The Full Stack: Tools & Processes for Urban Data Scientists

Recently, I was asked to give talks at both UCL’s CASA and the ETH Future Cities Lab in Singapore for students and staff new to ‘urban data science’ and the sorts of workflows involved in collecting, processing, analysing, and reporting on urban geo-data. Developing the talk proved to be a rather enjoyable opportunity to reflect on more than a decade in commercial data mining and academic research – not only did I realise how far I had come, I realised how far the domain had come in that time.

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Mapping the Changing Affordability of Manchester

Building on yesterday’s post about my London affordability maps, here are the equivalent maps for the Manchester area (sorry Liverpool, I’ll get there!) from 1997 and 2012. It’s obviously a very different picture in terms of price, volume and distribution; these differences were well-known anecdotally but a lot of the detail was hidden until the Land Registry opened up its pricing data and, for my money, this represents one of the most useful and timely open data sets available.

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Mapping the Changing Affordability of London

Last night I discovered how many of my friends watch C4’s Dispatches since quite a few of them texted me to say that they had seen me talking about property affordability on “The Great British Property Divide”. However, since Dispatches has to somehow keep the running time down to just 30 minutes, there’s not much of a chance in the show to really explore the data underpinning my chat with Morland. So with that it mind, below are links to A0-sized static data visualisations.

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History of Telephony: Funded PhD Award with King’s College London, BT and the Science Museum Group

Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded doctoral student to join King’s College London, BT Archives, and the Science Museum Group in late September 2015 or early January 2016 to investigate the impact of the telephone landline network on British society and culture(s).

The project is informed by the rise of the Internet and social media, the interest this has generated in understanding how networks grow and evolve over time, and how this can be connected to wider changes in society. The comprehensive historical and technical archive managed by BT represents a unique resource for researchers, grounding an analysis of ‘impact’ in an understanding of the network as an object materialised through a range of artefacts: from physical cables and switches, to abstract statistics on usage by homes and businesses.

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Pint of Science: Curious About the Housing Crisis?

As a follow-on to my earlier piece on Hex-Binning Land Registry Data, here’s a talk I gave on the housing crisis as part of the Pint of Science Festival a couple of weeks back.

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Hex Binning Land Registry Data

One of the known problems with choropleth maps is that small zones, even if they contain very significant values, tend to get lost in amongst much larger zones. A current example is that the ridings in London are much smaller than those outside of London, so it can be hard to tell what’s happening in the capital if you are looking at a map of the entire UK. One solution to this is the hexagonal bin. Continue reading

‘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

Robot Wars: Android Off-line Mapping Face-Off

I’ve got a few trips coming up to places where either: a) I don’t want to use data because it will be expensive (i.e. America), or b) I won’t be able to use data because I will have no reception (i.e. Skye). However, in both cases I would like to be able to use my HTC Desire’s GPS chip and mapping features so that I can find my way around. Continue reading

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