Framing your research to be the best story to tell. GeoC-UJI present in Agile PhD School 2017.

From October 30th to November 2nd, at University of Leeds – England, took place the 4th AGILE Ph.D. school.

AGILE PhD schools provide a forum for the next generation of scientists and research leaders to develop their own networks and to exchange ideas, as well as providing a set of core research skills. The Schools expose attendees to a diversity of leading-edge topic areas in GI and spatial information sciences and, critically, show them different experiences and expectations around supervision, prosecuting research.

During two days 12 PhD students – from different countries and universities – met to discuss their ongoing research, current progress, and future activities. The main goal was to develop generic research skills related to how to effectively write and post research. Each attendant should consider an effective storytelling as part of the outcomes to properly “sell” the idea that is trying to solve, framing the research problem and intermediate results obtained as part of a good story.

Diego Pajarito and Fernando Benitez from GEOTEC (GeoC project) were part of this group. In only five minutes fellows should explain what is their research about, current outcomes and how to face next steps. Students received feedback from professor Alexis Comber – who was in charge of this year PhD school – and from the rest of participants.

The agenda of the first day also had a practical session about “Agent-Based Modelling” from Nick Malleson, Associate Professor in Geographical Information Science in the School of Geography at The University of Leeds. The second day, Ian Philips – from the Institute for transportation studies – presented his talk “Minister love maps” related to trials and tribulations for an early researcher.

This school was an excellent opportunity to wrap up the basics tips and trick related to writing and posting research. Learning the fundamentals about research paper structure, as well as oral presentations, explaining why the audience should be interested in your talk, and selection of useful literature required were also considered.

For more information, about the AGILE Ph.D. School, visit

GEO-C student wins best poster award in AGILE 2017 #agilewag2017

From May 9 to May 12, 2017, in Wageningen, The Netherlands, the 20th AGILE conference took place. This year’s team: societal geo-innovation.

AGILE 2017 is the annual international conference on Geographic information science of association of geographic information laboratories in Europe. This event, organized by Wageningen University and the remarkable local committee, was an excellent opportunity to discuss the social impact of geo innovation over the past 20 years, and the most exciting and challenging topics for the next 20 years in GIScience.

With more than 200 participants AGILE 2017 had pre-conferences workshops, parallel sessions, keynote sessions, and posters session, about the most significance GIScience topics such as VIG, Data Quality, Spatial analysis, Open Data, GeoGames, smart cities and others.

The poster session had more than 30 posters related to different topics. GeoC UJI was part of this event with two posters. Citizense – A generic user-oriented participatory sensing framework by  Manh Khoi Ngo, Luis Rodríguez and Sven Casteleyn and City Data 3.0 – A generic initiative to promote and assess the reuse of geographic information in cities – Early steps by Fernando Benitez and Joaquin Huerta. We are proud to say that the latter won the best poster award at Agile 2017!

City Data 3.0 poster presented the preliminary results of research related to the reuse and discoverability of available open data in cities. This poster shows the barriers identified in four selected cities, main data quality criteria considered by data consumers and the most valuable services and formats used for developers and analysts in Bogota, Cali, Medellin, and Valencia.


More GEO-C contributions in AGILE 2017:

  • Short Paper presentation: One tool to spatialize all – sense of place, social capital and civic engagement by Albert Acedo, Germán Martín Mendoza Silva, Marco Painho and Sven Casteleyn
  • Organization of 5th Open Data for Open Cities participatory workshop, Joaquin Huerta, Fernando Benitez, Mohammad Mehdi Moradi, Pau Aragó Galindo
  • Organization of Agile Workshop on Geogames and Geoplay, Christoph Schlieder, Miek Gould, Diego Pajarito, Ola Ahlqvist, Thomas Heinz, Peter Kiefer, Vyron Antoniou

GEO-C students organised 5th Open Data for Open Cities participatory workshop at Agile 2017 #agilewag2017

From May 9 to May 12, 2017, in Wageningen, The Netherlands, the 20th AGILE conference took place.

