Keynote Speakers: Open Data for Open Cities Workshop

Official website and Pre-registration:


Another week closer to the Open Data for Open Cities workshop and we’ve got another bundle of updates for you. This week, we are introducing our key notes speakers to you.


Cosmina Radu

Cosmina currently works as part of the European Data Portal flagship project where she assists the European Commission with the development of its annual EU Open Data Maturity Assessment and the promotion and development of Open Data strategies across EU member states, EFTA countries and EU accession candidates. She is also involved in providing strategy and technology consultancy services on aspects such as open data, the European data economy, as well as modernization of public administration and user-centric eGovernment. As part of the public sector cluster in Germany, Cosmina has assisted the successful implementation of several digital transformation projects in the field of eGovernment and eJustice at national level. You can find out more here.



Andrew Turner

Andrew is the current director and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of ESRI’s Research and Development Center in Washington, DC. His work focuses on cross-domain collaboration and democratizing the map making process. Andrew is an active member of many organizations developing and supporting open standards such as the OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo and the World Wide Web Consortium. He is also the co-founder of CrisisCommons, a global community of volunteers leveraging technology to assist in building solutions for disaster response, recovery, and rebuilding. Andrew will be giving a keynote an open data portals built to meet the needs of citizens. He will also be leading a hands-on session on using open geospatial information to design data driven initiatives. You can find out more here.



We are also happy to announce that we have teamed up with the Information Journal of MDPI and the Information journal is the official media partner of the Open Data for Open Cities workshop. /Information/ is a fully open access journal published monthly online by MDPI. It is indexed by Scopus (Elsevier), Ei Compendex, Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI – Web of Science). You can find out more here


We are very excited and can’t wait to receive you in Lund, Sweden. Register here if you are yet to do so.


An Introduction to Spatial Functional Data Analysis workshop at NOVA IMS

The Workshop “An Introduction to Spatial Functional Data Analysis” took place on 21st November 2017 at NOVA IMS organised by GEO-C. The speaker was Martha Bohorquez, from National University of Colombia, who researched designs of sampling, analysis and modeling spatio-temporal data and their data in several areas such as agriculture, environment, meteorology, epidemiology, among others. Details at :

Some images from the event:




Notes on a participation in the meeting about “Citizen Science in Social Sciences and Humanities”

On the 7th and 8th of March, Manuel Portela (GEO-C ESR15) assisted to the meeting “Mapping opportunities and challenges for Citizen Science in Social Sciences and Humanities” as part of the COST Action “Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe”. The meeting, held in the Kaunas University Of Technology (Lithuania) and organised by Egle Butkeviciene (KTU) and Katrine Vohland (MFM Berlin), gathered 15 participants from different fields inside Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

The aim of the meeting was to discuss the particularities of SSH inside the context of Citizen Science. Therefore, different sessions organised generated an agenda to promote the research on this topic.

The main concern of the meeting was the difficulty of including SSH scientists and citizens’ alike in research projects, despite of the promotion and support of funding agencies. It was also accounted that SSH has a large background in participatory practices, and a widely history on governance and engagement, which is nowadays of special interest for the (European) research agenda. As a result, one of the main barriers for transdisciplinarity could be the intrinsic difficulty of the object of study (objective, subjective and intersubjective, to name some). The lack of common ground, terminology and concepts inside the Sciences make this task unaffordable for both sides.

In this vein, Science is to create useful knowledge for society, whether the problem in the multidisciplinary approach resides in what data is considered valid (and objective) to be used for producing this Science. In that sense, Science is also useful in the use and understanding of such knowledge for more practical outcomes. Thus, in the literature, experts appear as the only ones who have the knowledge. In contrast, non-experts (i.e. citizens) are presented as the individuals that will use this knowledge for personal or collective purposes. Far from reality, this and other conflicts between concepts were put under discussion during the meeting.

The outcome of this meeting was to write a publication that accounts on how participatory practices and citizen involvement have been historically constructed. Moreover, the paper will also contribute to how SSH can help other sciences in the development of (European) projects. In this regard, SSHs has the mission to put the policies that are shaping the future of research under a critical view. By this first approach, it is expected to encourage more multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary works in Citizen Science.

@esri_spain workshops about #bigdata, #arcgis, #ML and much more

From February 21th to 22th, at Jaume I University – Castellon de la Plana (Spain) a set of courses were held by Esri Spain. Workshop’s main topics were about detecting spatial patterns, analyzing big data and applying ML with ArcGIS platform.

During two days over 20 students – from the Geo-C project and Mastergeotech students – attended the lectures given by Alberto Céspedes and Dariya Ordanovich from Esri Spain. By the presentation of several examples, Alberto and Dariya explained how concepts like Machine Learning, Spatial Big Data, and Spatial Patterns fit into ArcGIS.

Initially, Alberto Céspedes taught how to use Insights for ArcGIS creating easy-to-use dashboards which integrate spatial and tabular data for contextual analysis. Insights for ArcGIS is a web-based tool for data analytics that delivers an integrated view of the results, including charts, graphs, and maps.

The applicability of machine learning algorithms using ArcGIS tools was also presented during these workshops by the application of image detection for an extensive amount of satellite images. Geo-analytics tools from ArcGIS Pro provides a better understanding of an enormous amount of spatial data, integrating data web services with spatial geoprocessing tools.

