Crime Analysis and Simulation

Prof. Lin Liu
School of Geography and Planning
Sun Yat-sen University

Crime simulation is a relatively new research area in environmental criminology. Traditional approaches tend to focus on the use of statistic analysis to reveal the spatial pattern of crime. Few have attempted to uncover the spatial behavior of criminals and victims. This study proposes a virtual environment - SPACES - that permits the experimentation of varying spatial behaviors and their impact on the outcome of crime distribution. The virtual laboratory is based on the integration of routine activity theory, rational choice theory, crime pattern theory and social disorganization theory. Criminals, victims, place managers and police are modeled as different types of intelligent agents that interact with each other. This paper reports the experimentation of street robberies, revealing the spatial cognition of robbers and victims and the resulting spatio-temporal patterns of crime.

Spatial Intelligence: An Advance in Geographical Information Science

Prof. Bo Huang
Institute of Space and Earth Information Science,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Despite the astonishing growth achieved by Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in recent decades, this technology still needs to overcome some critical bottlenecks to realize further advancement. Prime among these hurdles is the inability to represent and solve complex spatio-temporal problems. Spatial intelligence, the fusion of analytical GIS, computational intelligence, and predictive analytics, is a new research frontier that aims to equip GIS with such capabilities. By bringing together spatial and temporal context to amplify the value of spatial analytics, spatial intelligence seeks to understand why spatial changes have happened in the past, to predict what and where changes will happen in the future, and to channel the changes towards sustainability. This presentation will introduce to you the speaker’s endeavors along this line with focus on three interrelated areas: spatio-temporal image fusion, change analysis, and multi-objective spatial optimization. These efforts are being streamlined to provide powerful tools to elicit more intelligence to address application issues in sustainable land use, transportation, and urban planning, thereby promoting the development of geographical information science.

Geocomputing in the Digital World: A New Paradigm?

Prof. Axing Zhu
Department of Geography,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The development and deployment of digital technology have fundamentally changed the way how data collected and analyzed. For example, location enabled personal digital devices (PDA) allow non-specialists to collect data and distribute these data over cyberspace. This means that data are now provided (collected) by anyone in various forms. Simplified and easy/convenient computer interfaces and mobile computing devices have enabled novice to perform complex computing. All of these make the traditional methods of data analysis and traditional ways of delivering tools/methods for analysis quickly obsolete. Their replacements will be methods which can effectively make use of the ad-hoc data/citizen volunteered data, and systems that deliver tools/methods but require little knowledge about the specifics of software. This talk presents the challenges and opportunities these changes bring and overviews some of the recent efforts on these changing frontiers in geocomputation.

Time, Space, and Accessibility: A Look at Urban Dynamics and Healthy Foods

Prof. Michael Widener
Department of Geography,
University of Cincinnati

Improving spatial access to healthy foods in urban regions is recognized as an important component of reducing the prevalence of chronic illness and achieving better health outcomes. Previously, researchers exploring this domain have calculated accessibility measures derived from the travel cost from home locations to nearby food stores. This approach disregards additional opportunities that present themselves as residents move throughout the city as well as longer term changes in environmental conditions, like the opening and closing of food markets. This talk will explore the usefulness of reframing the food desert concept through a time-geographic lens and will present early findings. Additionally, a variety of spatial methods for gauging access in dynamic urban environments will be explored.

Computational Challenges in Spatial Analysis and Modeling

Prof. Ningchuan Xiao
Department of Geography
Ohio State University

The increasingly growing computing power has brought tremendous challenges and opportunities to GIScience. In this talk, I will discuss three prospects using some examples. First, I believe we will be able to accurately model human mobility. I will use a space-time model of pastoralists in norther Cameroon as an example and then discuss further challenges. Second, with the multiplicity of spatial problem solving tools developed, it is necessary to design meaningful ways to utilizing the diverse tool set. Third, it is critical to quantify vague geographical concepts and I will use the example of "Central Ohio" to illustrate how a many-valued logic approach can be used to address this issue. I will finish the talk with a discussion on implications of these research areas.


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