As part of the pre-conference program, GEO-C candidates  Mehdi Moradi (Esr12) and Fernando Benitez (Esr11) organized the 5th Open Data for Open Cities participatory workshop, which presented an opportunity to discuss about reuse and discoverability of open data in cities. Topics such as Crime, Disaster Management, Spatial point process and geo-portals assessment were part of the selected papers and a set of short presentations.

How data user barriers can impact the usefulness level of open data was the discussion with experts of Open Data during this workshop.  Participants included Professor Bastian van Loenen, associate professor in open data in the Department of Architecture and The Built Environment at Delft University of Technology, and Heleen Vollers, one of the authors of the last analytic report of European Data portal, who was the KeyNote speaker. Her talk about barriers and benefits of working with Open Data brought participants new insights about how several European countries and enterprises are using open data to improve their innovation level, as well as how cities should deal with barriers in data producer or consumer perspective. For more information about this presentation, you can check the workshop’s website.

The afternoon session was more interactive, using wallpapers and some findings of City Data 3.0, participants covered three questions regarding reusing and finding open data.

  • Is the downloadable formats the effective way to promote the reuse of open data?
  • What should be the precise and efficient way to display data in open data portals?
  • Moreover, what should be the way to make the open data in cities available: through SDI portals, Open Data portals or both?

The last part of Open Data for Open Cities workshop was a point process analysis using the new methodology covered in the Ph.D. research of Mr. Moradi. Using Open Data from Medellin City in Colombia, related to car accidents, the last session was used to calculate an intensity network along streets of Medellin city. For more information about the methodology and steps to getting the results follow this link.

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2nd CALL FOR PAPERS for Open Data for Open Cities Workshop at the AGILE 2017 Conference.

We invite all who want to be a part of a discussion on the real impact of Open Data in cities and spatial point analysis process on linear networks to present their works in our workshop.

Once the data consumers have access to open data, next step is to go depth and come up with practical methods of analysis together with accessible results for citizens.

Keynote Speaker:

We are very pleased to announce to our keynote speaker, Heleen Vollers. is a Senior Management Consultant at Capgemini Consulting. She works in the Public Insights & Data practice of Capgemini Consulting where she is a member of Capgemini’s global EU account.

Heleen is actively involved in the development of the European Data Portal and associated services, on behalf of the European Commission – DG CONNECT. Beyond being just a Portal, the project offers support services to countries as they mature on their Open Data journey. In addition, there is a strong focus on driving a user community and understanding the benefits of Open Data. Heleen leads the research work on measuring the level of Open Data maturity across Europe.


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Smart City Expo, perspective from geospatial researchers

Attending the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is a common desire within ITC-related professionals and researchers, you find in a single place all commercial solutions, some customers showing their own experience with Smart City projects, some Experts discussing about future trends, and academics interested on meeting “Real” products to feed their own research.

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Between thousands of attendees there were seven Geotec members walking through Europa Fira, listening to interesting and motivational speeches, while digging into multiple ideas from entrepreneurs, local government agents, young researchers and well-known companies.

Most remarkable issues there at the Expo were related to:circular economy, sustainable mobility, open data and artificial intelligence. Regarding there were…

Discussion about Sustainable Mobility was a full track on the agenda, and walking/cycling experiences were presented everywhere, a mix of mobile apps, infrastructure plan, sharing/rented projects were presented. Main tendency is to have less private individual vehicles and more public and shared bicycles, therefore cycling infrastructure will be part of this transformation. The session “Walkable and cyclable cities” easily resumes those innitiatives.

SCEWC2016 offered a rich set of keynote speakers, but Parag Kanna’s presentation about connected cities had an important effect on attendees, his map-based speech showed future trends on urbanization and development of future cities (also smart). With a global view of connections he explained briefly how the world is showing us tendencies that must be attended, with his web tool those tendencies could be explored and analyzed.

Another interesting Keynote, gave by Susan Etlinger, was about how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be implemented in new solutions for cities, enhancing new developments such as image recognition, self-driving cars and conversational assistants.

