Nottingham Geospatial Institute

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Jessica Wardlaw

Research Fellow, Faculty of Engineering



Jessica comes from Dorset, UK, and studied Geography at the University of Oxford (BA, 2004). Following a GIS internship at the United States Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and further Geographical Information Systems (GIS) experience in public and private sectors, she led a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between UCL and Dr Foster Intelligence in 2007, which was graded outstanding and developed into her Engineering Doctorate and interest in the usability of geospatial technologies.

Expertise Summary

Usability Engineering (designing then running experiments with participants and obtaining information on users in novel ways to inform more usable designs), Big Data, Action Research and GIS.

Research Summary

Jessica is a Research Fellow in WebGIS on the iMars grant agreement: Broadly, the iMars grant is developing tools and 3D models of the surface of… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Jessica is a Research Fellow in WebGIS on the iMars grant agreement: Broadly, the iMars grant is developing tools and 3D models of the surface of Mars from NASA and ESA mission imaging data to create co-registered data for a much more comprehensive interpretation of the Martian surface. Specifically, the project will identify surface changes that have occurred since the NASA's Viking Orbiter mission in the 1970s. Within this Jessica's work comprises of two phases: 1) to review the current state-of-the-art in crowd sourcing, Citizen Science and human computation platforms and initiatives, and 2) to test the resultant design ideas with human volunteers both in the laboratory and online. Both phases aim to not only inform the design of the user interface for iMars but also contribute to the development of design guidelines for other Citizen Science initiatives.

Past Research

Jessica completed her Engineering Doctorate in 2015, which was a longitudinal study of the introduction and impact of User-Centred Design (UCD) methods on a healthcare informatics organisation, beyond improvements in the user interface and experience. It identified obstacles and opportunities for embedding UCD techniques in the organisation, their additional value to the organisation (beyond the identification of usability problems) and the strengths and weaknesses of the Action Research approach for investigation of design practice.

Future Research

Her research interests span Geography (including Web GIS, cartography, spatial cognition and knowledge construction, health geography) and Human-Computer Interaction (from applied aspects such as user-centred design, usability engineering and design practice, to cognitive aspects including sense- and decision-making, information visualisation and affective interaction design), especially as it applies to geographical and so-called "Big" data. She is especially interested in the boundary between amateur and professional, and human and machine, capabilities.

  • WARDLAW, J., HAKLAY, M. and COX, A.L., 2014. Inside the 'Big Data' Factory: Lessons from health informatics In: Engineering Interactive Computing Systems 2014 Workshop - HCI Engineering: Charting the Way towards Methods and Tools for Advanced Interactive Systems.
  • WARDLAW, J., COX, A.L. and HAKLAY, M., 2013. Adaptation of Method-resources Between Projects: A Case Study From a Dynamic and Complex Work Domain. In: Proceedings of CHI 2013 Workshop “Made for Sharing: HCI Stories for Transfer, Triumph and Tragedy”. pp. 4-9
  • JONES, S., WARDLAW, J., CAROLAN, M. and CROUCH, S., 2011. Modelling catchment areas for acute providers: a case study. Health Care Management Science. 14(3), 253-261
  • SKARLATIDOU, A., WARDLAW, J., HAKLAY, M. and CHENG, T., 2011. Understanding the influence of specific Web GIS attributes in the formation of non-experts’ trust perceptions. In: RUAS, A., ed., Advances in Cartography and GIScience. Selection from ICC 2011, Paris. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography. Vol. 1. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 219-238
  • WARDLAW, J., 2010. Principles of interaction. In: HAKLAY, M., ed., Interacting with Geospatial Technologies. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. pp. 179-198
  • WARDLAW, J. and SKARLATIDOU, A., 2010. Concepts-based Analysis of Surface and Structural Misfits (CASSM) for Web GIS In: GIS Research UK (GISRUK) 2010 Workshop - Methods and Techniques of Use, User and Usability Research in Geo-information Processing and Dissemination.
  • WARDLAW, J. and HAKLAY, M., 2009. Mapping in the UK Health Informatics Sector In: The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association GIS in Public Health Conference.
  • FARR, M., WARDLAW, J. and JONES, C.E., 2008. Tackling health inequalities using geodemographics: a social marketing approach. International Journal of Market Research. 50(4), 449-468
  • WARDLAW, J., PARKER, S. and HAKLAY, M., 2008. Mapping Health Information In: Association for Geographic Information Conference.

Nottingham Geospatial Institute

Nottingham Geospatial Building
The University of Nottingham
Triumph Road
Nottingham, NG7 2TU

telephone:+44 (0)115 95 13880
fax:+44(0) 115 95 13881
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