Invitation for Expression of Interest
Urban BigGeoData and OpenCitySmart Think Tank
8th June 2016
The Geospatial IG of the Research Data Alliance and the Nottingham Geospatial Institute are pleased to welcome expression of interest for the Urban BigGeoData and OpenCitySmart Think Tank meeting and workshop at the University of Nottingham. This will be a free event (limited to 30 delegates) aimed to bring together key stakeholders in GeoBigData and OpenCitySmart research to brainstorm ideas and plan joint research ideas and collaborations for the future.
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. The RDA vision is researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society. The Research Data Alliance is supported by the European Commission, the National Science Foundation and other U.S. agencies, and the Australian Government.Details at https://rd-alliance.org/
The Geospatial IG is a domain oriented interest group to coordinate and build synergies on topics related to geospatial data. Though there has been lot of developments and advances in geo data collection through mobile communications, sensor platforms, spatial search, and pervasive computing but still, the inter-disciplinary research needed to transform raw data into useful intelligence, to improve the planet's environmental, economic and societal well being, remains constrained by a range of barriers - disciplinary, organisational, historical, and a non-existent or non-rigorous approach to quantifying uncertainty in collected datasets.
Today is the era of Urban Big Geodata. Increasing urban population together with the rapid developments of geospatial data sources and increasing data availability present opportunities for improving the quality of life for citizens (in aspects like social inclusiveness, sustainability and resilience, mitigation and adaptation to environmental change, etc.). At present the greatest challenges associated with the demands for high quality information and knowledge from Urban Big Geodata are:
- the ability to manage and extract it appropriately from what is a vast and rapidly increasing volume of geospatial data,
- data analysis presenting a clear obstacle in many applications caused by the poor scalability of spatial analytics and algorithms due to the complexity of the Urban Big Geodata being analysed and
- the presentation and delivery of results and their interpretation to non-domain experts (citizens and government organisations, etc.) as a crucial step to extracting and delivering actionable knowledge.
No single research domain or community possess the broad spectrum of skills necessary to tackle the challenges of Urban Big Geodata. Disparate and often traditionally non-interacting research communities have the relevant combined expertise to tackle these challenges in a timely manner. Computer scientists may, for example, be able to visualise large data volumes effectively but may possess less expertise in the social science skills required to influence volunteer citizen sensors to collect data. There is a need to defragment existing research communities and bring them together in a new way which can foster knowledge exchange, skills development and the formulation of new ideas to advance the research capabilities in Urban Big Geodata.
OpenCitySmart is an initiative of the GeoforAll  with the aim of development of suite of tools to benefit city operations, such as management of urban infrastructure (utilities, traffic, services, etc.). The purpose will be to continually add and advance functionalities serving urban management, for more efficient operations and with ultimate consideration for increasing sustainability and quality of urban life. Open City Smart builds and uses open solutions to build richer toolboxes that empower organisations and people all around the globe to handle spatial (and non-spatial) data.This will create innovation opportunities globally and locally.
The challenges of Urban Big Geo Data are multidisciplinary in nature. A networked approach is essential in order to formally bring expert researchers, scientists, stakeholders, and so on together. Open science is the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds are able to be developed more rapidly and in a more productive manner if openly shared (as early as is practical in the discovery process).
Big Data research is emerging as the key research focus for the fundamental research in many disciplines. Open Source, Open Standards and Open Data hold the key for Big Data research in all disciplines especially in Geospatial Science. European governments and the European Commission are constantly seeking ways of achieving greater returns on the investment that it makes through research. As part of this process it is seeking to ensure better re-use of data, software and technology between research programmes, broader cross-disciplinary and institutional participation in major research project investment and more frequent and rapid up-take of research results by industry and government so as to exploit and maximise return on research investment.
This Think Tank will create opportunities for establishing new WGs on themes in Geospatial IG related to Big Geospatial Data which can then develop actions on specific focussed themes. It aims to make a significant contribution to capacity building in Big Data research in Geospatial Science for new generation of interdisciplinary researchers.
Think Tank - 8th June
The Think Tank will a free half-day event on 8th June 2016 (9:00-12:30 including lunch) with around 30 experts drawn from a mix of academic and industry backgrounds. Selected experts may be invited to give brief presentations but in each case significant time will be allocated for discussion and open exploration of likely developments and planning future joint research collaborations/bids.
Interested participants are invited to submit their ideas and details before 15th April 2016 through the website. The selected participants will be informed by 30 April 2016.
Urban BigGeoData and OpenCitySmart Think Tank Outcomes
• Identify key developments and trends in this theme
• Identify mid-term (2-3 years) and long-term (5 year) developments and challenges in Urban BigGeoData and OpenCitySmart research
• Produce report on the Think Tank findings.
We look forward to receiving your expressions of interest for the Think Tank on Urban BigGeoData and OpenCitySmart research
PS: Please note that though this Urban BigGeoData and OpenCitySmart Think Tank is coinciding with RDA IG/WG Chairs meeting (which will be hosted by the University of Nottingham and British Geological Survey in Nottingham) both are separate events. RDA IG/WG Chairs meeting is a separate invite-only meeting run by the Research Data Alliance.