NOVA IMS and GEO-C team are pleased to welcome the visit of Dr. Christy M K Cheung

Dr. Christy M K Cheung is a worldwide renowned researcher in the field of Information Systems with more than 12400 citation in Google scholar. She was invited by the GEO-C team to visit NOVA IMS school from 21 to 25 of May 2018 to deliver a seminar and provide feedback to improve the research of esr#05 Mijail Naranjo-Zolotov. We are very pleased by her visit.

Title of seminar: Societal Impacts of ICT Use: Understanding Bystanders’ Proactive Reporting Responses to Online Harassment

Christy M.K. Cheung is an Associate Professor of Information Systems and e-Business Management at Hong Kong Baptist University. She earned a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the College of Business at City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include Technology Use and Well-Being, IT Adoption and Use, Societal Implications of IT Use, and Social Media. She has published over one hundred refereed articles in international journals, and conference proceedings, including Decision Support Systems, Information & Management, Journal of Information Technology, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, MIS Quarterly and among others. She is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief for Internet Research and President for AIS-HK Chapter.

Paper published in Sustainability Journal about “Air Quality Monitoring Network Design Optimisation for Robust Land Use Regression Models”

The paper Air Quality Monitoring Network Design Optimisation for Robust Land Use Regression Models (by Shivam Gupta, Edzer Pebesma, Jorge Mateu, Auriol Degbelo) has been published in the special issue Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Planning for Urban Health and Sustainability of Sustainability 2018, 10(5)

Abstract: A very common curb of epidemiological studies for understanding the impact of air pollution on health is the quality of exposure data available. Many epidemiological studies rely on empirical modelling techniques, such as land use regression (LUR), to evaluate ambient air exposure. Previous studies have located monitoring stations in an ad hoc fashion, favouring their placement in traffic “hot spots”, or in areas deemed subjectively to be of interest to land use and population. However, ad-hoc placement of monitoring stations may lead to uninformed decisions for long-term exposure analysis. This paper introduces a systematic approach for identifying the location of air quality monitoring stations. It combines the flexibility of LUR with the ability to put weights on priority areas such as highly-populated regions, to minimise the spatial mean predictor error. Testing the approach over the study area has shown that it leads to a significant drop of the mean prediction error (99.87% without spatial weights; 99.94% with spatial weights in the study area). The results of this work can guide the selection of sites while expanding or creating air quality monitoring networks for robust LUR estimations with minimal prediction errors.

According to United Nations estimates, 66% of the total world population is expected to be living in the urban spaces by 2050. At the same time, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projects that by 2050 air pollution will be the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide. GIS and spatial analysis have increasingly become an essential tool for air pollution monitoring. Interpolation of pollution data collected by regulatory air quality monitoring stations can help in regional patterns, but the air quality monitoring networks are very sparsely arranged to collect informed data at a city level. Land Use Regression (LUR) models are helpful to take into account air pollution variability within the cities. LUR models are a promising alternative to these conventional approaches as they establish the relationship between easily accessible land use characteristics and pollutant measurement. Our knowledge of air pollution monitoring is mostly based on limited data. The published paper takes a new look at Monitoring Network Design (MND) using a new optimisation method. The proposed method identifies the combination of locations which minimise the spatial mean prediction error over the entire study area for two contexts: (1) without using any weighted function; and (2) with a spatial population weighted function for high population density areas. The optimisation method does not rely on monitoring station data for monitoring site placement, thus giving independence for planning and readjustments of the optimal air quality MND for the cities with no or insignificant amount of air quality data. Hence, the proposed method can be a helpful tool in air quality MND that enables LUR estimations with fewer errors for preventing air pollution exposure and advancing urban health sustainability.

For more detail information, please access the article from here.

The article is Open Access and is funded by European Commission within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, International Training Networks (ITN), European Joint Doctorates (EJD). The funding period is January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2018, Grant Agreement number 642332 — GEO-C — H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014.

Paper published in Statistics & Probability Letters Journal concerning “Quality of life, big data and the power of statistics”

The paper Quality of life, big data and the power of statistics (by Shivam Gupta, Jorge Mateu, Auriol Degbelo, Edzer Pebesma) has been published in Special issue dedicated to Statistics and Big Data of journal  Statistics & Probability Letters Volume 136 – May 2018

Abstract: The digital era has opened up new possibilities for data-driven research. This paper discusses big data challenges in environmental monitoring and reflects on the use of statistical methods in tackling these challenges for improving the quality of life in cities.