Finally, the importance of sharing economy and governance of the city commons was presented by David Bollier. This alternative forms of creating economical development is rising on cities like Barcelona, looking to strengthen local business and entrepreneurship.


Prof. Michael Gould presented the preliminary results of the ESR07 project in the “Solutions for More Inclusive and Participative Cities (elevator pitch format)” track.

A full three days event is always exhausting, but attending during different days as a group will allow to identify multiple trends and development, this exercise helped Geotec on having a global look at state-of-the-art commercial solutions for Smart Cities.

ESR were also in contact with local partners from the program. Castellón City Hall representatives were present at the event, looking for solutions to improve the city. Also ESR15 shared experiences in the Urbiotica’s stand, who presented its solution to different stakeholders.  

(*) Geotec Researches who attended the Smart City Expo: Fernando Benitez (ESR11), David Frias,  Khoi Ngo (ESR06), Diego Pajarito (ESR07), Manuel Portela (ESR15), Luis Rodriguez, Sergi Trilles, Michael Gould.




Open Data for Open Cities GeoC Workshop in Geomundus conference

img_5339From November 4 to November 5, 2016, GeoC – UJI led Open Data for Open cities participatory workshop related to Open Data and its use. This activity  was held in last Geomundus conference that took a place last weekend in Castellon de la Plana – Spain.

With over 30 students from the consortium of Erasmus Mundus (EM) International Master’s program in Geospatial Technologies (Nova University, Munster University, UJI University) and also Geomundus keynote speaker Richard Sliuzas from Twente University,  topics such as available open data, re-use barriers and engagement mechanisms of cities open data portals were talked during this activity.

The overall aim of this workshop was to identify and discuss how open data consumer search and use open data services for a specific application. The activities made during this activity were:

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GeoTec Group and GeoC UJI presented several talks in last Esri Spain user conference.

img_7288 From October 26 to October 27, was held at Madrid the last Esri Spain User conference, the main event of Esri Spain company which meet together their customers, professors, some partners and students related to, GIS, smart Cities, Open Data, and GI applications that use Esri Technology.

During this couple of days, the Geotec research group and GeoC UJI presented several talks related to their projects and initiatives. Education track was the place to meet with some professors, Esri Master program students, and other people interested with the progress and success stories related to educations and GIS applications.

David Frias, who led the talks called, “NavApps: Un juego móvil para mejorar las habilidades espaciales en la ESO”, was the initial talk for GeoTec research group, Whom presented the process made for ENAbLE project. NavApps project is a geo-game with APP/Web application to improve the spatial skills of children from 12 to 16 years old, which is also part of ENAbLE project.

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GeoC UJI and Nova were part of GeoMundus 2016 conference.


From November 4 to November 7, 2016, Geomundus an international symposium on Geography, Earth and Environmental Studies, held by the students from the consortium of Erasmus Mundus (EM) International Master’s program in Geospatial Technologies.

This year GEO-C: Enabling Open Cities project, funded in the Marie Curie International Training Networks (ITN) program was also part of this conference. The conference took a place in Castellón, Spain.

Geo-C team at UJI University, Spain; and Geo-C Nova, Lisboa; conducted several talks to share their current research progress as well as a participatory workshop called Open Data for Open Cities (leaded by Esr11) with over 30 students from the International Master Program.

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GeoC – Spain, present in Vespucci Initiative 2016. Sensors, Smart Cities, Open Data and Mobility.

vespucciDuring the week September 5 to 9, 2016 in Benicassim – Spain, took place the second week of the Vespucci initiative, about sensors and mobile applications for smart cities. Where GeoC in Spain attended.

This summer school had as facilitators, as Michael Gould (Universitat Jaume I), Christian Sailer (ETH Zurich), Steve Liang (University of Calgary), Thomas Bartoschek (University of Münster).

With attenders of several countries such as Colombia, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Germany, Cuba, Portugal. We had the opportunity to face interesting discussions of different topics, for instance, the real problem that we want to solve in our research topic, a business model for research projects, education and mobile learning, sensors, all those topics were covered using small groups for productive results and improve the local experiences.

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