Finally, Dariya Ordanovich illustrated how to connect, install and use R with ArcGIS, making use of the R-Bridge for ArcGIS. This open source project allows R users to work with ArcGIS data, and ArcGIS users to leverage the analysis capabilities of R.

For more information, about the tools used during this workshop, visit

“Improving Transparency through Web Maps”, paper accepted for presentation at the 4th International Smart City Workshop.

The paper Improving Transparency through Web Maps (by Auriol Degbelo and Tomi Kauppinen) has been accepted for presentation at the 4th International Smart City Workshop, co-located with the Web Conference.

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed progress of public institutions in making their datasets available online, free of charge, for re-use. This notwithstanding, there is still a long way to go to put the power of data in the hands of citizens. This article suggests that transparency in the context of open government can be increased through web maps featuring: i) Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) which support app and data usage tracking; and (ii) `transparency badges’ which inform the users about the presence/absence of extra, useful contextual information. Eight examples of web maps are introduced as proof of concept for the idea. Designing and implementing these web maps has reminded of the need of interactive guidelines to help non-experts select vocabularies, and datasets to link to. The ideas presented are relevant to making existing open data more user friendly (and ultimately more usable).


“Integrating human specificities in the development of pedestrian navigation algorithms”, a talk by Dr. Valérie Renaudin.

On February 21, we enjoyed the visit of Dr. Valérie Renaudin, from the French Research Institute on Transport (IFSTTAR), in Nantes, France. She leads the Geopositioning Laboratory (GEOLOC) and chairs the next IPIN 2018 conference. Dr. Renaudin gave a lecture titled “Integrating human specificities in the development of pedestrian navigation algorithms”. In the talk, Dr. Renaudin introduced us to current problems and solutions of position estimation using inertial sensors measurements. She also described the advances she and her laboratory members have so far achieved in this regard, stressing the high complexity involved in creating a model that covers human gait features for everybody. In addition, Dr. Renaudin presented their experiences in using the combination of digital urban data and computer vision to improve inertial sensors-based position estimations. The combination is particularly applicable for augmented reality applications, where the user interaction provides extra information that is valuable for positioning. This invited lecture is part of the GEOTEC’s activities in the context of the GEO-C project.


0The 7 th edition of the “Jornadas del Observatorio de Empleo universitario”, a workshop dedicated for the university employment observatory, took place in the Menador, a new building
in the city center shared by the University and the City Council. Carlos was invited to participate as a panellist in the panel called “Use and diffusion of data of employment insertion data: case of university graduates”. The scenery was fantastic: 3 panellists and the facilitator (right-most person below) in comfortable armchairs like talk shows that we usually watch on TV.

I tried to transmit 3 basic ideas to the audience, mostly university technicians who were expert in crafting questionnaires and analysing employment data.

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The second version of the Open Data for Open Cities Workshop at the AGILE 2018 Conference – Call for Papers

Official website and Pre-registration:

21st AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science

Societal Geo-Innovation – Geospatial Technologies for All

Lund University-  Lund, Sweden 12 June 2018


Deadline: March 15, 2018

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Paper published in TOCHI Special Issue ‘Re-imagining Participatory Design’

The paper ‘Participatory Design and Participatory Research: An HCI case study with Young Forced Migrants’ (Authors: Ana Maria Bustamante Duarte, Nina Brendel, Auriol Degbelo, Christian Kray) has been published in the special issue in ‘Re-imagining Participatory Design’ from the ACM Transactions in Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) volume 25 issue 3.

Abstract: Participatory design (PD) in HCI has been successfully applied to vulnerable groups, but further research is still needed on forced migrants. We report on a month-long case study with a group of about 25 youngforced migrants (YFMs), where we applied and adapted strategies from PD and participatory research (PR). We gained insights into the benefits and drawbacks of combining PD and PR concepts in this particular scenario. The PD+PR approach supported intercultural collaborations between YFMs and young members of the host community. It also enabled communication across language barriers by using visual and “didactic reduction” resources. On a theoretical level, the experiences we gained allowed us to reflect on the role of “safe spaces” for participation and the need for further discussing it in PD. Our results can benefit researchers who take part in technology-related participatory processes with YFMs.

GEO-C and Participation: Workshops on ‘Design Thinking’ with young refugees in Münster

Four participatory workshops in ‘Design Thinking’ were conducted by the Geo-C team at WWU with over 18 young refugees and asylum seekers in Münster. Each of the sessions was half-day long, and they were done as extracurricular activities from the school. The workshops were held at the Institute for Geoinformatics from mid-October to mid-November, 2017. These workshops aimed to assess a set of participatory methodologies draw from a combination of elements from participatory design, participatory (action) research, and didactics to provide ‘safe spaces’ for learning and co-creation of technologies for them with young refugees and asylum seekers.

During these workshops, we also aimed to understand the awareness of young refugees and asylum seekers regarding the management of their personal and location data when they use digital services. Several exploratory methods were used for this, as well as for introducing, after the ‘exploratory’ assessment, the concept of personal and location data privacy to them. The goal of this exercise was to evaluate if such strategy modified somehow the way they ideate and design digital services to support them in their (re)settlement in Münster.

At the end of the workshops, attendance certificates for participating in the workshops in ‘Design Thinking’ were provided to the young refugees and asylum seekers who participated. All of these activities were done with the collaboration of the school staff, mainly from the school administration and teachers.