of course material and handling of deadlines, assignments, etc. Now I’m a fan of the OS community, but Moodle has… quirks. Continue reading

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