GeoHCI 2013: Geography and HCI

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Presentation from the GeoHCI workshop

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GeoHCI 2013: Geography and HCI

  1. 1. Geography & HCIMuki Haklaym.haklay@ucl.ac.uk@mhaklayExtreme Citizen Science groupDepartment of Civil, Environment and Geomatic Engineering, UCL
  2. 2. Geographic representationshttp://www.phil.uni-passau.de/histhw/tutcarto/english/index-hiwi-karto-en.html http://hyperbolic-crochet.blogspot.com/2010/09/talking-and-writing-about-math.htmlSailing maps/Navigation charts, Western Pacific(Peabody Museum, Cambridge)Valcamonica, Italy. NeolithicBronze age (6000 BCE)
  3. 3. Carved wooden coastal charts carried intheir kayaks by Greenland Inuit (Eskimo)(n.d.) Courtesy of the Greenland NationalMuseum & Archives.http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/interactives/cartographic/1-2.html• Representations ofgeography predate thedevelopment of writing byat least 2000 years (some20,000)• Moreover, they exist innon-literate societies, andsemi-literate peopleroutinely participate inmapping activities
  4. 4. Modern digital mapping• Only few digital technologies failuresrequire physical intervention
  5. 5. Why are GIS hard to use?
  6. 6. Why are GIS hard to use?• As Identified by Traynor and Williams (1995):– GIS is complex: it is based on knowledge fromGeography, Cartography, Databases, Statistics,Computer algorithms and data structures…– Requires users to have or acquire considerabletechnical knowledge in order to operate thesystem• Due to the technological challenges,developers and vendors are focusing onfunctionality and not on interactionTraynor and Williams (1995) ‘Why are Geographic Information Systems hard to use?’
  7. 7. Web Mapping1998
  8. 8. "What is a geographer?" asked the little prince. "A geographer is a scholar whoknows the location of all the seas, rivers, towns, mountains, and deserts.""That is very interesting," said the little prince. "Here at last is a man who has areal profession!" And he cast a look around him at the planet of the geographer.It was the most magnificent and stately planet that he had ever seen."Your planet is very beautiful," he said. "Has it any oceans?""I couldnt tell you," said the geographer. ……the geographer said. "But I am not an explorer. I havent a single explorer onmy planet.It is not the geographer who goes out to count thetowns, the rivers, the mountains, the seas, the oceans,and the deserts. The geographer is much tooimportant to go loafing about.He does not leave his desk.”Source: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 1943 The Little Prince, Chapter 15Geography
  9. 9. Geography• Physical and Human Geography• Human geography:– Writing the Earth (Human-Nature)– Writing the World (Society-Space)• ‘geography in the world’ vs.‘geography in the head’• Concern with ‘Where-ness’ &interactions: location, space, place,travel, scale, distribution …
  10. 10. Place / Space• Core concepts in Geography• Spatial Science – searching for universal laws, ortreating all locations in the same way• ‘Place is defined as the site of relations betweenattributes. If so, then the argument for any kind ofindependent spatial science ... falls away entirely.’ (DavidHarvey, 1996. Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. p. 263)
  11. 11. The relational view of space‘One way of seeing ‘places’ is as on the surface of maps:Samarkand is there, the United States of America (fingeroutlining a boundary) is here. But, to escape from animagination of space as a surface is to abandon also that viewof place. If space is rather simultaneity of stories-so-far,then places are collections of those stories, articulationswithin the wider power-geometries of space. Their characterwill be a product of these intersections within that widersetting, and of what is made of them. And, too,of the non-meetings-up, the disconnections and therelations not established, the exclusions. All thiscontributes to the specificity of place.’Doreen Massey, 2005, ‘For Space’, p. 131
  12. 12. Cartography• Cartography (map-making) is the disciplinedealing with the conception, production,dissemination and study of maps in allforms. Another description of cartography isthat it is the Art, Science and Technology ofmap making. (British Cartographic Societywebsite)• Linked to several disciplines, althoughthe strongest links are togeography/geomatic engineering
  13. 13. Media, scale, details
  14. 14. 20092013
  15. 15. Paper vs. computerTasks Paper map Online map1. Localisation 47.35 (38.26) 121.35 (71.31)2. Measurement/scale 44.75 (17.18) 69.95 (71.98)3. Decode on map 49.50 (23.52) 15.00 (67.08)4. Decode on legend 17.25 (9.64) 11.75 (38.94)5. Route planning 286.05 (113.07) 388.85 (210.83)
  16. 16. Google Earth Tours
  17. 17. Jerome Lewis, ExCiteSForest monitoring
  18. 18. ExCiteS
  19. 19. ExCiteS
  20. 20. Further reading• See ucl.ac.uk/excites• Blog: povesham.wordpress.comuclexcites.wordpress.com• Academic Publications:povesham.wordpress.com/publications/• M.haklay@ucl.ac.uk / @mhaklay

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