Coffee Hour: Geo-Visual Analytics and "Big" Data: Leveraging Geo-Information in Unstructured Data

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m. The talk begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.

Geo-Visual Analytics and "Big" Data: Leveraging Geo-Information in Unstructured Data

About the talk
Big Data pose many challenges as well as opportunities. Several “Big Data” characteristics make access and analysis challenging: data volume, velocity (streaming data), variety (heterogeneity), variability (inconsistencies), and complexity (many variables). Geo-Visual Analytics provides a growing range of visual + computational methods and tools through which we can address these challenges. One particularly exciting opportunity for applying Geo-Visual Analytics advances to Big Data exists with the largely untapped resource of geographic information contained in unstructured sources, such as text. This presentation will introduce the potential of digital text artifacts (ranging from scientific documents to tweets) as a source of geographic information, highlight a couple of completed and in-progress projects that illustrate some possibilities for extracting and visualizing the data, and outline a few challenges for the future.

About the speaker

Alan MacEachren directs the GeoVISTA Center, an interdisciplinary geographical information science center. GeoVISTA conducts and coordinates integrated and innovative research in GIScience, covering a broad range of domains from spatial cognition, through formal geo-information representation, to spatial analysis, cartography and visual analytics.

MacEachren’s own research roots are in cartography and spatial cognition. His current research interests cover a wide spectrum of GIScience topics. These include: geovisualization and exploratory spatial data analysis, geovisual analytics, geosemantics, and geocollaboration. Applications domains to which his research connects include public health, crisis management, homeland security, and environmental science.