With an increasing number of people moving in (and to) urban areas, there is an urgent need of examining what this rising number means for the environment and QoL in cities. Air quality has an effect on the population’s QoL (Darçın, 2014), which is also the major environmental risk factor for health. Data for environmental and meteorological analysis are not only of a significant volume but are also complex in space and time. Formats and types of data are also very diverse (e.g., netCDF, GDB, CSV, GeoTIFF, shapefile, JSON, etc.), and many interconnections prevail within data, which make it complicated for traditional data analysis procedures. As Scott (2017) said, statistics remains highly relevant irrespective of ‘bigness’ of data. It provides the basis to make data speak while taking into account the inherent uncertainties. Statistical analysis involves developing data collection procedures to further handle different data sources and to propose formal models for analysis and predictions.

In the published paper we focused on the role of statistics in handling the five Vs (Volume, Velocity Variety, Veracity and Value) of big data, and the challenges posed.  We proposed to combine two well-established statistical methods to optimise the selection of variables and locations for spatial and temporal analysis of environmental data sources (with more focus on air quality monitoring). The combined use of both methods; Land Use Regression (LUR) and Spatial Simulated Annealing (SSA), proposed in the paper will help in designing data acquisition processes so that the maximum information can be extracted given a specific number of possible measurement sites. Limiting the data sources can increase the speed of the analysis. Hence, making big data analysis more effective regardless of the “bigness”.

For more detail information, please access the article from :

The article is Open Access and is funded by European Commission within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, International Training Networks (ITN), European Joint Doctorates (EJD). The funding period is January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2018, Grant Agreement number 642332 — GEO-C — H2020-MSCA-ITN-2014.

Best Research Paper Award ICEGOV 2018 Galway, Ireland !!

11th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance ICEGOV 2018

Continued intention to use online participatory budgeting: The effect of empowerment and habit
Mijail Naranjo Zolotov | NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal
Tiago Oliveira | NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal
Sven Casteleyn | Jaume I University, Spain

Video of the closing session and awards here



Paper presented and published at WorldCIST 2018 Naples, Italy

WorldCist’18 – 6th World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

Zolotov, M. N., Oliveira, T., Cruz-Jesus, F., & Martins, J. (2018, March). Satisfaction with e-participation: A Model from the Citizen’s Perspective, Expectations, and Affective Ties to the Place. In World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (pp. 1049-1059). Springer, Cham.


The diffusion and adoption of e-participation contributes to better democracy and more participative societies. Nevertheless, despite the potential benefits of e-participation, the level of citizen satisfaction regarding the use of e-participation and its effects on the continued intention to use have not been widely assessed yet in the literature. This article proposes a conceptual model that integrates the DeLone & McLean success model, that assesses the citizen satisfaction regarding the perception of the e-participation system quality; the expectation-confirmation model for the continued intention to use, which evaluates satisfaction based on the confirmation of ex-post experience on e-participation use and the perceived usefulness; and the dimensions of sense of place, which play a moderator role between the citizen satisfaction and the e-participation use.

Paper Published in International Journal of Geo-Information IJGI – ISPRS about Roadblocks Hindering the Reuse of Open Geodata.

The paper Roadblocks Hindering the Reuse of Open Geodata in Colombia and Spain: A Data User’s Perspective (Authors: Fernando Benitez-Paez, Auriol Degbelo, Sergi Trilles, Joaquin Huerta) has been published in Volume 7, issue 1 of the International Journal of Geo-Information ISPRS by MDPI.

Abstract: Open data initiatives are playing an important role in current city governments. Despite more data being made open, few studies have looked into barriers to open geographic data reuse from a data consumer’s perspective. This article suggests a taxonomy of these barriers for Colombia and Spain, based on a literature review, an online questionnaire, and workshops conducted in four cities of these two countries. The taxonomy highlights that issues such as outdated data, low integration of data producers, published data being difficult to access, misinterpretation and misuse of released data and their terms of use are the most relevant from the data consumer’s point of view. The article ends with some recommendations to open data providers and research as regards steps to make open geographic data more usable in the countries analyzed.

This article is Open Access anyone can read and download anytime. For more information, to download, cite or read this recently published paper:

Cite: Benitez-Paez F, Degbelo A, Trilles S, Huerta J. Roadblocks Hindering the Reuse of Open Geodata in Colombia and Spain: A Data User’s Perspective. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2018; 7(1):6.

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.